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International Phone Call Gives Hope

June 25, 2020


I had one of those unexpected uplifting experiences today as a result of checking up on my Sirius radio account.  After my questions had been handled the woman assisting me said, “and stay safe”.  That would’ve been the cue for most people to say, “well, thank you” and hang up.

But the words impacted me because I knew she was talking about the pandemic that has struck the entire world.  So I asked her where she was from, and being told the Philippines meant I was about to get a view of the virus far from my Madison home. She was working at home and reported that in the Philippines a quarantine order must be followed.

One can either do it at home on a voluntary basis, or because the military is placed throughout communities, they will help you self-isolate.  She lived at home with her parents, and they all took the virus most seriously.  Even if not ordered to stay home, she would self-isolate.  Yes, she missed her friends and social activity, but the health of her parents mattered more to her than what she was prohibited from doing.

(Our conversation would have made a great podcast!)

She spoke about the necessity of abiding by medically-driven advice.  She talked with a good command of English, continuing to discuss limiting the transmission of the virus.

I am always happy to speak with someone who has different perspectives and places from which to witness events play out.  While I certainly would not desire a military solution for COVID-19, I was pleased to hear the common-sense nature this woman had about the virus and her role in protecting others.

It was a wonderful conversation with someone who is experiencing the same type of dread and uncertainty that we are dealing with on the Madison Isthmus.  It was heartening to hear someone else’s perspective about keeping safe in these uncertain times.

The commonalities of the world are much more numerous than what separates us.  I have always made that argument.  I am most grateful that someone far away made that point most clear to me, again.

After the headlines of this week, I needed that message to be reaffirmed.

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