Some pundit once said: “Life’s greatest lessons are often learned in the worst of times.”
It’s probably too soon to write all the lessons learned from this dreadful COVID-19 crisis. On the other hand, it’s been said that journalism is the first draft of history. Willy-nilly, it’s probably a good time for all of us to start thinking about what we’ve learned from this horrific event in world history. Here’s what I’ve been thinking.
· Doctors, nurses and first responders have been our frontline soldiers and frontline soldiers need immediate access to the best equipment available.
· So many senior citizens didn’t have to die in U.S. nursing homes. What happened?
· Our public health system and infrastructure hasn’t measured up to first-world quality.
· As citizens in a pandemic, we are either part of the problem or part of the solution.
· It has been hard for people to understand how in crisis to come together as a society when the prescription is social distancing.
· Governors have been invaluable strategic leaders in the regional attack plans against the pandemic.
· Truth has proven to be the surest path to survival. Equivocation the surest path to failure.
· As the narrative of the pandemic unfolds, history will be the judge of how well our leaders responded.
· People living in areas of bad air pollution endured higher death rates.
· It’s no longer a question of whether or not globalization, Covid-19 confirms it.
· The disadvantaged have suffered disproportionately. How do we fix this?
· Our country desperately needs a safety net that catches all our citizens.
· Universal access to broadband for alerts and learning is a national security issue.
The most critical lessons we have yet to learn in this crisis revolve around restarting the largest and most powerful economic engine in the world. It is a challenge that begs for all hands to be on deck when the viral residue makes us reluctant to join hands. I’m excited to see what leadership emerges to put the wind back in our sails.
John F. Kennedy once made an interesting observation relevant to the challenges we face today, and it burns with optimism. He said, “ When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.” I chose to see great opportunities in the future of our country.
Bill Sims lives in Hillsboro, is an author, and with his wife runs a small farm in Berrysville. He is a former educator, executive and foundation president.