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The Right Stuff In Coronavirus Era

Bootprint that never made it onto the moon.

Here’s my Apollo 13 boot print--the one that never stepped on the moon.

Go back 50 years and imagine those five days in isolation, punctuated by the calm utterance, "Houston, we've had a problem." What the astronauts gave us then was courage in a time of national need.

In our national interests, we now need to embrace science regularly and with vigor. For the modern take-home version of Astronaut 101 Training, we need every citizen to have the moxie to be a scaled down astronaut in a tin can orbiting the earth in isolation.

The necessity to embrace science is incarnate in health care scenes worldwide during the coronavirus crisis. That’s the kind of compassionate can-do science we need to solve problems now. Those are the kind of people we need arising now.

If during the coronavirus era you value the perspective and service of doctors, caregivers, and science professionals, then elect them. Always support courage, integrity, honesty, and selflessness.

Segue from Apollo 13 to the International Space Station, which you can still watch orbiting overhead. These spacefarers are in total isolation, self quarantined as a condition of doing science for all of us. By the way, it's not easy on their families back home, either, but they choose hope over fear. Looking at your own adherence to social distancing and isolation, are you even close to being "the right stuff" today for our nation?

Now's our chance to step up. Maybe we won't all see our names on glasses commemorating our common national experience like we did for Apollo missions. But in 50 years we'll be able to say with a semblance of pride that we had the courage to support science in a visceral way--including by ongoing social distancing and by electing more citizens who value and act on the underpinnings of science.

[Added April 12, 2020:

Note: for Indiana Congressional District 5 around Granger, IN, see You can now vote by mail for the 2020 Indiana primary election, which has been moved to June 2. However, completed ballot must reach the St. Joseph County Circuit Court Clerk’s office by May 21, 2020. See also]

Glassware commemorating Apollo 13

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