It's the 4th of July, but chances are not many of my fellow Americans are feeling all that patriotic this morning. The foes we're facing aren't the Axis powers Carole Lombard raised war bonds against but are, in their own ways, just as nefarious.
The coronavirus pandemic has hit the U.S. harder than any other country, and it increasingly appears our approach to it -- placing so much of the fight in a political context -- is the prime reason it's been so devastating here. Violent racism against minorities, particularly black men, has been exposed for all to see. We're four months away from a presidential election that promises to be particularly mean-spirited.
My advice today is similar to what Carole told those people in Indianapolis on what would be the last full day of her life, Jan. 15, 1942: Dig in for the long haul. Unify for the common good. Be kind and considerate to fellow citizens.
Masks have proved successful as a weapon against the virus; wear one when outside your home, not just to protect yourself, but others. Few of us like wearing them, but for the time being, they're a necessary evil.
Think face masks are too utilitarian? They don't have to be. Since the pandemic began, reusable designer face masks have sprouted like wildfire. You can even show loyalty to your favorite sports team, a la coronavirus expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, a Washington Nationals fan...
...and Tarrant County (Tex.) Judge Glen Whitley, who backs the Texas Rangers:
Think of wearing a mask as your own personal war bond.
In January 1942, Americans understood the fight they'd been thrust into would neither be an easy nor a quick one. The same holds true for us today. The difference is that everyone on the globe is in the fight, too, and should be viewed as allies.
Be part of the fight, just as Carole was 78 years ago.
Day 2 of our "20 stars, 20 pics" campaign features a lady who, like Lombard, walked the walk when it came to the war effort. She's my second-favorite classic actress and a perfect follow-up to yesterday's selection, William Powell. Here's a rare pic of Myrna Loy, when she left movie work for several years to aid the Red Cross: