Not to Panic: an appeal

Dear Lovers of Literature;

A deep thank you for continuing to spend your free time on . I know some of us have now suddenly far more free time than we know how to deal with.

While I understand the full impact of this catastrophic flu, I cannot understand certain reactions some are having. Yes, wear your gloves; yes, keep Purell on your person at all times; do not– do not– let your fears overcome your needs to be human.

The proper preventative precautions are easily taken. But the stress levels of panic on this scale– a scale that we rise to so very swiftly– will kill us as suredly as any virus.

For this is an issue of faith in humanity.

At the up-ticking of the cold war, in 1949, William Faulkner gave a speech where he said, “Man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance.”  

We all– as the totallity of Sapiens and in our own personal lives– have survived far worse than this virus. And will continue to do so.

I consider myself a September 11th survivor.  I was 16, and I could see from my High-School this blackest smoke rising off the Pentagon.  The same evening as that disaster, I was privileged to watch a little league baseball game– uninterrupted.  It had to go on– for the sake of those young baseball lovers, but even more, it had to go on for the sanity of mankind.

I went to New Orleans after the hurricane, the day the city opened. I saw panes of glass fall from skyscrapers, and heard of crocodiles swimming through the brack, swallowing anything warm-blooded. And, I heard a man named Michael say that all he needed in his new life as a refugee were power tools to rebuild his own city. That’s when I saw him cry.

You Millennials sure are a tough luck generation. You graduated with vast debt right at or after the 2008 depression. Now, just as you start to buy your own homes, have families of your own, this shit happens. My word of advise– as a wisened X-ennial who didn’t finish school till 2016– prepare for worse; never panic; carry on.

The death toll looks to be high, by the end. So– all while taking the proper precations– buy groceries for your elderly neighbor, you know the one, who yells at you for the volume of your music, whose breath is always, like, butt.

The economic ramifications will also be an undoing. There will be no restaurants or bars to re-open. I only pray the majority of landlords are forward thinking enough to know no one new will move-in if they kick us out. But anyone with a morgage will not have to worry about one for very long. Banks will collect, as banks will. But now is the time not to hoard cash so easily burglarized, or buy gold bricks you haven’t a hope to carry with you in an evacuation. Now is the time to donate. Now is the time to invest (especially in Purell). Now is the time to loan what little you have to someone who has even less. I do not say these things hypocritically.

We must never panic.  Yes, we must prepare; yes, we must take precautions; yes, we must know when we are in danger.  But we must never– never– give in to this disease of fear. We will live on. We will adapt. We will endure.

For, “there is nothing to fear but fear itself”–  Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Peace, Paul Newell Reaves,
owner, co-editor, co-founder,

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