Courage Demonstrates Character – The COVID 19 Battle

  • The Battle of COVID 19 takes different weapons, personnel and logistics. So, to "All of You on The Front Lines"...."Thank You For Your Service And Sacrifice!"
  • We don’t know yet how this will play out, but the coronavirus outbreak could become the biggest and most impactful cultural event of our lifetime. 
  • Neither 9/11 nor the Great Recession so profoundly altered as many aspects of day-to-day life in such a short period of time the way the coronavirus has affected schools, work, travel, entertainment and shopping. 

Last week, I told my 21 year old son that “This would be the last time things we’re going to feel normal.” Upon viewing his reaction I tempered my comment by adding, “At least for a while.” Obviously for Baby Boomers and above, the COVID 19 Pandemic reminds of us of 9/11 and brings to mind the 10th of September 2001.  You know, the day before everything changed the last time.

As a retired US Army Ranger, I longed to get back into the “Fight” Post 9/11. How I wish I could actively battle this unseen enemy. Unfortunately, the coronavirus outbreak is bigger than 9/11. It might also be bigger than the Great Recession.

The Battle of COVID 19 takes different weapons, personnel and logistics. So, to “All of You on The Front Lines”….”Thank You For Your Service And Sacrifice!” As a people, community, country and world, we will never ever forget your courage.

Remember courage is not lacking fear but action in the face of it.

The author Dana Matthews with a message of hope.

The late John Fakes, aka “Sgt Shaft” of the Washington Times and President of the Blinded American Veterans Foundation once told me that “Character is What a Blind Man Sees in You”. You on the front lines in healthcare, food service, delivery and all other essential work have my heartfelt gratitude.  You demonstrate your “Character” each and every day you just show up for work.

Ironically, a nurse gave me a patriotic T-shirt some time ago which said “No One Fights Alone.” The T-shirt outlined the collaboration between the military, first responders, and healthcare professionals. There’s no truer time to see that in action than now. Thank you all for facing this fear, together we will stare it down.

We don’t know yet how this will play out, but the coronavirus outbreak could become the biggest and most impactful cultural event of our lifetime. Neither 9/11 nor the Great Recession so profoundly altered as many aspects of day-to-day life in such a short period of time the way the coronavirus has affected schools, work, travel, entertainment and shopping.

The outbreak is already having deep psychological effects on many people – anxiety, fear and worry are rampant. As we cut ourselves off from social interaction, anxiety may turn into depression.

That may be especially true for younger generations. Social interaction with peers is paramount for young people, and with schools closed, working at home encouraged, and larger gatherings canceled, that is all but over. Texting, social media and video chat can help fill the void – but virtual communication is just not as good as actual face-to-face contact.

This situation is especially concerning because this generation was already vulnerable. Between 2011 and 2018, the data suggests that rates of depression, self-harm and suicide increased significantly among teens. The Battle Of COVID 19 may well cause more behavioral issues, if mental health resources are more difficult to obtain as the pandemic worsens.

Some crises, like the aftermath of a hurricane, lend themselves to action. We can clean up; we can volunteer. Taking meaningful action boosts mental health; it feels good to help others and to change things. We all have a part to play in this battle.

For me, social distancing and self quarantining have been my contribution thus far. Moving forward, I will be a cheerleader for those of you on the “front lines.” I will actively look for ways to support our first responders and essential workers. Maybe I’ll send one of those “care packages” to my local front line fighters place of business.

Finally and most importantly, from one “warrior” to nnother “Thank You All Again!”

Stay Safe and Drive On!

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Dana Matthews

Dr Dana Matthews is a Lieutenant Colonel, US Army Ranger (Retired). He holds a BA in Journalism, an MBA/JD Law Degree, and a Doctorate in Organizational Psychology.He is a Member of the National Press Club in Washington DC and has appeared on TV and Radio.He was awarded the Military Order of the Purple Heart for Combat Wounded Veterans.Dr Dana Matthews is a well published Journalist and writer with articles appearing in the Scripps Newspaper/ TCPALM.COMHe also co authored and published a novel entitled " El Segundo- One Man's Journey for Redemption". 

One thought to “Courage Demonstrates Character – The COVID 19 Battle”

  1. I, too, am thankful for those working hard on the front lines. May God bless them and give them strength.

    There may not be much some of us can do now, but when the “All Clear” signal is given, I plan on working overtime to take care of my customers because most everything is simply put on hold now. The longer the economic river is dammed, the stronger will be the release when it breaks. Business owners get your gear together and order your supplies now. We are all going to have to pitch in when this economy picks up where it left off.

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