In Rabbi Harold Kushner’s book “When Bad Things Happen to Good People”, Kushner discusses how, while we can never answer the question of WHY bad things happen to us, we can find and focus on the good that comes from the bad in our lives.
That lesson has never been more important than in the present situation we are all in. We can blame a country or an individual for the COVID-19 but we really cannot explain why this happened to the world to begin with. People of faith can ask a higher authority but will never get a real answer. But what we can do is look at everything that has happened since that first virus discovery and focus on all the good things that resulted.
In our small community of Verona Township, we have many things to be proud of and thankful for.
As a volunteer EMT with the Verona Rescue Squad, I have seen firsthand some of the amazing things our town’s heroes have accomplished in a relatively short time period. (Unfortunately, due to my age and other issues, I am considered a “higher risk” individual and am precluded from actively participating in answering calls for help at the current time.) Fortunately, we have the largest and greatest active membership we have had in many years, with many enthusiastic EMTs and First Responders ready and willing to answer all calls for assistance. The good from the bad is our EMS responders are more dedicated than ever to help others.
The Verona Rescue Squad’s management team put together a set of COVID-19 procedures and guidelines at the outset and continues to update them as needed. Everything has been coordinated in conjunction with the town manager, Police and Fire chiefs and our OEM director in town. The ongoing plan has been a model for other towns to follow. Our residents can be assured of receiving the absolute best care in their time of need. The good from the bad is we are now better prepared than we have ever been.
Whether it is a medical call, fire alarm or a request for police assistance, the first responsibility of the responder is personal protection. In today’s world, that means putting on a lot of personal protection equipment (PPE), which includes mask, eye protection, gloves, clothing and shoe covering, and possibly other items. This has resulted in a severe shortage of all PPE throughout the world. However, due to the community coming together, there have been many donations of this much needed equipment to prevent a shortage in our town. The good from the bad is our PPE awareness is heightened and stocked to the best level ever.
Our children and grandchildren are now learning from home. There has been a major disruption in our lives but school continues. Parents are having a much better understanding of their children’s daily lessons and teachers are going above and beyond to keep the education rolling along. The good from the bad is that our kids get a new sense of accomplishment by completing their school work at home in front of their parents.
There are many other heroes that we need to be thankful for; the doctors and nurses and all of the support teams in the medical field, the essential retail store associates who continue to provide the necessary products that we need to survive, the sanitation workers keeping our town clean, the mail and package delivery personnel continuing to get us what we need, the infrastructure workers keeping our roads and everything else operational, the restaurant workers keeping us fed with delivery and curb pickups, and so many more. Everyone in every area of our lives has stepped up to do what they can to keep our lives going as normally as possible. This is another good from the bad.
As it has been said many times before, we are all in this together. We shall come out of this together, all much stronger, better mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, better neighbors caring about each other, and more appreciative of the little things in life. This is perhaps the best “good that comes from the bad”.