Seeking Hope

Over the last month or so of confinement, I have actively sought to recognize something positive each day.  Although it doesn’t make the crisis go away, it does preserve my mental well-being; gratitude is an essential component of fundamental happiness.  These are often small things: that the rose bush my children gave me for Mother’s Day is blooming, that the air is cleaner, or that we’re receiving far less junk mail every day.

Although I’m missing out on some work opportunities that I was looking forward to, I find that we’re spending much less, so the economic impact on my family isn’t too stressful.  My children are all still employed, though adapting to modified schedules or exclusively telecommuting.  I’m grateful that they are in positions where that is possible.

That said, I fully recognize that not everyone is so fortunate.  There are many people who are unable to work from home, so they’re either forced to risk their health (and that of anyone in their household), or they are unemployed.  Friends who own small businesses have been forced to close, and some may not be able to re-open for weeks or more.

History has shown that, until we have a vaccine or a cure (likely a year or more away for the former), we will likely be faced with a backlash in the coming months that could be even worse than the current infection rate.  Biological sciences is not my strong suit, so I don’t know if the reason is a mutation of the virus, or simply the behavior of human beings liberated from quarantine.  In the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918, it appears to have been a combination of the two.

How will we recover?  While not very uplifting, as the thesis is a decline in how the rest of the world views our country in our response to this crisis, this article plants a seed of hope:


Is it time for a new, New Deal?

Twenty years ago, I couldn’t have imagined myself saying such a thing.  Then again, twenty years ago, there wasn’t such a huge divide between the top 0.1% and the rest of us.

While The New Deal came long before I was born, I recognize that I have benefited from many aspects of it.  Just a couple that come to mind are TVA, which supplies my power and the lakes I enjoy, our interstate highway system, as well as a long list of CCC projects including national parks.

What might a new, New Deal look like?  One of the infrastructure needs that comes to mind is supplying high speed internet throughout the country.  There’s a lot more, but that’s a continuing conversation for another day.

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