To the Editor:
With all of the scary news around COVID, I wanted to help us look at the silver lining of this crisis. Here are eight positive aspects of the COVID crisis.
1) We are looking out for the most vulnerable in our society. For people who are relatively young and healthy, COIVD means a nasty cold but is otherwise generally not life-threatening. For the elderly, for people with other medical conditions, and for people without access to advanced medical care, COVID could be a death sentence.It's for these vulnerable people that people are taking action, and not for themselves.
2) We are wasting less food. With shortages in the stores and the full impact of the virus yet uncertain, we are wasting less.When you don't know if the store is going to have another loaf of bread the butts don't seem quite as unappetizing as they did before. Our land of plenty has led to wasteful habits for many of us. Being faced with the reality that food is indeed a finite resource will help us all appreciate it.
3) Our supply chains will be more robust. In many industries supply chains have grown fragile as companies seek to lower costs with offshoring and less inventory. With the relative geopolitical stability of the last decade, it has been very easy to ignore the risks associated with a global supply chain. This crisis has forced companies to take a hard look at the threats to their supply chain and to make improvements that will help prevent a worse crisis in the future.
4) We are taking care of one another. Tonight, all across America, people are reaching out to friends, neighbors, and family to make sure they are all right. That they have enough food and water (and toilet paper), or any other needs.
Individuals and neighborhoods, in-person and online, people are going out of their way to help make sure the people around them are taken care of.
5) Companies are being good citizens. Corporations get a bad rap, as a notorious few tend to get the headlines. In this case, however, many many companies large and small are doing what it takes to take of their employees and customers. Extended paid leave for people affected by the virus or school closures.
Providing useful products and sanitizers when the stores run out. Work from home options to minimize social contact.Innovating how they do business to ensure customers can still access their products when they need them. Industries cooperating to make sure that scarce resources are used effectively. American companies are standing up big time during this crisis to help people.
6) People are realizing just what a small world it is. Back in December, there was talk of a novel disease in a city in China that most Americans couldn't pick out on a map.Three months later, that disease is on nearly every continent and every town, big or small, in America. This drives home just how small the world truly is and how interconnected we are.
This realization will inspire us all to be better global citizens.
7) Families are spending more time together. Schools are closed, so are restaurants, movie theaters, museums, and every other form of mass entertainment. On top of that, the internet is slow because of all the people working from home. All of that means that we will be getting to know our families better over the next few weeks. This is a very good thing.
8) We are finally paying attention to stopping germs. Every year influenza and other 'minor' diseases kill hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. Many of those people could be saved if we were collectively better about washing our hands, covering our coughs & sneezes, and other basic preventative measures. It is unfortunate that it takes a pandemic to change behaviors, but the habits we adopt during this scare will mean longer lives for thousands of people.
Brian Jeffrey Govern