It’s over a week since the coronavirus odyssey began for my family. To say the least, the experience has been harrowing for my loved ones, as well as millions of people around the world. Many crazy thoughts have run through my mind, reminiscent of 9/11. I thought I might share some of them with you.
Frankly this whole episode is nothing short of a science fiction horror story. The entire global community is being subjected to a killer virus that emanated from deep within China. The Chinese kept the bug a secret and attempted to deal with a rapidly growing epidemic without soliciting the help of other countries. An effort to save face was a disaster as the virus spread like wildfire. An opportunity for the entire world to get its arms around the disease early was lost because of the hubris of our Asian counterparts.
There are many individuals that may become heroes or goats in the battle against the coronavirus, and its derivative impact on the world economy. The worst potential offender, besides China, is president Trump, who actually believes he can will the disease away. False hope and claims of doing a great job fill the newspapers and airwaves every day. But everybody knows it’s all exaggeration and self-aggrandizement. Trump wants to save the economy by bestowing unrealistic expectations about our ability to stem the pandemic. Hopefully, the president will finally set aside his own ego and just find a way to give comfort to those that need hospital beds and ventilators. He needs to be a strong unselfish leader, a large ask for this man.
It would be unfair to underestimate the strength of the worldwide health community and the ingenuity of doctors, researchers and pharma companies. But unlike a political war where man kills man, Mother Nature is a truly formidable adversary with absolutely no empathy for human life and suffering. A strain of flu has overwhelmed the world, and we need to empirically, logistically and medically cut through deep underbrush to confront the world’s affliction.
But heroes are distinguishing themselves with wisdom, confidence and a will to work with others. Doctors are ramrodding new potential cures and treatments through the system, and our great financial minds are ensuring that enough money will be available to fight a recession and provide for those who are being devastated financially. There is nothing like the American spirit when we have a common enemy. Political distrust and bad blood are being set aside for the greater good.
The most important thing that individual Americans can do to get the country, and the world, back on track is to heed the warnings of the experts. What we don’t need are renegade and undisciplined young people living for today and spreading infection. We need everyone to isolate and retard the growth of the virus. We need people to wash their hands regularly. Simple things will save lives.
Our intestinal fortitude is being challenged. Humans are social animals that need companionship. The fight against this virus is counter to our basic needs. For several weeks, we need to stay away from each other and avoid crowds. It’s unnatural but essential.
Last night I lamented to my family that being quarantined was really getting to me. I felt great anxiety, and cabin fever was setting in. I needed to dig deep with help from those I love the most.
Generally, I’m not willing to let others tell me what to do or how to behave. I’m the master of my own life. But this virus is a new kind of challenge that will make our country stronger in every conceivable way if we are diligent. It will take some time, but not that long before we will once again live the American dream.