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Walk in your neighbor’s moccasins


It took seven months, but I finally know someone -- two people actually -- who have tested positive for COVID-19.

You can look at all the numbers until your eyes glaze over, but until it happens to someone you know personally, it’s difficult to put a face to the virus.

When people have asked me what I think about the virus, my response since March has been, “Ask me in June 2021.” I figure there is so little we know about it, that there can’t be a fully educated response until at least then.

Putting a face to the disease is like walking a mile in your neighbor’s moccasins. Many of you already know people who have contracted the virus, and some of you have lost loved ones. I can’t know that sorrow, and I pray I won’t have to.

A couple of weeks ago in this space, I commented that a New York Yankees/Los Angeles Dodgers World Series might bring about some sense of normalcy and familiarity we’ve not been able to find in this topsy-turvy 2020.

Naturally, less than 24 hours after that edition of the Las Cruces Bulletin hit the streets, Cruel Fickle 2020, in the guise of the Tampa Bay Rays, knocked the Yankees out of the playoffs. The Dodgers, on the other hand, clawed back against the Atlanta Braves to fight their way into the World Series.

Dodgers vs. Rays doesn’t have the ring of Dodgers vs. Yankees, but that’s our 2020 World Series. 

Tampa Bay has never been the professional sports capital of the USA and is most noted for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers going 2-26 their first two seasons in the league.

But – and there have been so many buts in 2020 – the Tampa Bay Lightning won the NHL’s Stanley Cup.

So, if the Rays should be the Dodgers, two of our title teams would be from Tampa Bay, and with Tom Brady quarterbacking a first-place, 3-1 Buccaneer team, the city on the bay might have a Super Bowl contender as well.

On the other hand, the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA, so if the Dodgers prevail, there would be two 2020 title teams from the City of Angels. And the Los Angeles Rams are still in the hunt in the NFL.

It is rather silly of me to try to find any symmetry in the world during 2020, so any of these prognostications or speculations are a little pointless.

But here are some points that might actually help.

  • Be careful out there. As the Covid numbers keep rising, wash your hands and wear your mask.
  • Patronized local businesses where possible. So many businesses are hurting right now, and they all need our help.
  • Be helpful to your neighbors. It’s not always apparent who has lost their job, who has lost a family member, who has dealt with physical or emotional pain. Sometimes, we don’t even know how powerful our offer for help can be, even if it’s not accepted.
  • Don’t be mean or stupid. With everyone’s emotions on edge, we can find ourselves being mean or stupid without even realizing. Catch yourself.
Richard Coltharp