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Four Coronavirus Developments with a Hopeful Angle

Jeff Hall

Posted on March 18, 2020 16:24

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It's hard to think of much good to say about what's happening in the time of coronavirus. But I can think of four big and potentially positive trends that might emerge from all this.

There are at least four coronavirus-related positives I can think of right now.

1) In response to the coronavirus medical emergency, people are suddenly thinking big about what’s possible, what’s doable – what’s necessary. 

It seems like policymakers have, for years, been tinkering around the edges -- often hemmed in by political gridlock.  Coronavirus is changing all that:

a) I think the public/private partnership announced by President Trump looks strong.  By getting Walgreens, Walmart, CVS, Target, Google and other private companies -- test equipment makers, care providers and the like -- involved, we can divide and conquer and deliver services, town by town.

b) There is no way the government could move this quickly and do so much on its own.  Maybe things got off to a slow start, but things are moving now.

c) If we succeed at minimizing the impacts of coronavirus by taking bold action, maybe our elected officials can start applying "big problems need big solutions" thinking other big issues like making the shift to renewable energy, fixing our roads and bridges, streamlining healthcare and tackling income inequality.  Tiny, incremental ideas won't cut it.

d) I think this "forced transition" to telecommuting will pay dividends down the road.  Why do we all work in offices miles from home?  If half of us worked from home -- or if we worked from home half the time -- street traffic would go way down.

e) Money -- or lack thereof -- will be a huge issue for years to come. Fixing the economy will require big thinking, too.

2) It feels like partisanship is taking a back seat for now:

a) Democrats and Republicans are working together on a huge medical response; things are getting done, without a lot of petty infighting.

b) Democrats and Republicans are working on a financial bailout. Andrew Yang’s ideas are alive and well, now embraced by all.  There will be no evictions at least through April.

c) Instances of “attack tweets,” finger-pointing and name-calling from the president seem to be down.  This behavior hasn’t disappeared altogether, but the trend is promising.

d) I hear the word “unity” being used a lot more these days – both from Joe Biden AND Donald Trump.  That’s a change.

 3) People seem nicer.

a) There's a local online message board I subscribe to called NextDoor: I'm seeing lots of “Anyone need help?”-type messages.

b) Yesterday my wife and I took a walk.  Another couple was approaching from the opposite direction.  I jokingly called out, “Maintain your distance!”  Without missing a beat, one shot back: “Don’t even LOOK at me!”

c) I saw a great story in the LA Times about a guy collecting and giving away toilet paper.  He stands on a street corner and people with extra toilet paper hand it out their car window.  If someone needs toilet paper, he hands that person a roll -- free of charge. 

Here's the story: https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-03-15/an-unlikely-hero-surfer-sets-up-toilet-paper-exchange-on-encinitas-street-corner

4) It feels like God is telling us something. 

Will we listen?

 

Jeff Hall

Posted on March 18, 2020 16:24

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Source: Daily Mail
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Richard Horton, editor of the prestigious medical journal The Lancet, dismissed talk of society being shut down for a year....

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