I think it is time I weighed in on the coronavirus panic choking our country. Currently, we are a nation suffocating in a depressing doom and gloom; where the media seems to take delight in telling us how bad things are, all in the name of improved ratings. Frankly, they haven’t hit a bonanza like this in a long time, even in spite of their sloppy reporting. This has been exacerbated by lawyers, accountants, politicians, and a greedy media who will not be happy until the country is ground to a halt. Frankly, this is one American who has had enough.
In show business, the expression, “The Show Must Go On!”, means we must go forward even in the face of adversity. It is time for this country to do likewise in lieu of the panic. Currently, we are experiencing a domino effect whereby restaurants and businesses are closing, as are schools, the travel industry is tanking, people are working from home or are being let go, people are hoarding toilet paper (of all things), we are rationing food, etc., thereby causing the economy to tremble. The new politically correct concept of “Social Distancing” is forcing people to turn inwards to home, and avoid human contact, not just group activities such as sporting events, church meetings, schools, going to the beach, or a drink at the local tavern. Terrified of the virus, people are hiding out until the all-clear siren is sounded. There is one problem with this, we cannot afford to bring the country to a standstill as exemplified by the movie, “The Day the Earth Stood Still.” Our choice is simple: We can either resign ourselves to a fate of destruction or pick up the pieces and move forward. I choose the latter.
Some claim we have never seen anything like this virus (COVID-19). This is simply not true. The 2009-2010 Swine Flu Pandemic saw upwards to 1.4 billion cases, with deaths estimated between 150,000–575,000. Today, we are nowhere near these numbers. I am not doubting the legitimacy of the coronavirus, but I am questioning the panic that has ensued. It reminds me of how we handle hurricanes in Florida. It used to be, the public was alerted about an approaching storm, we took the necessary precautions (such as replenishing supplies and boarding up homes) and then rode it out. However, when Hurricane Irma appeared in 2017, Floridians were panicked by the media, forcing the closure of restaurants and businesses, and the stoppage of water, gasoline, and electricity in some areas. Frankly, it turned out to be a rather lame storm here in Florida by comparison to other hurricanes, but the public was panicked into a frenzy by the media, not too dissimilar to what we are experiencing today. The point is, something is horribly wrong in how the media is communicating with the public these days.
What we are witnessing is an interesting social experiment. It proves people can be easily manipulated by the media and politicians. It also demonstrates people prefer operating on autopilot, and when it is switched off, they do not know how to improvise, adapt and overcome, and this is what is perhaps most disturbing about the panic.
There are, of course, some things beyond our control, such as financial markets, government regulations, etc., and I am certainly not advocating disobeying the law, but we need to challenge our politicians and hold them accountable, as well as the media. It also means we have to learn to think for ourselves and become proactive as opposed to reactive. In other words, we need to think differently, break old habits, and replace them with new ones. Remember the old maxim, “In confusion there is profits.”
We need to begin by changing our perspective to believe the glass is half full, not half empty as the media suggests. In other words, let’s think positive, not negative. Now is the time for innovation in the workplace, to think smarter, and introduce new ideas to get the job done. There are opportunities out there waiting to be exploited, we just have to find them.
So, should we place our faith in the hands of our politicians and the media? As for me, I will put my trust in common sense instead.
By the way, perhaps the biggest difference between the 2009-2010 Swine Flu Pandemic and the 2020 COVID-19 panic is that 2009-2010 was not a presidential election year. Hmm, must be nothing more than a coincidence, right?
Another stage related expression is “Break a Leg,” representing a wish for good luck to a performer. It’s an old expression reflecting an ancient superstition that wishing someone “good luck” was considered somewhat of a jinx.
Since I am from the South, I will leave you with…
Break a Leg (Y’all)!
Keep the Faith!
P.S. – Also, I have a NEW book, “Before You Vote: Know How Your Government Works”, What American youth should know about government, available in Printed, PDF and eBook form. DON’T FORGET GRADUATION DAY. This is the perfect gift!
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