Wednesday, April 22, 2020


TigerBlog was about 10 miles into his bike ride the other day when he noticed someone scurrying along in front of him.

It turned out to be a fox. A red one, with a long tail and a menacing look on his face.

Or so it seemed. The fox was about 50 yards ahead of TB, who immediately stopped. Then he and the fox stared at each other for a few seconds.

TB was going up a small hill, so the fox had the edge with the high ground. Would the fox charge at him?

It was a tense few seconds. Then the fox yawned, turned the other way and ran down someone's driveway. Crisis averted.

TigerBlog has been left wondering what would have happened if the fox had other plans. TB looked it up later and saw that a fox can run at speeds of 30-40 miles per hour; TB cannot ride that fast.

Fortunately, it never came to that.

TB has been riding his bike pretty much every day, like usual. The park where he likes to ride has been closed, so he's spent his time on the roads.

During these times, TB has spent a lot of time riding and writing, which sound pretty much the same. He's also done his best to stay in as much as possible, limiting his time to be out to only the most necessary things.

There are, of course, so many people who are doing way more to try to make a difference these days, and TigerBlog is filled with respect and admiration for every single one of them. He told you the story a few weeks ago about Derek Griesdorn, who works in the equipment department, who has taken to sewing masks.

TB reached out to him yesterday to see how many masks he's sewn so far. He's at the 150 mark, and still sewing.

TB also told you the story of Evan Garfein, the former men's lacrosse player and member of the 1992 NCAA championship team who is now a New York City plastic surgeon. Garfein jumped from that to working 12-hour shifts in the emergency room at the forefront of the COVID-19 fight, only to contract the disease himself.

So what happened next?

Garfein recovered, and the day after he was cleared, he returned to working in the same ER.

Princeton has had athletes and non-athletes who have been on the frontlines, and their stories have been told by the University on its webpage and on social media through #tellustigers. If you want to read the piece about how University staff are working 24/7 to support the campus community, click HERE.

There are two other stories TB wants to share with you today.

One is from Dr. Glenn Wakam, a former Princeton football player and now a resident in Detroit. He wrote a piece that was picked up by the New England Journal of Medicine about the heartbreaking stories of Coronavirus patients who are dying alone because family members aren't allowed in hospitals.

You can read that story HERE.

It's not a very long piece, but it is extraordinarily touching.

Wakam, by the way, was a defensive back whose senior season was 2010, Bob Surace's first as Princeton head coach. For his final two seasons, Wakam had 42 tackles, and he also had an interception in the 24-17 win over Yale in 2009. Wakam's pick against the Bulldogs came in the fourth quarter of a game that the Tigers led 21-17 at the time.

Then there is Chris White, the 2013 men's lacrosse co-captain. White is working with other Princeton alums with "Off Their Plate," an organization co-founded by Brittany Urick ’11, who went from Princeton to Oxford to Harvard.

The mission of "Off Their Plate" is, according to its website is this: "Our work creates a conduit for local communities to provide nutritious meals to the hospital teams we depend on and economic relief to local workers who have been affected by COVID."

The organization's website is HERE.

These stories speak to the resilience and the compassion that people all over the country have in the face of something nobody has ever seen before. They also speak to a personification of a motto: "In the Nation's Service and the Service of All Humanity."

These people aren't doing these things for the notoriety. They're doing it to make a difference.

Still, they deserve to be recognized for the rays of light they're bringing in these stormy times.

No comments: