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Nation has faced threats, overcome them in past

Perspective: We hear so many media wonks, talking heads and minimally aware politicians shout the coronavirus pandemic is “unprecendented.” Not so.

Many Americans are unaware of H1N1, SARS, MERS or ebola, were born after 9-11, Vietnam or the “Red Scare,” know little about World War II or the challenges faced by the Greatest Generation. The American people have overcome “existential threats” before. The coronavirus is just the latest challenge to test our mettle. We are One Nation Under God and must not let those who wish to divide us to drive a wedge between us.

In 1948, C.S. Lewis wrote the following article to the American people about the threat of atomic war with Russia, the “existential threat” of that time. Matt Smethurst, managing editor of The Gospel Coalition writes, “It’s now clear that covid-19 is a deadly serious global pandemic, and all necessary precautions should be taken. Still, C. S. Lewis’s words — written 72 years ago — ring with some relevance for us. Just replace “atomic bomb” with “coronavirus”:

“This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things — praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts — not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies but they need not dominate our minds.”

So use a little perspective when reacting to the temporary changes required to thwart the coronavirus. We can use what we’ve learned about our dependence on China for medicines, medical supplies and the technology we use every day. Bring that manufacturing back home to America. We can update and improve that technology, be a stronger, safer nation and be better prepared to face the next “existential threat” to come along.

Ken Fendler

Bella Vista

Note to Sanders urges

him to get out of race

Bernie Sanders laid out his ideas on the covid-19 pandemic and asked his email list for feedback on his plan. I replied:

“I voted for you in primary this year, and even worked your phone bank for you in 2016. But though I would like to have you as president, still: You need to concede to and campaign for Biden now.

“Setting aside the complications of continuing primaries during covid-19, Democrats must be unified against the country’s greatest existential threat, Trump.

“Do not damage the inevitable Democratic nominee’s prospects again, by continuing to attack when you’re already out of the running again, splitting the vote again and costing the left the election again. Don’t do this Bernie. Stop.

“Thank you for everything you’ve done. I’m sorry but it’s over. Time to work to stop Trump. That’s the plan.”

Ralph Ellis


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