The Coronavirus hysteria sweeping our country may be a blessing in disguise as well as a wake up call to all Americans. We must be open to finding that silver lining to this dark cloud, and if we can take the actions that this pandemic is putting before us as opportunities, a better America is on the horizon.
In a literal twist of fate, as this pandemic began to unfold In January, I took a step while in Las Vegas at an exhausting industry trade show, that would change the course of my immediate future. That step hyperextended my knee, tore my meniscus, and my planned life for the next few months was altered in every way. No more jumping on flights for business purposes, no more driving, no more traveling, no more treadmills, no more sitting anywhere comfortably. Two months later, I finally got the surgery and life became even more restrictive, for the time-being.
Same with the Coronavirus, our lives are altered. Businesses are closed, travel is restricted, vacations are cancelled, kids are off school and at home. Life as we knew it yesterday has been altered.
As I have reflected on this temporary but frightening situation, and all of its inconveniences, I started to ponder on what we can learn along this unchosen path.
The first thing that strikes me is the startling realization that our politicians have sold the health of Americans to China.
I do love how they take no responsibility for this and blame the pharmaceutical companies when the poop hits the blower. The disincentives in the form of high taxes and severe regulations have chased most manufacturing off our American shores. Life saving drugs should never have been one of those things, nor should our forms of energy, like oil production. The shortsightedness of politicians and their eco-mania has put our very lives at risk. I am hoping that in this pandemic crisis, politicians will open their eyes and incentivize our pharmaceutical companies to manufacture antibiotics (95% of which are made in China), diabetes medications, and any other medications we need and do not produce. I do note that talks within the Trump administration are already occurring. We never should have allowed China to control our most vital medications, and this pandemic should open the eyes of all Americans, including the politicians, to change this now and forever on behalf of every American.
The game that is playing out with Russia and Iran on the price of oil is also hurting Americans, particularly in Texas. This is another area that we can improve for American futures and be sure that we have oil reserves at full capacity and that we are energy independent. Again, the Trump administration seems to be on top of this already. In times of crisis, we must not have to rely on our enemies to get us through. That is a ludicrous and dangerous game of risk our politicians have foisted on the American people. While people like Joe Biden and his family were raking in millions from China and Ukraine, they were selling our futures to our enemies.
The silver lining is that the time to act is now and this crisis has highlighted that and thrown that truth in our faces. All we need do is see it and act on it for our future health and energy security.
The 2nd silver lining, should we choose to see it, is much more personal and to my mind much more important. Back to my knee injury for a moment. It made me temporarily change my life. I had to be home much more. I have worked at home for a couple of months, and it has been just fine. I am just as productive, just not as present in person. After my surgery, my husband also took off to care for my needs that I could not care for myself. We talked more, we sat on the patio with coffee more, we had friends over more. I was present for the trees in Texas going from bare to blossom to grandiose works of leafy art. I was home to watch the butterflies emerge from their cocoons and become graceful and glorious harbingers of spring. My husband and I spent more time with each other and with friends and family. My dog, who I love beyond all reason, was so very happy I was home and not packing to leave once again.
Coronavirus has brought us an unwanted crisis, but in the middle of that is a unique opportunity too important to squander. That is the opportunity to reconnect with our wives and husbands and children.
There are not sports to go to or watch, school is out, some people are working from home. In a world where so many parents have lost touch with their kids, here is an opportunity to meet them and get to know them. No one is babysitting them just now, what will you do? In a world where school babysits our kids most waking hours, then after-school or sporting events take over, then tv and video games finish out the day. Now is an unprecedented opportunity to re-connect with your kids and really see who they are, what they know and think and like and fear, and what their dreams are, what their interests are, and let them know the same about you.
Go outside and throw a ball, take a hike, walk the dog, name the trees and flowers in your neighborhood. Make flash cards and see what schools are and are not teaching your children. Talk, ask questions and change your family paradigm for the better. Talk with your spouse, really spend time while you are stuck at home anyway. Cook together, spring clean together, read together, and re-connect. Remember why you married that person and re-engage with them.
There are silver linings in this crisis to be found, and a pot of gold to those who find them. This crisis will cause hardship and pain to many. Much of that pain is unnecessarily caused by the panic driven media, and much caused by the inevitable job losses, income losses, and most of all by the illnesses and deaths of loved ones. But as history shows us, this will pass. And the opportunities created to change our future in America through learning the lessons from this pandemic will diminish as we forget, and life gets back to “normal”. As people get back to work and school, I hope that they will be more secure in their future because their life saving medicines cannot be used as blackmail against them as Americans, because our politicians and drug companies will bring them home and never again allow our citizens to be hostages to our enemies.
As we resume our normal daily lives, I pray that families will have taken the time to reconnect and to enhance their family relationships, and that their “normal” is a new normal of simpler pleasures, and the importance of time and communication and interest in those we love. The hectic craziness of life can be toned down and simplified just enough to let those things in that really matter when all else falls apart; family, friends, relationships and love.
One last note in light of the panic buying and desperation of shoppers due to media hysteria, perhaps help someone with items from the store that they are unable to get for themselves. And in light of the run on toilet paper, should things get bad, I have an abundance of political mail I can donate to the cause.