Peter Boylan, now 83, has a unique perspective on the current state of affairs.
Although he was 9 years old when World War II ended, Boylan still has some fairly vivid memories of life in wartime America. During the war, for example, many commodities were rationed, everything from butter to coal. Also rationed was gasoline, which limited travel during the war, not unlike the current COVID-19 panic.
Boylan also can remember the blackout drills. Around dark, every house in the neighborhood was required to go dark, while people sheltered in place.
Indeed, not since World War II has America experienced such a drastic disruption of daily life. America made it through the war, however, and Boylan is confident that we’ll make it though this.
“That’s been the history of our country. I have extraordinary confidence in our nation’s ability to respond,” said Boylan, a United States Army West Point graduate and retired general.
Boylan, though, is concerned that “some Americans have lost their way.” When he sees news reports of large public gatherings and social distancing disobedience, Boylan worries that “we’ve forgotten our obligations to each other and the community.”
Boylan understands the importance of everyone doing their part, regardless of your age. For example, he hasn’t left his neighborhood for several weeks. His daughter does the shopping for he and his wife Kathy. Also, despite debilitating back problems, Boylan still walks about a mile a day around his neighborhood, while of course social distancing
Since retiring as president of Georgia Military College, Boylan has served on the board of directors for Navicent Health Baldwin. He said that the hospital has made marked progress in recent years, and he’s confident that the hospital will be able to withstand the pandemic.
“Of course, we are a rural hospital, with a limited number of beds in ICU. But, for rural hospitals, I don’t think there’s another one in the state of Georgia that will do better,” he said. “We have the leadership team, and we have the most dedicated staff.”
In the mean time, Boylan said that he encourages everyone to do their part.
“Remember your obligation to each other, and also remember your obligation to your country,” he said. “We all have a role to play.”