In the 1990s I would talk to people who had long memories of hard times in America. They would bemoan, even in the ‘90s, the decline of civility and unity, and inevitably they would recall their lives in the Great Depression and World War II. These were times of almost universal hardship; the Depression because people had to make do with very little (but nonetheless often did their best to share what they had), and in World War II when rationing required people to forego even what small pleasures, such as coffee and sugar, in order to help the national war effort. Hard times that brought Americans together.
We are now in a similar situation, one which I hope and think is also bringing Americans together.
That most Americans take the current orders to heart is reflected in the high approval ratings of those state governors who were quick to impose restrictions, communicate regularly with their constituents, and aggressive in securing help for their states. According to a poll by Microsoft News, reported in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer of April 4, 2020, Republican governors Larry Hogan of Maryland and Mike DeWine of Ohio have the highest approval ratings, 84% and 83% respectively. They are followed closely by Democratic governors Andy Beshear of Kentucky (who won election in 2018 by 5000 votes) and Andrew Cuomo of New York, both at 81%. Public approval is the reward for strong leadership in times of crisis. Roosevelt and Churchill come to mind as prime examples. But more importantly, individual Americans understand that they are making a sacrifice with a purpose, and that purpose is to help save the lives of Americans they have never met. I hope it lasts. It would be good to live once more in an America with a positive outlook.