When you are young you are invincible. As a small child you don’t know fear. As you supposedly mature, you know it but consider yourself Superman or Woman in oh so many ways. Growing older older still, you find sanity replaces stupidity. You put on a coat of armor to face the world and it seems to work.
No one in their wildest dreams could have imagined the havoc that has been wrought on us not only as a young nation but an entire globe as we know it. That incredibly microscopic COVID virus has brought powerful nations, billionaires, manufacturers, store chains and the average resident of this planet earth to a complete halt. Bravados have been silenced and fingers are being pointed. We are all fraying at the seams.
Our beliefs and attitudes are being challenged. Where did we go wrong? How do we pick up the pieces. I will try to give you a few on my hit list. How about yours?
Globalization, cooperation and common markets were supposed to be our panacea. Connected by land, sea and the web we were intertwined without national boundaries. The biggest mover of these was China who posed an unlimited marketplace for our goods and a cheap labor force to drive down prices and maximize profits. They could make anything.
To get all this business done, we created larger, faster and cheaper modes of transportation from gigantic jets to bullet trains. Cross country or cross global was a necessity not a convenience. And places like Wuhan, that no one ever heard of, were very much a part of our narrative…like it or not.
China became a player because we were begging them to do so. We created a stage for a country that wanted to regain its international status and before we knew it they were stealing the show. We welcomed them with open arms but failed to remember the lesson of the Trojan Horse. They play our game but not by our rules.
In spite of the virus we have the world’s greatest pharmaceutical brains to combat anything. If you can implant hearts and other body parts, how is a stupid microbe going to bring us down? Those brilliant scientists have cured Restless Legs Syndrome and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. What else is there as we sleep snug in our beds?
We have taken education as a whole for granted. We insert our kids in one end in kindergarten and in sixteen or seventeen years out comes a finished product to enter society. Nobody really thought about teachers. No one questioned the syllabus. Just get it done. But I ask you how many of us would now question a college education costing $50-75,000 per annum as to its efficacy? You can get the same lecture on line all over the country. What do Ivies, Buckeyes or Trojans really cost? Have we got to rethink all of this?
We don’t think a thing about putting an order in on Amazon or the like. The guy rings your doorbell the same day in many cases. Yet we have the total dysfunction in the process of getting food from the field to your table. People are seriously challenged at food banks all over the country and we have farmers plowing under entire plantings because either they have no one to pick it or transport the goods to were they are needed. That ad from UPS about “Logistics” keeps ringing in my ears.
For decades there has been an exodus from rural America and even the suburbs to the conveniences of the big city. Close to work, entertainment, restaurants and mass transit all were part of the siren’s call. Now people are leaving like rats deserting sinking ship. Country homes are being scooped up outside of big metro areas. So much for mingling with the masses.
The local paper here in LaLa Land is heralding an upcoming golf match with four PGA pros for charity. Rory McElroy commented on how much demand there was for the public to view live golf once again. And he is right. Golf aficionados would love to curl up on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon to watch shot after shot. Ditto football, baseball et al.
Without getting too heavy duty, this to me is one of the biggest chinks and believe me, the hole in mine you could drive a truck through. How much time do we spend on totally inane things? Kids with cartoon and action games. Adults with mindless hours binge watching the latest stream. Facebook, Instagram and emails. For some crazy reason we will spend hours on the above but can’t find the time for writing a letter or just meditating.
Right now I am sidelined with the remnants of some surgery on my eyelid. I am out of commission for anywhere from 4-6 weeks. No discomfort just waiting for the healing process which is a pain in itself. No golf et al. But I do walk four to five miles a day. In a strange way I get into a “Walker’s High” and think as the paths and landscape roll by. I will pick a topic and try to think it through. Today’s was the blog I am writing.
What kept ringing in my poor brain was this concept of how jaded I have become. Life on automatic so to speak. I have my Kevlar on and no one can touch me. If you have ever donned any sort of body armor you realize there are spots you can’t cover. Arms, ankles, neck and parts of your face. No matter how smug you feel, you are vulnerable.
I finished my walk thinking that the armor is my way of coping and saying everything is alright. But when you get right down to it there is a lot as above in this world to screw up our serenity. I think that is called reality. We better get used to it.
Ted the Great
There will be very little campaigning for the presidency and the there is it will be at a distance. This is encouraging except for the fact that TV and Internet advertising will be on steroids.
Netflix, Disney and Amazon Prime are running out of new shows to stream. Seems the sheltering in place even affects even movie sets.
Tourism. People will want to vacation but getting there is the problem. People will be very averse to taking trains and planes. It will take a hearty soul to take a cruise anytime soon.
Working from home could have serious impacts as companies won’t need as much office space, there will be a curtailment of business travel and even business clothing being less needed.
The age of telemedicine may be upon us. The advent of monitoring devices for everything from blood pressure and heartbeat have been around but now will be connected to the physicians office.
A triple convergence of Brexit, the U.S. China trade war and now Covid-19 will reshape the world’s manufacturing supply chains