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“These are the times that try men’s souls”, so wrote Thomas Paine on December 23, 1776. Considered by some to be among America’s Founding Fathers, he continued his essay as follows, “The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”

These words, along with the rest of his essay titled, “The American Crisis” helped inspire the birth of a new nation. Prior to the Battle of Trenton, in which George Washington and his men famously crossed the Delaware River on Christmas Day to route the Hessian Army, General Washington had his commanders read the essay to his troops. This small, but important victory is often credited with providing the spark that was needed for the Continental Army to go on to win the American Revolution.

Today, 244 years later, we once again find ourselves in a crisis that is trying our souls. Rather than battling the tyranny of King George, we are battling the tyranny of the coronavirus. By the time you read this, we will have been in this fight for 6 months. Like me, you’re probably feeling a little weary and worn out, but now is not the time for us to shrink from the service of our country. We need to stand by it and do what we collectively can to beat back this foe. We need to wear our facemasks, wash our hands, and stay at least 6 feet apart. Though awkward and uncomfortable, this is what science tells us is the best way to combat the virus until such time there is a cure or vaccine.

In closing, I want to share another excerpt from Paine’s essay that I hope will ultimately ring true as we collectively work together against our common enemy, COVID-19.

“Let it be told to the future world, that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet and to repulse it. Say not that thousands are gone, turn out your tens of thousands; throw not the burden of the day upon Providence, but "show your faith by your works," that God may bless you. It matters not where you live, or what rank of life you hold, the evil or the blessing will reach you all. The far and the near, the home counties and the back, the rich and the poor, will suffer or rejoice alike.”

By our common action, by doing what we know we can do to control the spread of the coronavirus, there will apt to be much less suffering and a lot more rejoicing. So do your part. Be the equivalent of a 1776 American Patriot. Wear a facemask. Wash your hands. Stay 6 feet apart.