Jersey Jack – May 2020


This Too Shall Pass

Thoughts on Living Through the Coronavirus Crisis

Jack Guarnieri

by Jack Guarnieri, Jersey Jack Pinball &

On a jukebox, whether it’s Bob Dylan’s 1964 classic The Times They Are A Changin’, 1980’s Don’t Stand So Close To Me by The Police, I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor or even my favorite, Somewhere Over The Rainbow, music has a way of soothing, reminding us of better days and encouraging us.

To say these are trying times is a gross understatement. Not that long ago, we were cruising along in a new year that seemed to be going pretty well for most of us. Now, it’s not going well for most of us and is even worse for the families of those who died from this terrible virus.

My Dad is 94 years old and lives in Florida. He and the others from his generation weathered much struggle and sacrifice during their lives. It wasn’t much easier for the generation that spent its years fighting in the Vietnam conflict, nor for those in the conflicts and wars in the Middle East and our longest war, which is still ongoing.

“Struggle” and “sacrifice” are terrible words to hear and are worse to live through. The days are long and, virus or not, we all seem to be caught a bit short of breath as we hear the daily bad news of job losses, lower stock prices, dire predictions and a curve that needs flattening quickly.

People can sometimes be very unkind to each other, but this pandemic has shown how we are all connected as one people living on this planet. Somehow we need to pull together –– while at the same time, physical distancing from each other –– in order to stem the spread of this virus.

The many questions of where it started, how it was spread and whether the amount and timing of the response was as it should have been are all things to be debated once we can again shake hands, hug and kiss each other.

The great response of people who are donating masks and other much-needed medical equipment is appreciated beyond words. The outpouring of the American can-do spirit is very much alive.

We are a very fortunate and blessed nation, always helping the world at a time when we really need to help ourselves. Charity does begin at home, but each of us is called to help others less fortunate and more needy. It’s not always money.

Thankfully, today’s technology can help us connect with others even when we can’t do so in person as we’d like. It allows us to call and FaceTime, video chat, hold virtual meetings and email. It connects all of us by helping us share, soothe, reassure and smile. Because all of this is “social,” I prefer the term “physical distance” to “social distance” as we stay home in order to flatten the curve.

I understand how complicated and stressful these times are, but offer some words of advice: Have faith, hope and most importantly, love. Know that this too shall pass. Stay safe, stay inside and obey the laws of your government. Also, be kind and forgiving of each other. It’s not business as usual.

One day, hopefully soon, our lives will return to normal, the normal that we took for granted. You’ll go play that jukebox and choose The Beatles’ Here Comes The Sun or Barry Manilow’s I Made It Through The Rain or Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah.

It’s going to be okay. Just breathe only not so close to me right now, okay?!


Jack Guarnieri started servicing electro-mechanical pinball machines in 1975 and has been involved in every phase of the amusement game business since then. He was an operator in NYC, then began a distributorship in 1999,, selling coin-op to the consumer market. In January of 2011 he founded Jersey Jack Pinball (named after his RePlay Magazine pen name), which builds award-winning, full-featured, coin-op pinball machines. Email Jack at jack@


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