OK, I was wrong. A few months ago, we published my column expressing hope that I would soon be writing about some topic other than the coronavirus. I wish I could write about “The Last Dance”—the stellar 10-part documentary about Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player who ever lived. But that would be ignoring what is going on around me.
According to the experts, this pandemic is going to last a long, long time—perhaps years. Already, the death toll is hard to fathom, and the economic dislocation is staggering. Electric co-op leaders have pledged to do their part to help turn the corner, even if the corner seems far away. So, our feature stories and my columns going forward—like this month’s—will focus on electric co-ops that are, like Jordan, exceptional at their craft.
These co-ops are creating new energy-assistance programs for consumers struggling to pay their bills, hooking up free internet for low-income families whose children are in danger of falling behind at school, and helping businesses access loans and grants to stay afloat. Perhaps the least I can do in a time of tragedy and hardship is highlight co-ops that are trying to make a difference.
We did not envision this pandemic, but the electric co-op business model is ideal for the time. We have no profit motive. The well-being of the members who own their cooperatives is our focus. And we are meeting the moment because the moment demands it.
As noted, I have been wrong before, but I strongly believe that out of this painful ordeal will come stories as inspiring and iconic as when our forefathers turned on the lights in rural America. In fact, it’s a slam-dunk.