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B.J. DRYE COLUMN: Listen to your elders

It is times like these that I really wish my grandparents were still alive.

I would like to be able to ask them how they survived the 1918 flu, the Great Depression, two World Wars and other grand situations.

My dad was telling me a story of how during one epidemic, a candle in the window meant someone in that house had died of the illness.

It was people like Grandpa McLester who risked their lives and paid with pain the rest of his life to protect our freedoms during World War II.

He was asked to go to war, as many young people were, not knowing what they were going into or whether they would return.

President Trump has referred to himself as like a wartime president.

The different is that these men and women went to war.

People now are just being asked to stay at home on their couch and watch Netflix.

And they can’t even do that correctly.

I wish Robert D. Raiford, one of radio heroes, was here. I can hear him yelling, “STUPID.”

People are out sunbathing on the beaches of Florida or rollerblading in California, not caring about the welfare of others.

How selfish have we become that we can’t follow a simple request to social distance ourselves?

One of my friends from West Stanly is a nurse in another county, but she lives in Stanly.

She posted a message this week that I feel needs to be shared to a bigger audience.

“No matter what you think about this pandemic, please pray for healthcare workers right now. This is uncharted waters for most of us and we are having daily meeting and debriefings, working extended hours, facing the unknown and having the same concerns about the dangers, the rate of spread, the childcare, etc., as all of you, but we still have to get in the trenches and do what we were called to do and support each other and all the scared and sick patients and loved ones. I was initially joking and cavalier about all of this, too, but not anymore. This has rocked our world.”
She said testing usually takes five days, but many are coming back in like three days. Anyone suspected of having the virus is being treated as if they are infected, she said.
This is not a time to make this issue political. If you think the president has done enough, that’s your opinion. If you think he hasn’t done enough, that’s your opinion.
Now is the time to listen to the doctors and officials. It is also time to pay attention to what happened in China and Italy. China seems like it is coming out on the other side of this demon, but Italy is to the point that it is giving us a fair warning. We can react appropriately and take precautions and get ahead of this virus, or we can be like them and see deaths higher than that of China.
We are the greatest country in the world.
We need to grow up and act like it.
B.J. Drye is editor of The Stanly News & Press. Email him at bj.drye@stanlynewspress.com.