Shared from the 3/24/2020 The Providence Journal eEdition


Life on the razor’s edge

Would you have believed, had someone told you a month ago, that you’d be largely exiled to your homes indefinitely and desperately searching for toilet paper? The answer is no.

Our daily routines of life in America, the carefree attitude and the abundance provided by our freedoms have been taken from us to save us from an invisible enemy that doesn’t discriminate or care if we are free or not.

Some say Gov. Gina Raimondo is doing a magnificent job in managing the COVID-19 crisis. Others argue that the response has been a major overreaction and political posturing has caused irreparable financial harm. Far greater than the virus. But no one can reasonably argue that the corona-virus has not left a trail of death, despair and economic destruction as it marched insidiously west and east.

And now, it has arrived here. The war has come to us. Our formidable ocean didn’t protect us. The invading army traveled by human carriers. Ironically, the battle we fight is one of friendly fire. Me, you, our families and our friends, business colleagues and school chums, the cashier and the hairdresser. The waiter and the CEO. We are all shooting each other, in the open. Indiscriminately. Unknowingly.

The governor, to her enormous credit, in consultation with Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, saw the big picture as it was unfolding and immediately went into the war room to devise a strategy to beat the enemy. Or at least, if you will, flatten the curve. In what must have been an excruciatingly difficult decision to make, the governor took drastic but prudent action from the jump. In order to try and get in front of this thing, she knew she had to tell us to do the one thing we’re not good at.


As a society, we haven’t been really good at that since World War II. Soldiers are good at it. We civilians, not so much. And what we have learned is that in America we live on a razor’s edge. We just couldn’t imagine how upside-down our entire existence could go, from optimistic to perpetually confused and frightened seemingly overnight.

But it has. And we have no choice. If you’re smart, you’ll pay attention to the guidance our medical professionals are giving us and to respect and follow the new rules, hopefully temporary, that Governor Raimondo has been crafting.

Listen, none of us is happy that this horror show is playing out in agonizing slow motion 24/7 and that the constant drumbeat of negative news is playing havoc with our collective psyches. I blame some of it on a certain amount of media hysteria delivered incessantly every 30 seconds. But, overall, the media has done a pretty good job under trying circumstances in very new territory for them.

But what about us, the average folks? All we can do is dig in to help when and where possible. Little things and big things as you are able to do them. There is light at the end of this tunnel but there is no escaping the fact that we have to accept that life can change in a New York minute.

We are fighting a common enemy on a razor’s edge. Let’s not be the authors of own demise. Embrace the sacrifice for the betterment of our state and the common good.

As a wise friend wrote to me, “In doing so (in participating in the sacrifice wholeheartedly) there grows a sense of pride in ourselves and our community that hopefully helps us be better humans.”

Dante Bellini Jr., of North Providence, is a documentary filmmaker.

See this article in the e-Edition Here