When I sat down in January to put pen to paper, digitally of course, and write my first article for Houston Builder, I also compiled a list of possible topics for upcoming issues. It never occurred to me that perhaps I should consider an article addressing a pandemic.
This is the most challenging article I’ve written to date. The news is evolving daily and I’m editing and rewriting almost as quickly as I can get it written, realizing that much of this could be irrelevant by the time it gets to you. It is March 16 as I write this article with an understanding that it will be approximately three weeks before you have the magazine in your hands. I hope and pray that the efforts and sacrifices made by everyone will have resulted in gaining the upper hand against COVID-19, and a lessening of the anxieties we all feel by the time this reaches you.
I’m not going to make this article about advice on how to avoid catching or spreading the virus—we’re all bombarded daily with that information. Nor am I going to attempt to either pass on advice of how to prepare for or predict an economic downturn for the same reasons.
What I will say is that we, all Americans, have been through challenging times before…and we emerged triumphant. Few of us, including myself, experienced the Great Depression. Some, but not many, remember WWII. Most all of us remember 9/11 and the near collapse of the banking industry in 2008. To quote Thomas Paine, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” I’ll add women and even kids to that notion; the uncertainty is stressful and worrisome. We must know that this will pass and once again we will return to prosperity in the greatest society the world has known.
We have been experiencing the loss of things we have taken for granted—travel, sporting events, concerts, crowded restaurants, festivals, conferences and the list goes on. For me, I feel at a loss in the morning when I usually read the latest about my hometown teams over a cup of coffee. Perhaps something positive will come from this, such as spending more time with family and close friends. Rather than air travel to faraway places we may jump in our cars and drive to the shore or the Hill Country for a getaway. Maybe I’ll put a dent in that stack of books I’ve been planning to read…someday.
It is important in this day of great political divide in this country that we remember we are ALL Americans. We must stay united in the face of this challenge. It is in the Pledge of Allegiance: “One Nation under God, indivisible.”
As many of you know by now, I have a penchant for famous quotes. I close with one that we’ve all heard, but probably few know the first recorded use: “United we stand, divided we fall.” It was in Aesop’s Fables, sixth century B.C. It is as true now as it was then. True unity would be a blessing to come out of this time.