I met Piper Beatty through a shared connection with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, an organization that has been saving lives for decades. She has since added a new last name and initials, becoming Piper Beatty Welsh, J.D., M.P.A. She is a highly respected advocate for CF research, and a survivor of that disease and cancer, as well as lung transplants. Now, since COVID-19 is ravaging the world, and we are all essential in defeating it, of course she has joined that effort too.
Piper wrote this essay as a post on Facebook, and I asked her if I could share it. It ties in with an article that had been on my mind recently, which will be a good read after absorbing what Piper has to say on the subject. There is a link to it following Piper’s article. 1
Guest Blog Article by Piper Beatty Welsh
I think all of us are (at our own pace) coming to grips with the fact that this coronavirus pandemic is going to be a phase of life rather than an open-and-shut experience. Our national imagery about this to date has been warlike: here is the enemy, now go win the battle. And now, 4 months into 2020 and 2 months into known and acknowledged US community spread, we are most likely about to embark on a national reimagining. Some changes (like the gradual relaxing of stay-at-home orders and reopening of public spaces) may be short(er)-term goals. Others (like a return to “normal” for things like assisted living centers or huge public celebrations, and maybe even international travel) may well feel much more drawn out. And some (increased awareness of infection control?) may even last forever. Right now we just don’t know.
This is going to be frustrating. It is going to feel too slow for some, too fast for others. It is going to be uncomfortable. It may cause pain and heartache beyond what has already happened. It may bring new opportunities for joy. One thing is for certain:
It NEEDS to be kind.
Friends, we have a national election in less than 9 months. Even in the best of times, 2020 was probably going to feel divided. I am urging those I love not to put aside their political convictions (anyone who knows me knows I would never), but to not let these things stand in the way of genuine empathy for our fellow human beings during an already uncertain time. Ask yourself seriously: is my saying this going to contribute to real, productive dialogue and is it important to say right now? I can’t answer those for you, and I wouldn’t presume to try, but I am going to try and hold myself and my own comments to that standard.
We can love each other through an awful lot, I promise. And to the extent we cannot, I hope to God we can still be kind.