Can You FInd The Bright Side

My first day in news in 1996 was covering some of the TWA Flight 800 crash. It was a Boeing 747 that exploded and crashed over the Atlantic Ocean. It was tragic and sad and 230 people were dead.

After swearing I would never return to news, I bought a small town newspaper. What joy I had that I could cover small town sports, local businesses thriving, and the hidden treasures that often get overlooked by national news. I would help record history and build community.

Even as news of Coronavirus began, it was for the big news outlets not us.

Then it began, closures, curbside dining, federal and state mandates.

Here I sit at my desk saying, “Wait. How did I get here again? Covering tough topics, heavy issues to deal with, honest fears, people asking how will I pay bills, will I have to close my business?”

I saw a headline “21 year old dies of Coronavirus.” When you read the article he had leukemia and pneumonia. And it is horribly sad and tragic, but you wonder why people don’t trust media.

But then I think of the recent feedback I have received. People love our small town paper and the spin I put on things. So here’s my take on the Coronavirus quarantine.

How can I smile so much?

Because if I have to be quarantined I get to do it in rural Kansas.  In a city on a subway if someone sneezes you could hit 100 people. (A random guess. I never counted.) Here we have space. If I had to be quarantined in my office, it’s twice the size of my NYC apartment for 1/3 the price and that was in 1996!

My husband farms so if we have to self quarantine we can do it on a farm with cattle and sheep.

Even those in our area without acreage can go to a convenience store and buy something staying six feet away from anyone because we have a small population.

To help illustrate my point, once upon a time I took my mild mannered farmer husband to New York City and we stood in line for a piece of pizza. He got agitated thinking the man behind him was about to jump him. I turned around and laughed. The man was just in line for pizza. Personal space is quite different rurally.

I watched a video of people in a Brooklyn NY apartment building screaming at strangers on the street “Go home! Flatten the curve!” To strangers!

There is a civility and family like atmosphere in our small town. It’s not Stepford  (movie reference Stepford Wives) People disagree, get under each other’s skin but they speak civilly to each other, friendly and kind. And if tragedy struck one of them, they put all that aside and open their hearts and pocketbooks (reference for youth - small bag or pouch to hold money).

So if I have to be quarantined, I choose here. I choose Syracuse Kansas.

And please understand I don’t knock all of NYC. I absolutely love the city and all it offers! I’m just appreciating where I am today. I believe wherever you are, there are blessings in it.

Maybe it’s running water or heat in your home. Maybe it’s spending quality time with your family or a furry friend.

And maybe our social media could reflect that too.


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