JUDY WOODRUFF: One thing, among many, thatCOVID has taught us is how we need recalibrateour expectations and our imaginations.Tonight, author Kelly Corrigan shares herHumble Opinion and projects what it will belike when a corner is turned.KELLY CORRIGAN, Author, "Tell Me More: StoriesAbout the 12 Hardest Things I'm Learning toSay": Sometimes, when I feel outmatched bythe thing in front of me, I do a little mentalexercise.
I tell myself the story of what happened,as if it's over and I nailed it.This morning, I waited for 54 minutes to checkout from the Safeway. The woman behind me,whose hair and makeup was perfect, had sevenbottles of Martini & Rossi Vermouth. That'sit.And the guy in front of her had a full-facedouble ventilator gas mask. And I felt outmatchedby the thing in front of me.So, right there, I told myself the story ofthe 2020 pandemic and how we nailed it.My success fantasy went like this.
At first,it was awful, nothing but bad news on topof bad news. But then we rose up. We madesoups and stews for old people and droppedthem off, so they felt included and secureand nourished.We read books to children over the Internet.We stepped outside at the end of the day andplayed music and clapped, so that each ofus knew we were not alone.We sent pizzas and Chinese food to E.R.s tosustain both our hospitals and our restaurants.
We called old friends and told them thingswe'd forgotten to say: I miss you. I stillthink of you. Remember that time?We turned up, all of us, on our screens tokeep businesses afloat. And in so doing, we'reexposed to the more tender elements of ourcolleagues' lives. Pets and children werenow, to our mutual benefit, in the frame.People figured out they don't need fancy equipmentto exercise. We stopped flying around andjumping in cars for no reason.
Everyone plantedthings they could eat. We played cards withour families. We had long conversations.We identified what kind of learning can bedelivered online. We discovered that teachingis the most complex, high-impact professionknown to man, and we started compensatingour teachers fairly for their irreplaceablework.Everyone voted after coronavirus. Kids wholived through the virus valued science aboveall. They became researchers and doctors,kicking off the greatest period of world positivediscovery and innovation the planet has everseen.We came, finally and forever, to appreciatethe profound fact of our shared humanity andrelish the full force of our love for oneanother.JUDY WOODRUFF: Thank you, Kelly Corrigan.And wouldn't it be wonderful if all of thatcame true?
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