A truck driver was dropping off a couple pallets on our dock Wednesday afternoon and asked me to sign for the delivery. He chuckled when I declined his pen and produced my own.
"Everybody is doing that nowadays," he said before launching into a monologue about coronavirus.
"The thing about this," he said, "is people like you and me don't have anything to worry about. We're healthy. The old folks are the only ones who have to worry."
Before I could respond, the truck driver added, "This is all just one big thing started by China because they're upset over the trade war."
This truck driver is clearly not a kind-hearted man. It won't get us, he claims, just the old folks. I'm guessing he doesn't have a mother or a grandmother.
It's times like these -- when all of humanity is being attacked by one common threat -- that we should unite, but that seems so rare in today's world.
Coronavirus has officially spread to all 50 states and killed at least 140 Americans. It has spread to every continent except Antartica and killed over 8,800 globally, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Now more than ever is the time to realize we're all in this world together as one human race. Whether we're Mexican or Moroccan, we all share the same basic needs. We all need to eat, we all need toilet paper, and we're all infected by the same illnesses.
Whether we're living in Belgium or Brazil, most folks have the same goals in life. We want a comfortable life for our family, we want our kids to be happy, and we hope to make some sort of positive impact the short time we're here.
Yet racial tension has been soaring in America. In a report released Wednesday by The Southern Poverty Law Center, it says the number of white supremacist groups has risen 55 percent in three years from 100 in 2017, to 148 in 2018, to 155 in 2019.
Many of these white nationalists are embracing “accelerationism,” a philosophy that promotes mass violence, the report says.
The Montgomery, Ala.-based law center says online groups have fueled some of the rise, giving racists an easy way to reach like-minded people to reinforce their own beliefs.
Over the past few months, the FBI has arrested a string of suspects linked to white supremacist groups, including The Base and Atomwaffen Division, that have advocated for violence and a race war.
The coronavirus pandemic has come with worst-case consequences such as lives lost, cities shuttered, and an economic recession all but a certainty. But if we can sift through the devastation and learn a lesson from all this it's that we're all human and we're all on this Earth together.
Disliking someone just because of the color of their skin or the place where they worship is something that presents just as big of a threat to the well-being of humanity as any disease.
Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.