Take a look at life after the COVID-19 pandemic

Published 5:16 pm Thursday, April 23, 2020

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Last weekend, for the most part, was pleasant and I am grateful.

Sunny days with a benign early morning chill. I built a fire to accompany my coffee and the newspapers. You may consider building a fire this time of the year something of a stretch, but there’s nothing like the elixir one gets from indolent flames, the good news-bad news medium that has been a life-long partner along with the potion that awakens America the beautiful every morning. 

However, that may have been the last fire of the season. When the first cloud appears in October, I start my first fall fire, and keep at it until late spring. I feel better and gain inspiration from a fire and want to put the remaining chunks, generously provided by my friend Coleman Hood, to good use as the oncoming high temperatures will dictate that the fireplace becomes inactive. While the virus has pretty much disabled our society, I find that there is a certain serenity in the relaxed pace that it has brought about. There remains a busy workload, but we are realizing we manage. We realize that we can slow down. We can sleep later. We can read more books. We can contemplate what LACV (life after corona virus) will be like.

When the first President Bush spoke after receiving his party’s nomination for President in 1988, he voiced a plea for our nation to become, “kinder and gentler.” 

Perhaps his words will reverberate in our hearts following this national emergency. Likely you have been mulling over what will be priority on your agenda when we reach our new normal.

Wouldn’t it really be nice if we could “…build the world a home and furnish it with love; and grow apple trees and honeybees and snow-white turtle doves?”

 The prosperity we were enjoying. Before an invisible foe brought us to our knees, was nice. Many of us are a beneficiary of those good times, but with prosperity often comes greed, selfishness and arrogance. We aren’t a perfect society, but Americans have, by and large, always been generous and charitable. Patriotism has been our hallmark historically. If we maintain a patriotic overview, never lose the work ethic and underscore faith, hope and charity, we have good reason to expect that this, too, shall pass. 

Along the way, at some juncture in the past, I came across the following statistics which I often refer to: In the stock market crash in 1929, we lost 30 billion dollars. World War II, a dozen years later, we saw war bond drives raise $87.5 billion, roughly one-half the cost of the war. Those stats are both sobering and uplifting.

While I have no insights, no instincts when it comes to the virus and the future, I have faith that scientists such as Ted Ross, Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar and Director of the University of Georgia’s Center for Vaccines and immunology, will find a cure sooner than later. Ted Ross is one of a number of exalted scientists on the UGA campus doing good works for the world.

The University, led by Ross’ team, recently was given a grant of $130 million dollars to develop a vaccine for the flu. As bad as the coronavirus is, consider than more than 50,000 people die each year from the flu—a fact that is lost on so many. While Ross continues to lead his team with the flu vaccine initiative, he and his associates are but one of many researching the dastardly coronavirus. For every Ted Ross, there is a dedicated researcher at every other major university in the country. Scientists around the world are similarly engaged. Let’s not wait for Thanksgiving to be thankful for the Ted Rosses of the world. 

Also, let’s not forget the caregivers who are giving of themselves, the volunteers and the everyday men and women. Not with the same intensity with regard to World War II, but Americans are writing checks for the cause. 

There are 585 billionaires in the U.S. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are always doing their part. Just think what it might do for us if each of them gave one million each for the vaccine effort, especially those who own professional sports teams. Our president is a billionaire. Perhaps, he could give a million and ask all those in his fraternity to match his gift. Research has shown that those who have less give the most, percentage-wise. Maybe those of us keen on athletics will see less bickering and animosity about the money involved when owning and playing a game. Maybe there will be less showboating. Maybe the extending of a helping hand will get higher priority.

If we come out of this with a sobering view, that has to be good. Hopefully arrogance will finally take a back seat.