Last fall, on a rare free weekend afternoon, I decided to plant some bulbs in my back yard. Now, as I see the parade of crocuses and daffodils from my kitchen window, I realize how prescient that decision was. Every day, the blooms signal the inevitable coming of spring and better days ahead.
The last six weeks have been some of hardest in our nation’s history. The toll that this virus has taken on our economy and, more importantly, on American lives, has been staggering.
Yet, we are beginning to see glimmers of hope. In recent days, public health officials have expressed new optimism that we may be able to contain the virus in the weeks ahead. They credit the countless Americans who heeded the calls for social distancing and put their own lives on hold for the good of their communities.
While these steps are necessary to protect the public’s health, too many Americans are now struggling. Over the last few weeks, my office has received hundreds of calls from constituents who need help obtaining the important economic relief provisions secured by Congress. From the small business owners forced to shut down, to gig workers currently out of work, to students now struggling to pay for their education, we are doing all we can to ensure everyone gets the help they need.
Of course, through these hardships, we have also heard many inspiring stories of our community coming together to get through this crisis.
People are learning to sew just to make masks for essential workers and seniors. Neighbors are grocery shopping for those unable to leave their homes. Friends and family are checking-in with each other by phone and social media to keep each other company.
These stories, as well as the bravery shown by our health care providers, first responders and essential workers, are reminders of the strength and basic goodness of our people.
As we celebrate Passover, Easter and Ramadan in the coming days – as well as the arrival of spring – I hope we can all take a moment to reflect on these core American values. If we commit ourselves to deepening them as we weather the rest of this storm, we will come out stronger on the other side.