Editorial: Don’t panic, we’re all in this together

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 19, 2020

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We’re all in this together, folks.

Black and white, Muslim and Christian, Republican and Democrat. We’re all in this together.

It’s somewhat understandable about the panic. Most of us have never been through anything like this. We’ve endured civil unrest, gas rationing and terrorism. We’ve endured pretending to hate each other because of differing politics. We’ve even dug our toes into the sand and refused to consider someone’s opinion who voted one way or the other on whether to build a new high school.

But this is different. It’s a virus. Can we blame a virus for our current state of affairs? Sure, but too many people need someone or some group to blame.

The news media is getting a lot of blame for the panic. I understand that. Blame the messenger. And while the coronavirus for a couple of months — more intensely in the last couple of weeks — was all one could find on television news; nowadays, it’s what people are looking for on television news. Same goes with newspapers. Even Facebook (sorry, folks, but Facebook is also a form of media) is filled with all sorts information about the virus, some of it worthwhile, a lot of it a bunch of garbage that is more fit for a political campaign than helping a nation in crisis.

The news media doesn’t have the answers. But they can direct you towards more knowledgeable people. They can direct you to resources you may need. They can tell you where to find food for your hungry child. Use it as you see fit. If the news media gets on your nerves, change the channel, turn the page. Everyone is not supposed to like or agree with every segment in the first place. While you may be tired of hearing about where to get free food for your kids, there may be a family seeing it for the first time.

But don’t let the media make you panic. Or, don’t let the media make you panic any more than you already have. And to think the panic sort of came out of nowhere last week. The NBA suspended its season, and the snowball started rolling down the hill, straight for hell at the grocery store.

For those who bought up all the toilet paper and groceries, I hope you’re staying at home for at least a month. No trips anywhere. If that’s the case, fine. You’re doing your part to help curb the spread of the virus. If not, you made the problem worse. Now there are folks who need groceries and can’t find them. We’ll get through, but you made the problem worse.

Around here, folks started thinking about how to help as soon as it was announced that schools would be closed for at least two weeks. Even before the schools got a plan into place to help feed children, other groups, churches and individuals had started to do the same.

Keep that spirit of helping one another going. Check on your neighbors. Check on anyone elderly who may not have someone in their lives on a daily basis. Check on family and friends. Be a good member of a good community — from six feet away.

Help families that need help. I’m sure there are many with parents who don’t have the time or money or knowledge to help educate their children at home. Some may be choosing between working or staying home with the kids. Most families can’t financially survive very long without current paychecks.

We’re filling their stomachs now, but the need will persist even after the pandemic is over. The economic realities will last a bit longer.

Expect to see some changes in this newspaper, as well. Many of our pages are filled with sports news and church news and other news about community events. Most have been canceled.

We can make up for it with your help. Let us know how you’re coping, your ideas could help someone else. Send us suggestions. We’re here to serve you. Send it to mike.barnhardt@davie-enterprise.com.

After all, we’re all in this together, folks.

Mike Barnhardt is editor of the Davie County Enterprise-Record.