There’s nothing I can say about the corona virus pandemic that hasn’t already been said.
But hundreds of fans have emailed me to ask how I’m doing, and I appreciate that. So to answer everyone: I’m doing fine, and so is my 13-year-old son. And I hope all of you are doing well.
Many of the writers I’m in touch with joke that this social isolation is not much different than our everyday lives when we’re on deadline. Well, of course, it is different, but anyone who works alone all day has gotten used to isolation, and maybe those people are handling it better than people who usually see co-workers every day and who are now working from home.
The tough thing, for everyone, is not being able to spend time with friends and extended family after work, or on weekends. And, of course, there’s the virus—an enemy we can’t see or hear, and can feel only when it has gotten into us or our loved ones.
I live on Long Island, which has been hit harder than anyplace in the country except for nearby New York City. The news reports about the rapid spread of the disease in my suburban county has caused as much emotional suffering and psychological stress as the disease itself, but we’re tough here, and also compassionate, and not a day goes by that I don’t see or hear of acts of great sacrifice and courage, especially among health care workers.
When I was in the Army, we had an expression: the soldier is a person who runs toward gunfire, not away from it.
The same can be said for health care workers who run toward danger and not away from it.
There is truly a special place in heaven for the doctors, nurses, technicians, and first responders, including police, firemen, and EMT workers, and also all hospital staff who report in to work every day and put themselves in harm’s way on the front lines. There are no desertions in this war.
I’ve seen the bravery, courage, and sacrifice of men in combat, but I am awed and overwhelmed by the dedication of the men and women who face an invisible enemy every day, and who save lives and give hope to those who are sick, and hope to those at home who know that these men and women are there if they or a loved one needs them.
I was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge for my service in Vietnam and I’d like to see Congress or various states authorize a badge of honor for all those in the medical profession and all those in the medical support services who have served with courage during the Pandemic of 2020. These badges, like lapel pins, can be worn proudly anywhere and anytime for years to come, and serve—like the Combat Infantry Badge—to identify those who ran toward danger, not away from it.
Meanwhile, stay safe, stay healthy, and most of all stay optimistic. This will pass, and we will come out of this stronger and better prepared for the future.
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