We Need To Be Mister Rogers to Win Against Coronavirus

Do you remember?

The camera pans across the model village as the music builds to a crescendo.  The camera cuts to the interior of a cozy living room.  The brown door opens. A man enters singing and smiling.

He looks directly at the audience as he strolls to the closest and changes into his cardigan sweater that he playfully zips up.  The song continues as he rounds the staircase and sits on the bench to change from his loafers into his sneakers.  The song ends when the shoes are tied.

Admit it.  Most every one of us has watched Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood as a child or with a child on PBS in our lifetime.  The theme song is on the tip of your tongue

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood,

A beautiful day for a neighbor

Could you be mine?

Would you be mine?

Mister Rogers Is our Hero

Follow me here, I think Mister Rogers is the superhero we need to fight COVID-19.  You see, our champion transforms from every man Fred Rogers (1928-2003) to virus fighting Mister Rogers with his cardigan sweater and blue shoes.  Our protagonist confronts injustices like; being lonely, getting help for a neighbor, losing a loved one or being afraid. His kryptonite is empathy and caring.

Imagine what would happen if each of us transformed into Mister Rogers right now as we live with the threats of the Novel Coronavirus pandemic.  Each of us can channel the superpowers of our hero.

  1. Protect your neighbor, stay home to lessen virus spread
  2. Maintain a daily routine including adequate sleep, exercise and engaging activities to reduce our risk of contracting the virus
  3. Challenge yourself to do something new or change a destructive behavior
  4. Fill your thoughts and actions with kindness and gratitude
  5. Lastly, look for the helpers.

Mister Rogers takes off his superhero uniform as he sings through his exit and returns to life as every man Fred Rogers.

It’s such a good feeling to know you’re alive

It’s such a happy feeling, a feeling inside

That when you wake up and say

I think I’ll make this a happy new day

 And I’ll be back when the day is new

And I’ll have some ideas for you

And you’ll have things you want to talk about

I will too

Join Us in Combatting This Villain

Coincidently, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, the movie, was released in 2019 based on journalist’s work while interviewing Mister Rogers.  Actor Tom Hanks played Fred Rogers in the film.  Tom Hanks is recovering from COVID-19 infection as I write this.  He and his wife are pleading for us to heed the warnings that this virus is serious and not under control.

The superpowers of empathy and caring are within each of us. Each of us can be a helper by calling, writing or visiting online with our seniors, vulnerable loved ones and neighbors who are living alone. I wish each of your good health as we battle this virus together.  Please limit your time out and about the community.  Together we will survive these dark times.

Stay Safe, Stay Home,

Monica Stynchula, MSW, MPH