Is this crisis making us a bit nicer to each other?

Maybe it’s just me, but I have this feeling in my gut that the coronavirus pandemic is helping create a society that is just a bit more courteous.

I kind of feel it when I go to the grocery store, or to fill my truck with fuel, or when I meet folks on the street. I find myself smiling a little more broadly at total strangers and they are returning likewise smiles to me. Our neighbors here in Princeton are offering to help us if we need it; we are returning the offer to them.

Is this what’s happening?

Our local TV stations are full of public service announcements that remind us that “we’re all in this together.”

My wife and I went to a supermarket in Farmersville the other day. We ventured about six miles east along U.S. Highway 380 to see for ourselves what we had heard from an acquaintance, that this store was doing an exemplary job of keeping their shelves stocked while so many of us are hoarding certain products.

We were standing near the stand-up freezers, watching store employees rushing to fill them with frozen vegetables. I was struck by the thought: You know, these folks might be performing one of the most valuable jobs in this community. They were hustling with broad smiles on their faces.

No one, as near as I can tell, welcomes the restricted movements we are enduring, or welcomes the rules that governments are imposing on our daily lives.

The medical personnel at our local hospitals, I am absolutely certain, do not welcome the stress they are facing as they perform heroic acts treating those afflicted with the coronavirus. They deserve our gratitude, our thanks and our best wishes as they struggle to keep our community healthy.

I hope I do not have to thank them personally while they treat me or any member of my family. I am more than willing to express my thanks to them all through this forum.

All of this just might be an unintended, but welcome, consequence of this serious crisis. It’s bringing out the best in us.

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