There is a saying, “If you find yourself walking through Hell, don’t stop – keep walking.” In this unprecedented coronavirus pandemic, we are, indeed, “walking through Hell.” Not since the horror of 9/11 have we been tasked with the urgent need for the entire country to respond in collective unity. I could not be more impressed than I am to see that, in a time of unparalleled political division, there is a whole-nation response that seems almost surreal given the tribalism of a few weeks ago.

This column presents a conservative view. However, the view that I will express here is, hopefully, neither uniquely conservative nor liberal. It is that we “must not stop, we must keep on walking.” We must keep up this new-found bipartisanship. We must keep up this whole-of-government approach to oversight on the virus problem. We must keep up this new-found mutual respect between state and federal government. Who could ever have imagined New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo or California Gov. Gavin Newsom offering praise and thanks to President Trump for his leadership in this time of crisis? I must opine on this situation that only the most hardened anti-Trumper on the left could not bring himself to admire this new bipartisan and mutual respect.

Looking back on the impeachment debacle, one can only imagine the kind of progress we as a country could have made had we instead had a government that was committed to the new-found comity that we see taking place today. The mind boggles.

To ensure that we do indeed “keep on walking” in this virus travail, we must applaud the vast number of players, political and civil – particularly the health care providers, who are working to solve the virus problem. We should also call out those malingerers who cannot shed their selfish partisan views.

Case in point. While watching the daily coronavirus task force briefings, I am struck by the polarity of questions that come from the press corps. While the majority of questions are heartfelt queries about the spread of the virus, mitigation attempts, therapeutic possibilities, public-private partnerships, economic plans, family financial help, and best-and-worst case scenarios, an embittered, nasty few reporters cannot shed their tribalism. They ask only “gotcha questions” such as, “Why were we not better prepared?” or “Is saying China was the source of the virus a racist comment?”

Again, I will opine an answer that goes a little beyond, “Duh.” It was simply a logistical impossibility to be prepared for the leviathan problem of confronting the largest, most virulent pandemic in modern times. Secondly, to name the country that scientists across the globe cite as the source of the virus is in no way racist.

I will close with comments on three Maine politicians in regard to our current “walk through Hell.” I credit the governor, Janet Mills, for her calm, no-nonsense bipartisan remarks in concert with Govs. Cuomo and Newsom. I also credit Sen. Susan Collins for announcing that she has paused her political campaign in light of the crisis, and turned her attention to cosponsoring a bipartisan, remedial bill in the Senate to provide $300 billion in assistance to small businesses. At the same time, I strongly condemn the business-as-usual, negative television campaigning against Collins by Sarah Gideon’s dark money advertising. Frankly, it is unseemly.

I do not know where we, as a country, will be when this column sees the light of day. Hopefully, the Trump “15 Day” plan will see the beginning of the dampening of the virus curve. However, I sincerely doubt that we will have exited “Hell.” I also know that Americans will never quit, and we “will keep on walking” until this terrible scourge is behind us. God bless America.

Another View is a Maine Press Association award-winning column written by Midcoast conservative citizens/writers Jan Dolcater, Ken Frederic, Paul Ackerman, Doc Wallace and Dale Landrith Sr.