This article appeared in the April 17, 2020 edition of the Monitor Daily.

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How to keep calm in face of pandemic and fire, and carry on

Courtesy of Noah Phillips
Marcy Epstein of Ann Arbor, Michigan, carried on with a virtual Seder just hours after her home burned last week.

Last week my friend Marcy in Ann Arbor, Michigan, was preparing a Passover dinner when a spark from the stove lit up a nearby basket. Soon the kitchen was in flames. She called the fire department and fled with her two dogs. Her house, damaged by smoke and water, was left uninhabitable.

By that evening, Marcy already had an apartment and a bounty of food, provided by friends. Most remarkably, she proceeded with the virtual Seder she had planned for family and friends across the country. None of us were surprised she pulled this off, but it was still an impressive display of resilience – a multihour meal she conducted with good cheer. Let’s also applaud the firefighters who retrieved her laptop, phone, and purse before boarding up the house. 

Marcy should be back in her house next year. Across the nation, too, Americans are looking ahead to a time of renewal, though the coronavirus emergency is far from over. Yesterday, President Donald Trump laid out guidelines for reopening the country. He didn’t address the shortage of testing and left decision-making to the states. Then today, he fanned anti-lockdown protests, tweeting out calls to “liberate” three Democratic-led states.

But politics aside, planning is surely a process that people can agree is necessary. Governors are also looking ahead – as are other nations, as highlighted in today’s first article. 

Now, on to our five stories.

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This article appeared in the April 17, 2020 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 04/17 edition
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