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I am by no means an expert in COVID 19.  In fact, I am not much of an expert in much (some will say we knew that already) but I do know that in a time of challenge the only way to get through the challenge is to power through and defeat it. This is the third time I have written to you this week, and so I will keep it short, but I have shared facts and figures along with important websites and resources that are available to you regarding the COVID crisis. Today, I would like to take a different tack in talking about how we get through this as a people and culture.

First, with 25 years of military duty under my belt, I have been challenged, a lot, and I have found that when challenged a person can power through almost anything.  I relish defeating challenges.  In my time, though, I find it a lot easier to power through challenges when you are with others who share a common goal.  We are Iowans, Americans, and a culture, and we can deal with a lot more challenges together than we can apart.
During the heart of this challenge, I would ask that you all come together and pull through this crisis as one people.  Our country was founded with the motto ‘E Pluribus Unum,’ meaning out of many, one.  I believe that in 1776 when that motto was suggested, they had situations like this one we are going through right now in mind.

Second, I feel it the same as you with the added stress of being isolated, we are crabby and easy to snap at others.  Everything is annoying, from the lack of toilet paper to the kids asking what is for a snack to the spouse checking in with you for the 10th time.   Some things we can do to help are pray, choose to be happy and be nice.

When I say be nice, that goes outside the home as well as in it.  There are many people who really shouldn’t be going to the store because they have health challenges that would be increased with exposure to COVID-19.  Can we offer to help these people and give them aid?  I guarantee if you do something nice it will make you feel better as well.

Finally, I just ask that you help rather than hurt at this time.  There will be plenty of time in the future to criticize the things that were done today to prevent catastrophe.  Today, however, is not the time to do that because it takes away from the ability to rally together in this moment of crisis.

I thank you for the ability you have given to me to represent you, even in these troubled times.  I know that we will come through this challenge and once again be that shining city on the hill that my favorite president of all time, Ronald Reagan, talked about in his famous speech.  When that happens then we can truly say E Pluribus Unum, out of many, one.

Author: John Wills