I have been watching Ken Burns’ Country Music. The second episode “Hard Times” opens with the comment “The depression had been going on for four years by this time”. Can you imagine four years of this? Four years of being scared to go outside and being worried about where you are going to get food from. Scared of every ache and pain? I did some research and the depression started in 1929 and the New Deal was not passed into law until 1933 and even then it wasn’t the panacea we were taught it was in school. In fact Roosevelt was so worried about his popularity in 1937, that he cut funding and the depression got worse!
This means our grandparents, and in some cases our parents, who survived the depression and World War 2, essentially lived through 15 years of uncertainty. Think about that as we enter week 7 of Shelter in Place. We should be grateful for the decades we have had of certainty instead of moaning about not being able to buy garlic. [Or is that only me?]
I want to go back to the time before! The time before we were scared of hugging our friends, before we had heard of people suffering horribly due to COVID-19, due to lack of food and financial resources.
But we will never be able to go back. EVER! Like Pandora’s Box, COVID-19 has lifted the lid on how broken our welfare system is. That many people do not have resources they need to survive a severe economic downturn and that essentially our leaders do not care unless they can line their own pockets and those of their friends.
We need to plan for the future and make sure this doesn’t happen again and again and again, like it has in the past. I would love to live in a society where no one goes hungry and there is good support for people who have lost their jobs for whatever reason. Do you have dreams of the future once Shelter-in-Place is over? If you agree with me about reducing hunger, you could reach out to your local food bank to see what support they need or check with a neighbor to see if they need help with grocery shopping or just someone to talk to.
We read about people who are unable to get to the store or unable to buy food. Do you need food or have food to donate? Check out this map from Why Hunger to find the nearest food pantry and food bank.
Oh and wash your hands!