From the time the girls were very little we have told them the truth. So much so that some people may have questioned our parenting decisions. From birth to death and everything in between, if the girls asked questions and seemed ready to hear the answers, we provided them with age appropriate and truthful responses. While it just seemed like the right thing to do, we also felt in some small way, like it helped to keep anxiety at bay. At least for us, sharing and knowing the truth, even if the truth was sad or scary, always felt better than withholding it.
These days, my social media feed is full of people praising New York Governor Coumo. While I have recently read a few comments that while he is great in a crisis, he isn’t perfect, for now, he is the leader I will follow. There are obvious and critical differences between Governor Coumo and our president but one of the most important ones to me is their handling and telling of the truth.
If I am able to watch more than a few minutes of the president talking, I walk away feeling far more anxious than when I started listening. I will sit and listen to nearly the entirety of Governor Coumo’s press conferences and feel better when it is over. In some ways, this makes no sense. The president is painting a far prettier picture than the one Governor Cuomo paints. But you know what? Like the girls, I prefer the truth. Ignoring medicine and scientists in the face of a global pandemic is not the same as faking a smile until you feel happy. Lying to the country is not the same as using the power of positivity to make a bad situation better. It is dangerous and cruel. Ignoring the truth and telling lies will make this all worse and every independent thinking lay person understands this.
As I watch major news channels cut away from the president’s press conferences and people on social media who I know have supported the president in the past begin to question, I am hopeful. Please, please let these small changes be enough to bring about a massive change. Please let the scientists and doctors have the loudest voice. We must listen to them. We must stay home. The alternative is too scary.