The world is full of people who are so much better than me.
Every night on the evening newscast, the presenters end their shows with an inspiring story of someone, somewhere, who makes the world a better place through an act of kindness.
Often times, this is a child with a heart of gold or a remarkable WWII veteran who still serves their country in their 10th decade of life. Me? I’m just sitting here giving opinions.
We have no shortage of opinions in the age of Twitter, Yelp and Facebook memes. What we need are PPE for first responders, meat and Clorox wipes. Yet all I have to offer are my feelings.
My niece is an emergency room nurse in Virginia. Every day, she washes, dresses and embarks on a 10- or 12-hour shift to save lives and comfort the dying in place of their locked-out loved ones. It’s Maggie Herndon lovingly shaking the hands of the dying as their families Skype goodbye to each other.
My childhood buddy Mike Neubert worked as a pharmacy technician at St. Francis Hospital in Port Washington, New York, a COVID-19 hotspot. Mike has worked there since 1979; 41 years of caring service to others. We rarely talk about all the non-doctors who work in hospitals, X-ray technicians, physiotherapists, kitchen workers, and janitors who have to clean up very ugly messes and disinfect everything. Every day they enter dangerous areas to protect us.
My nephew, Matt Herndon, works for the MTA. It allows first responders to get to and from work while ensuring train safety.
I have two other nieces, Ellie and Bridget, who work every day to take care of others.
In the meantime, would you like to know what I think of convicted criminal Michael Flynn who gets a free pass from the Department of “Justice”? No? What about who I think Joe Biden should choose as his running mate? Don’t you care? Um, what if I think it’s OK for the Dodgers to play this year even if it means there aren’t any fans at the stadium?
I am useless in this crisis. I don’t have any skills that someone really needs.
I am not a carpenter, plumber, electrician, firefighter, cop, nurse, doctor, farmer, bus driver, soldier, flight attendant, grocery store clerk, truck driver, garbage collector, air conditioning / heating repairman or any other professional on which we depend to survive or maintain our quality of life. In my 62 years, never, not once, has anyone invited me to his home to discuss the G-7 summit, illegal immigration or to give them my opinion on retirement debt resolution. unfunded from the State of California. I may have chatted about these topics, but never at their request.
I have suspected my uselessness since I was 50, which is now a dozen years in the rearview mirror. Around 50, traders lose interest in us except to sell reverse mortgages or erectile dysfunction remedies. The music, film and television industries do not care about the elderly at all; although, oddly enough, Republicans and Democrats continue to name them. COVID-19 has made official what Madison Avenue has known for decades: I’m on the way.
During this crisis, my mission is to stay at home. Do your shopping only during peak hours and then as little as possible. For the good of the nation, I must stay away from the beaches, even though it is hot in the San Fernando Valley. The beaches are for young people who look great in swimsuits even though they could catch and spread COVID.
To be honest, I shouldn’t be at the beach even though there isn’t a pandemic. So while I sincerely salute all of the underrated everyday heroes who risk everything for my safety, I would like to congratulate myself for doing my part.
Doug McIntyre’s column appears on Sundays. He can be reached at: [email protected]