How Would Mister Rogers Make Us Feel Better Now?
“I think he would have had good ideas, and as soon as he got them figured out, he would have told us,” says Joanne Rogers.
Like most of us, Joanne Rogers is staying inside her home these days. She lives alone in an apartment in Pittsburgh. Friends bring her groceries and she feels fine, with no symptoms of the Coronavirus.
What keeps her busy is talking on the phone, not only to friends and family but to others who want to know how her late husband, Fred Rogers, would have comforted all of us in these scary times.
“I think he would have had good ideas, and as soon as he got them figured out, he would have told us. But he wasn’t going to spurt out the first thing that came into his mind. He didn’t talk just to make a noise in the world,” she told the Los Angeles Times.
She also recalls advice he had got from his own parents.
“When Fred was a boy and scary things would happen to him, his mother used to tell him: ‘Freddy, look for the helpers.’ So he would have talked about the helpers.”
These days helpers are everywhere she told the newspaper. Doctors, nurses, grocery store cashiers, mail carriers — the friend who called Joanne to offer to bring her food even though he was “not a young man” and had heart issues.
“This is all so spooky,” she said of the pandemic. “I am an optimist, essentially. But this is the hardest trial I’ve had as an optimist.”