Chicken Little says, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Woe is us!” We’ve seen near panic buying and stores wiped out of toilet paper, hand wash, cleaning products and fresh meat. There are no Catholic masses and most other churches have no services. We’re being told to work at home and keep limits on public gatherings. People question if the country is out of control. The blame game flourishes: President Trump is not doing enough. Oh, no! (referring back to Chicken Little.)

Since I started to prepare this letter so much has changed, the term used is everything is in flux. And “in flux” is not good. As already known all bars and restaurants are take-out only. Governor Whitmer said we didn’t “behave” ourselves over the weekend and “partied” when we should have stayed home and restrained our exuberance. Her price: no partying. Put on sackcloth and pretend you were a Roman Catholic pre-Vatican II. No fun in Lent. I shudder to think about “Big Brother” in its full power.

In September 1918 600 sailors returning to Philadelphia from WW1 came down with flu, which later became known as Spanish Flu. The city held a War Bond Parade to raise money and thousands of people attended. In six weeks there were 12,000 deaths and 47,000 cases of flu. Six months later 500,00 cases resulted in 16,000 deaths in Philadelphia alone. St. Louis canceled its parade and in the end experienced less than 700 deaths. In the U.S. 675,000 people died out of 22 million cases. The Spanish Flu had no cure or vaccine. Normally older people are most vulnerable, but this flu took people at the prime of their lives. This made it so deadly as it didn’t follow the pattern of disease.

Maybe some safety measures seem unreasonable, but as evidenced by actions of some other nations like Italy where a shut down is underway, perhaps “tough love” is necessary. Mainly we as rational people should try to keep a calm head, clean our hands and do what we should have done anyway. We will conquer this. We are America. Maybe some prayer won’t hurt either.

A little while ago we were tired of the impeachment proceedings but that was far away in Washington D.C. COVID-19 is something we are tired of hearing about, but we hope it is not coming to visit us.

—David Naeyaert,