Tuesday, July 7, 2020


Here is your July issue of GHSS newsletter SENIORS ALIVE!

 On this Independence Day I ask myself, "what is the Spirit of our nation?"

 Our national motto, E pluribus unum -- from many, one --  is certainly aspirational. The famous 'melting pot.' We've come from all over and, we bent our backs together in the common task of making a nation. And we did make a nation, perhaps the greatest ever.

Or at least that's how the story goes. 

It has been obvious for a very long time that African-Americans have not been swept up in that 'unum' bit.
I am very happy on this Fourth of July to experience what some consider to be the greatest movement in our nation's history. Attitudes toward race are finally shifting. Now roughly sixty percent of Americans think that African-Americans face a great deal or a lot of discrimination. And rather than a backlash to recent riots and demonstrations, a critical evaluation of policing, and of historical representation by monuments. Hopefully this roll will continue.

I am heartened that the audience receptive to increasingly overt, racially charged campaign rhetoric coming from some political candidates is dwindling. Most are just not buying it.

So yeah, great: let's get moving on making a more just society for all of us.

But, wait: what's going on with this virus? 

Despite everything we know about how serious COVID 19 is, how it spreads in hot-house conditions of bars and churches, political rallies, how it kills our elderly (and not so elderly), why is it so difficult for so many people to not get  it? Not get that their actions only make the disease worse? 

Our national leadership must bear a lot of responsibility for current outbreaks, but -- folks: you should know better! You are smart. You want your kids to get into STEM programs. Why do you ravage our best scientists when they tell inconvenient truths?  Show some restraint in our National Interest. Use your noggins!

Nature, whether it is our climate or COVID 19, is completely apolitical. Nature happens. It responds to physics, mathematics and biology, not to demagoguery or wishful thinking--  or gun toting yahoos claiming some God given right -- to what? Infect their grandmother with a potentially lethal disease? 

Medical science makes it clear that this virus can spread from person to person in droplets that are expelled when we speak -- or cheer -- and even in tiny aerosols. Moreover, 25 - 35% of people who are not experiencing symptoms of the disease can still be shedding the virus (Have you been tested? probably not...). Masks prevent, or at least reduce, spread of this virus. Finally, while we older citizens are more susceptible to infection, those young and invulnerable folks are filling hospital beds now. And, to make this worse, there is good evidence that a goodly  number of those young ones who recover will suffer long-term problems with a variety of their organs. 

So, with all this -- you might make somebody else sick, or even kill me, or you might get sick and suffer for a long time after your 'recovery' -- why are so many people jamming themselves into close proximity in bars, private functions, churches, or political rallies? 

This is no way to mitigate this virus. Go out responsibly! It is possible!

I am proud that New Hampshire has been doing well. But we cannot let up. We are in an economic hole not of our making and the sooner we are free of this virus, the quicker we can get back to a likely new normal. 

Gary Samuels