Brian Hamilton: We’re all in this together | TheUnion.com
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Brian Hamilton: We’re all in this together

Who is helping?

Know someone who is stepping up to help our community during these tough times?

Let’s make ‘em famous (at least here in our neck of the woods) and hopefully be inspired to honor their efforts by also rolling up our own sleeves to help where we can.

Send us an email at news@theunion.com — along with a photo or video, if possible — to share stories of people you see going above and beyond to pitch in and help those of us in need.

Why were a trio of teachers, and four staff members, still showing up at Chicago Park School this week, considering the school is closed and the kids in the classrooms weren’t actually their students?

“It’s the least we can do,” said Superintendent and Principal Katie Kohler, whose crew was providing child care for the children of Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital health care workers so that they are able to continue helping sick people in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Next week, Yuba River Charter School staff is stepping up, followed by Union Hill Elementary, to help care for these children so that their parents can help those in need.

“It’s the least we can do.”

That, in a nutshell, is the approach that will help get our community through this crisis, as we better understand how serious it is, the depth of its impact and the sheer speed it has shut things down.

These times are tough enough … Let’s face it, mean people suck. Let’s not be mean people.

My wife reminded me how fast things had changed, as I got riled up about bars that didn’t close this week when asked, as I ranted about family and friends suggesting the situation was being “over-hyped by the media,” or as I was struck in disbelief by the sight of all those spring breakers still out on the beach shrugging things off with “If I get corona, I get corona.”

But getting angry at people coming to grips with what’s happening around us isn’t going to help. I’ve got to let that go.

To expect the entire world to suddenly snap to attention and toe the line isn’t realistic, even though it very well could be necessary if we’re to mitigate the damage that can be done by the virus. Those who believe they’re not at risk — though we really don’t know at this point — have to set aside selfish behavior and think of others in our community who they might impact by ignoring the advice of our experts.

After all, it isn’t just about you and me.

It’s about our senior citizens and those who are most vulnerable, who likely feel more isolated than ever as they resort to social distancing to keep from harm.

It’s about our “other seniors” who suddenly have their final year of high school — their senior prom, graduation and final sports seasons seemingly all stolen away in a moment’s notice.

It’s about our businesses owners, some still recovering from the power shut-offs of six months ago, once again without the ability to do business for reasons completely beyond their control, the livelihood of their employees and ability to pay a mortgage or rent all immediately put into peril, no matter how the bottom line was measuring up just a week ago.

Our businesses need us. Many merchants, particularly restaurants and grocery stores, have quickly shifted their operations so they can continue to serve us through this stretch. (For those businesses that remain open, let us and the community know via email at news@theunion.com and we’ll add you to our online list and map.) If we don’t support them by taking advantage of their curbside pickup or delivery, we can’t expect they’ll be able to continue to make that extra effort at keeping the doors open.

This business, this newspaper, is no different. Our employees, also members of this community, certainly aren’t immune to the impact of what’s going on all around us. Already an industry in transition facing challenges toward its digital future, such a crisis could be a breaking point for many newspapers, as we saw with the closure of the three News & Review publications — covering Chico, Reno and Sacramento — earlier this week. Like others, this business is adjusting to keep the lights on through this.

Readers will notice some of these changes in coming days, as we work to continue providing important information when you need it, whether through our print pages each morning, breaking news posts at TheUnion.com throughout the day or using our social media, push notifications and text alerts for direct digital delivery. (And, for the record, canceling your print subscription because we’ve removed the paywall at TheUnion.com — to help keep the community informed during this crisis — won’t exactly help to ensure the reporting you need can continue.)

This is truly a tough time for all of us. And we most certainly are all in this together, this community, this region, state, country and world. This crisis certainly serves as a reminder that as human beings, we are all the same, as this threat pays no attention to nationality, race, religion or political preference.

For a nation so divided, we must be united. We need everyone on board.

So stop the blame game, the finger-pointing and the fist fights over toilet paper, for crying out loud.

These times are tough enough without all that. Let’s face it, mean people suck. Let’s not be mean people.

Let’s do what the experts are advising. Let’s look for opportunities to help each other. And let’s put the Golden Rule to practice by showing some patience, kindness and generosity as we all come together to get through this.

After all, considering all that’s being done to help keep us safe and healthy, that really is the least we can do.

Contact Editor Brian Hamilton at bhamilton@theunion.com or 530-477-4249.


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