Good morning. It’s Friday. Most of you know this, but I suspect that a lot of you don’t feel this, so I need you all to know that none of this is your fault. There was nothing you could have done differently.
Last night during dinner, my family was reflecting on the day we dropped our son off at sleepaway camp for the first time last summer (poor kid got strep on his birthday, and we had to pick him up 4-days into his two-week stay), and I asked if we could go back to that day last summer and do it all over again, what would we have done differently? Aside from that weekend getaway we bailed on last fall, we couldn’t think of anything. There’s nothing any of us could have done to prevent what we are experiencing now. None of this is your fault.
We didn’t have the information necessary to prepare for this. Our federal government did — and they knew what the toll could look like in January — but they sat on their hands. If our President had listened, and if our President had acted responsibly, we’d be in much better shape today, and there would be a lot fewer deaths. But we’d probably still be under lockdown. The economy would still be in shambles.
But it’s still not your fault. It’s not the fault of the restaurant owners. Or the bakery owners. Or the little retail shop owners. Not only is it not your fault, but most of you should also be commended for putting the health of the public ahead of your own financial interests, and for doing everything in your power to save your business and the jobs that will hopefully, maybe one day return to it. You are doing everything that you can, and we all thank you for that.
Likewise, parents, it is not your fault that your children are occasionally miserable while working from home. Some of your kids won’t really understand it, but you didn’t do this. No one did this. You are doing the best that you can. One day — years and years and years from now — your kids will appreciate it.
I was going to write about the latest news here, but I think I’ll save it for another post, because there are probably some more difficult days ahead, and I want you to hear it again: It is not your fault.
In the meantime, you may need to hear this, too. According to Jason Katims, this is the speech that he’d have written for Coach Taylor on Friday Night Lights were he faced with our current situation:
We may not be on the field together right now, but we are all in this together. Together, we are going to stay strong. We are going to stay united. We are going to stay healthy. And anyone who thinks that we’re not going to beat this, they don’t know this town, they don’t know this nation, and they sure as hell don’t know this team. I’ll miss you all. Tell your families that Tami and I are thinking of them. Tell them you’re all in our prayers. Stay healthy. Stay safe. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.
In the meantime, I’ve been working on a piece all week for Uproxx about how the late-night hosts have provided comfort and perspective over the years during times of national upheaval. There’s this quote from Letterman after the 9/11 attacks, however, that just guts me, and it’s actually the same quote that Fallon has referenced as the reason why he has returned to work. Here is what Dave said:
There is only one requirement for any of us, and that is to be courageous. Because courage, as you might know, defines all other human behavior. And I believe, because I’ve done a little of this myself, pretending to be courageous is just as good as the real thing.
It’s the “pretending” part that gets me the most because I don’t know how capable any of us are of being truly courageous right now. But we can all pretend, and in moments like these, that’s just as good as the real thing.