Patrick Murphy

As Andy Bernard once said, “I wish there was a way to know you were in the good, old days before you actually left them.”

If you are a fan of the television show, “The Office,” then you know Ed Helms’s character Andy Bernard never said anything profound, but he nailed it this time.

As the show was coming to an end, Bernard was reminiscing as he was saying goodbye to his co-workers and friends.

The only thing I want to say goodbye to is 2020.

No one is going to call these the good, old days, but they are historic.

We are living through times our children and grandchildren and generations to follow will study because of the coronavirus and our reaction to it.

Scientists and physicians are learning from it.

Historians and newspapers are recording it.

But we are the ones living through it, and we can’t wait for it to end.

Whether you’re a conspiracy theorists and believe COVID-19 will magically disappear the day after the Nov. 3 general election or whether you believe in science and try to keep yourself and everyone else safe by following safety and health guidelines, this is the hand we have been dealt, and we will be judged on how we are reacting to it.

Our response will be studied by future generations, and they will judge us on how we handled the coronavirus, and just as important — and maybe more importantly —  how we treated each other.

Social media is filled with videos of people screaming and fighting each other over wearing masks.

There have been demonstrations throughout the country on whether to open up stores and restaurants.

People have taken to social media to spread what they want to believe, regardless of whether their beliefs are based in fact or not.

There is comfort in finding others who believe what we believe, and social media is perfect for that.

I think we all will have a lot of questions to answer from our children, grandchildren and future generations.

No doubt, history will not always been kind, but if we are judged harshly that will mean the world will have become a more accepting, compassionate place by then.

That’s what we are left with, hope.

Hope we can learn something from this our experience, about ourselves and about our nation.

Hope we can learn to live together more compassionately.

Hope we come out of this experience better people who have more patience with one another.

Hope the good, old days return soon and we appreciate them more because they are not guaranteed.

Patrick Murphy, editor-publisher of the Humphrey Democrat and Newman Grove Reporter in Nebraska, is a former assistant managing editor at The Telegram.