Thank Heavens We’re Us!

Along with the rest of the planet right now, a great number of America’s businesses, workers, and their families are suffering, and working their way through, a world of nation-wide financial and emotional hurt, unprecedented in our lifetimes.  Unprecedented  that is, except for those of our great World War II veterans and their war time families, courageous and steadfast folks, caught up in a four-year, full-time, national land, air, and sea, war-fighting-effort, here at home, and oceans away, that we all hope to never see again.  One of the most iconic posters during that era, featured a woman factory worker, with her sleeves rolled up, reminding and encouraging everyone here at home, that with hard work and faith, “We Can Do It !”  As unpleasant as this virus crisis is for all, with everyone’s help (hands washed/distance/shelter in place), with hopes to return to work soon, we, too, can do this.

And as the entire world suffers, thank goodness we’re going through this in America. We have the best governmental and economic system in the world, all operating with sovereignty and freedom. And right now, especially, we are also blessed to have, without question, the best medical system and care, of any nation.  And that is perhaps never more important for America’s citizens than it is right now.

On the subject of emergency medicine, the treatment of choice, as of today, seems to be a combination of drugs, headlined by hydroxychloroquine developed during the Second World War for malaria ( treatment use now endorsed by the American Thoracic Society), which was an improvement on plain chloroquine, developed by the Bayer (Aspirin) Company in 1934.  American innovation then, just as we’re seeing today, under the strain of a seemingly out of control, super-contagious virus. American scientists, researchers, and medical professionals, working at top speed with a great many American labs and pharmaceutical companies, are seeking both immediately needed treatment options and, for the longer term, an effective vaccine. You may be unaware that the U.S. Army, too, is hard at work to find an effective COVID-19 vaccine at its world-renown infectious diseases laboratory, located at Fort Detrick in Maryland.  World renowned for, among other notable work, the break-through discoveries they made researching cures for the Ebola and SARs viruses from several years back.

University of Pittsburg scientists, researchers at Novavax (biotech company) have announced that they have each, already, developed coronavirus vaccine candidates ready for human trials.  Undoubtedly, other U.S. labs will make treatment/cure/vaccine discoveries, as well.  That’s what American companies and individuals do, they innovate and discover solutions, and are encouraged to do so by, and within, our free enterprise system.  Said President Trump: “We have the brightest minds in science, driven by the goal of getting rid of this plague, getting rid of this virus.”  And the FDA has just given the go-ahead for the first clinical trial in the U.S. (at three Massachusetts hospitals) of a Japanese flu drug that might well prove to be an effective treatment for coronavirus suffers.  Task Force medical expert, Dr. Deborah Birx, announced that we’re ready to release a new test to determine the presence of antibodies working against the coronavirus within the blood.  This in order to get a better understanding of just how wide spread the virus may be in our country, by hoping to identify natural blood immunities to it, thus making it more likely that those who are immune may return to work, immunity being a key safety factor especially for medical workers. Bottom line to all of this positive health news: America is the very best place to be, for impressive, all-hands-on-deck (government and private sector) responsive medical research and treatment.

And American industry has stepped up to assist our valiant doctors, nurses, technicians, and others involved in patient care. Ford is partnering with GE to build 50,000 ventilators within 100-days.  While the most need seems to be at present, there’s no question that the equipment will be shipped, where needed, as its built. Parkdale Mills (Gastonia, NC) has pulled together eight other textile manufacturers with the promise of producing, as a group, 10-million face masks a week for our health care workers and others. Said a Parkdale Mills spokesman: “In these times, there is a call to action. Who is going to step up and supply a need and do the right thing?  We’re trying to do the best we can, to do what we can, for the country.”

Then there’s Mike Lindell whose MyPillow Company is converting 75% of its production into making face masks.  Brooks Brothers, the legendary men’s clothier, is producing masks and gowns.  Along with countless other manufacturers who have adjusted their product lines to make contributions to the needs of our nation’s medical (and delivery personnel or citizen-volunteer) front lines. Patriotic American companies striving to do the right think for the nation.  They care about our country, and fellow citizens within.

And here’s a great example of how even the smaller patriot businesses can help (along with keeping their workers employed).  Indiana’s Hotel Tango Distillery (America’s first combat-disabled, veteran-owned distillery) ceased producing liquor and started making hand sanitizers.  Said founder Travis Barnes: “This started as a way to give back and assist some local folks in need, but it became clear right away that we needed to scale up fast if we wanted to help in any substantial manner.” His company is credited with making more than 2,000 gallons since mid-March, when its first sanitizers were bottled.  Travis Barnes is a Marine veteran who served three combat tours during Operation Iraqi Freedom, and is, clearly, a proud, loyal, and dedicated American.

“Businesses and free people can quickly respond to the needs of society. When the need is great, their response is greater and far more effective than a government-controlled system could ever be.  In moments of national chaos, that great and good American system shines through,” said Jarrett Stepman, in a written commentary about the flexibility and crucial impact that U.S. businesses and industries have exhibited, under nation-wide pressure to satisfy genuine need. And the clear advantage we have, through all of this coronavirus epidemic, is living and working within a free-enterprise society functioning effectively, thanks to the operating freedom of a liberty-governed society.

And there are additional positives to report as of this writing, featuring both group and individual efforts to assist.  The world’s largest Catholic fraternal group, the Knights of Columbus, has just begun a multi-million-dollar food drive and delivery plan, under the project theme, “Leave No Neighbor Behind,” which is initially designed to aid food banks in over 20 cities in 16 states and D.C. (Atlanta included).  What an amazing, wide-reaching financial investment, and positive expression of caring for our fellow citizens in need of food during this crisis, especially for those who, due to age and/or disability, are unable to travel to obtain it.  Thanks to the Knights, and to other service/charitable organizations/agencies throughout America’s communities who have stepped up to help others.

And speaking of stepping up, here’s a great story of an individual doing just that. Thomas “TJ” Kim, a student from Virginia, dealing with the cancellation of his team’s lacrosse season, due, of course, to the coronavirus epidemic, decided to use his unexpected spare time and his flying ability, to deliver supplies to small rural hospitals so often in need. “Everyone was wanting to send donations to big city hospitals.  Every hospital is hurting for supplies, but it’s the rural hospitals that really feel forgotten,” said “TJ.”  His goal is to fly supplies to seven rural hospitals in Virginia, considered to be ‘critical access’ facilities.  His most recent supply delivery was to a hospital in Woodstock, VA, which included 3,000 gloves, 1,500 head and shoe covers, plus masks, protective eyewear, and 10 bottles of hand sanitizer,” said “TJ:”  “After I landed, all I could think about was going back up.”  And now you need to know something else about this amazing young man.  “TJ” is just 16-years old!  He’s a high school sophomore, given the gift of flying lessons by his Dad just one-year earlier. Rather than sitting around, he decided, on his own, and with his flying skill, to be of help to others, all at distant locations, through these very trying times. A great young American exhibiting, as Rotarians would say, “service above self.” And clearly the product of a great American family, who instilled the very best character values in their son.

And, if you can stand some more good news, here’s something from England, with instructions available on-line here in America.  McDonald’s has temporarily closed its over twelve-hundred UK restaurants due to the impact of the coronavirus there (and everywhere else).  Believe it or not, with disappointed UK residents unable to get their favorite breakfast item, McDonald’s UK shared, on-line, how to make a sausage Egg McMuffin!!  What a public service treat for those deprived of this widely-enjoyed breakfast staple, and just temporarily, we all hope.  Thankfully, drive-thru Egg McMuffins, and other of their traditional favorites (did someone say French fries!), continue to be available throughout the U.S. (as far as we know).

More good news, of a perhaps surprising nature, as our minds and finances are focused on curing/stopping this plague, and getting our nation back to work. An animal shelter in Chicago reported three-days ago that, for the first time in its history, it had run out of pets to adopt!  Cleaned out. Which of course is very good news for those involved with animal adoption there, and for the good folks who did the adopting.  Companionship and the need for some distraction in these exceptionally trying and, health-wise, scary times, have no doubt been the primary incentives. Wrote the shelter on FB: “We’re so happy to bring you this news.” However, as you would expect, good news/bad news, more dogs and cats arrive daily at the shelter, and at all others, no doubt. But for those, and other, recent pet adopters, some very positive news, for both them and their new four-legged companions.

And among other things we can be impressed by, and thankful for, this news you may not have known about this piece of American technical innovation, which now has direct application to our national virus battle.  Back in 1984, American engineer, Charles “Chuck” Todd, invented and patented the solid imaging process known as stereolithography. Translation: 3D printing.  Among a vast number of other applications, today, this American innovation is being used to “print” parts for ventilators, a critical need now (and likely to continue) for hospital treatment of seriously ill coronavirus and other congested-lung patients.  What a fantastic revolutionary process, useful for all manner of parts creation, the product of a brilliant, inventive American mind.

We in this great land, especially now in these days of crisis, can be ever so thankful for our dedicated and talented medical professionals at all levels.  But our thanks and gratitude extends well beyond to all those who grow our crops, who raise the farm animals that become our meat supply, to those who process the farm produce, to those who then drive the trucks to bring food to our stores, to those who stock the store shelves, and to the cashiers in grocery stores and all other food-source outlets.  These folks, too, work on the front lines of our current virus epidemic, since anywhere, anytime, as we now know, can become an infection source. One long-haul, over-the-road truck driver, Eric Fors, delivers all manner of cargo, including mostly food these days, driving from Atlanta all across many southeastern states, meaning time away from his family. Said he about driving in this crisis era: “We’re out there running and we’re trying to keep everything flowing.  Just be patient and be kind to each other, and we’ll get the stuff to the stores when you need it.  We’re not just doing it for our families. We’re doing it for your families, as well.”  Echoing our thanks for all those who make food available to us at this challenging time, in a full-page WSJ announcement, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (and former Georgia Governor), Sonny Perdue, stated his appreciation: “To America’s farmers, food processors, and everyone in the food chain – from those who grow, to those who deliver, Thank You! (in bold caps).”

Faith in God is another strong American quality, with thoughts and prayers heading skyward, even more so in these days of closed houses of worship, with sermons now delivered to us in isolation by streaming video.  Even more poignant in this holy season, with congregations having missed with Good Friday, with the ability to worship together, and, now, relying on the internet for local words of spirituality and encouragement during Good Friday and, especially missed, the company of others, family, friends, and other familiar worshipers, at Easter. Faith strengthens at this time, especially, among most American, and is very likely being re-discovered by other citizens, as well. It reinforces our dependence on God, every daily, but even more so during this very challenging environment, as Americans search for emotional support and comfort from the ultimate source.   Perhaps not surprising, Bible sales during these days, have shown very definite increases, most of the purchases, of necessity, done on-line.  Said Brian Chung, co-founder of one such on-line religious merchandiser: “In this life-altering and unprecedented pandemic, people are looking for hope and restoration.  We believe that people are buying Bibles because there’s a longing to connect with God, find meaning, and experience peace.”

A painting of General George Washington, kneeling deep in the snow at a wintry Valley Forge, with the heavy burden of our freedom’s fight overwhelming, at the time when our victory was very much in question, was said to be a favorite of President Reagan, because it “personified a people who knew it was not enough to depend on their own courage and goodness; they must also seek help from God, their Father and their Preserver.”  Just as former presidents, from the WW II global fight on down to the 9/11 attack on America, many of our nation’s leaders have turned to the heavens for moral guidance and strength, as did Washington, at such pivotal times in our history.

The nationwide coronavirus is, clearly, one of those times, when we of faith, and those newly developing a faith, turn to God to soothe our fears and worries. And to provide us with the hope that we may come out of this tragedy even stronger, more productive, and more sensitive to the needs of others, all together focused on the desire to be ever stringer in our faith. Mike Lindell said publicly, when invited to speak during one of the President’s currently-offered daily briefings: “I encourage you to use this time at home to get back in the Word, read our Bibles, and spend time with our families.” Actor Mark Wahlberg tweeted a similar reflective message on this past Palm Sunday.  Said he: “Through this hardship, we still have faith and we have each other, so let’s stay strong. God bless you.”  Through it all, as these gentlemen have indicated, in normal times, but especially in time of stress like we’re experiencing now, there’s ultimately little more important to us, or should be, than faith and family.

And what else is there for which we should be thankful?  Items we take all too much for granted, because they’re always available.  Clean air, clean water, readily available fuel, and so very important these days, especially, electricity.  Add in reliability, and other parts of the world can often suffer for the lack of one or all. And, yes, we’re thankful here at home for the ready availability, and affordability, of computers, cell phones and the internet (most of the time!).  Which takes us back to electricity!

Moving America forward, Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) put our mission as a nation very succinctly: “The moment for action is now.  There can only be one priority: facilitating the American comeback.”  Words aimed primarily at the “partisan bickering” in Congress, but a rallying cry for the rest of us, as well.  The anticipated by all American comeback.  In part toward that end, highly respected commentator, Victor Davis Hanson, wrote this: “Already the U.S. is transitioning from a long, disastrous reliance on Chinese medical supplies and pharmaceuticals.  In ad hoc fashion, companies are gearing up massive production of masks, ventilators and key anti-viral supplies.  In typically American fashion, as we have seen in crises from Pearl Harbor to 9/11, after initial shock and unpreparedness, the U.S. economic and scientific juggernaut is kicking into action.”  Combat veteran, Representative Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), added to the thoughts expressed, when wrote the following about our current situation and recovery: “The big mission is to get back to our lives, the (primary) big mission is to keep ourselves healthy.  The more we understand about this virus, the more empowered we actually are, so instead of always waiting for somebody to help us, Americans should remember the American Spirit. The American Spirit which is really about personal responsibility and accountability.  Not asking what can be done for us.  But asking what more can we do.”  Reflections of President Kennedy’s famous, forward looking, individual incentive admonition: “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for you country.”

To summarize this review of America’s inherit greatness, in general, but especially in response to challenges, the impactful words of columnist Matthew Donovan: “What beings me great comfort and optimism is the abundance of one common trait of Americans – resilience.  Even after as far back as the founding of our nation, we have faced challenges requiring action and determination on the part of Americans.  Each time, our people stepped up, our country triumphed, and we came away stronger.”

We’ll get through the challenge of this very serious virus, restore our economy, and, as stated or implied by others above, come out the other side, both stronger, and wiser. Citizens pulling together to restore and expand our exceptional nation’s unquestioned greatness. One step at a time. As that historic Rosie The Riveter poster famously encouraged and promised: “We Can Do It!”  Regardless of the challenges in the days ahead, and there will be many, as the title of this narrative stated, “Thank Goodness We’re Us!”  Thank goodness we live in this truly great, talented, innovative, resilient nation of courage and caring.  There’s just simply no place like home.  Our home.  America.  May Almighty God continue to bless the USA.

ADDENDUM:  Updates on several of the positive items covered above.

Pharmaceutical Company Pfizer says they are also working on a coronavirus treatment (and, then, a vaccine).  Their research has shown, preliminarily, that their compound formerly prescribed for the treatment of the SARs virus may be an effective one to fight the coronavirus, as well.  Along with the feeling expressed by other researchers, the likelihood of a having a preventative vaccine, for mass application, isn’t probable until the end of the year.  (nypost/4-9-20).

Over 600 U.S. distilleries (large and small) are now producing hand sanitizers! Bacardi (Jacksonville, FL facility) has already produced 120,000 bottles (750ml). Said Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. President Chris Swonger: “There’s a recognition that the sooner we can play a role in combating COVID-19, the sooner we can get back to the normal course of business.”  (

And this regarding our vital over-the-road truckers.  With the virus shutdowns, reportedly, they’re finding it increasing difficult to locate open rest stops during this crisis, where they can park, eat, use a restroom, and, if needed, nap. One young couple in Virginia sensed the need and answered the call, by setting up a table in one rest stop’s parking lot and offering free food to truckers!  Wrote one thankful  truck driver: “This is what makes America great!”  (


(Vaccine candidates via &, Amanda Woods, 4-8-20 & Mike LaChance, 4-4-20; American Thoracic Society via, Carl Campanile & colleagues; Trump via, Christian Datoc, 4-5-20; Japanese flu drug via, Jackie Salo, 4-7-20; Dr. Birx via, Valerie Edwards, 4-8-20; Ford via, Noah Manskar, 3-31-20; Parkdale Mills via, Virginia Allen, 4-1-20; MyPillow via, Jarrett Stepman, 4-5-20; Hotel Tango Distillery via foxnews,com, Frank Miles, 4-8-20; Stepman via, Jerrett Stepman, 4-5-20; Knights of Columbus via, Dr. Susan Berry, 4-7-20; “TJ Kim via, Louis Casiano, 4-6-20; UK McDonald’s via, Janine Puhak, 4-6-20; Animal shelter via, Michael Ruiz, 4-6-20; Truck driver via, Jayla Whitfield, 4-6-20; Chung via, Caleb Parke, 4-6-20; Washington/Reagan via, Lee Edwards, 4-6-20; Lindell via, Robert Kraychik, 4-6-20; Wahlberg via, Jessica Napoli, 4-5-20; Hanson via, Victor Davis Hanson, 42-20; Hawley via, Sean Moran, 4-3-20; Crenshaw via, Matt London, 4-6-20; Donovan via, Matthew Donovan, 4-8-20).