Here we are at the beginning of May, several weeks into a new social distancing way of life. 

I think about my sociology classes taken years ago at Kent State University and a term I learned there, “social mores” (pronounced môr′āz′, -ēz), comes to mind.  Wikipedia defines “social mores” as social norms that are widely observed within a particular society or culture.   We are now learning appropriate etiquette for navigating in the new reality of living with COVID-19 in our communities. 

Gone, quite possibly for a long time, are the days of a cordial handshake or hug as we greet each other.  Venturing out in public without a facemask is now considered impolite and disrespectful of our neighbors and fellow shoppers in grocery stores. 

While we can embrace technological advances that allow us to have virtual meetings and “share screens” to discuss what we would normally discuss in person, this is not as convivial as getting together in an office setting or coffee shop.   

I was re-reading some articles in the Wall Street Journal recently to review the timeline of events that has led us to where we are today with regard to this pandemic we are experiencing.  As recently as January 8, 2020, in the Wall Street Journal, there was an article titled, “New Virus Discovered by Chinese Scientists Investigating Pneumonia Outbreak.”  At that time, there were “only” 59 people sickened with the coronavirus in Wuhan with seven in critical condition and no deaths reported.  This January 8th article goes on to state that “the disease afflicting patients in Wuhan hasn’t been transmitted from human to human, and health-care workers have remained uninfected, according to city health officials, suggesting that what is sickening them is for now less virulent than SARS.”   Today, April 27th, at the time of this writing, we have over three million cases of coronavirus worldwide. 

Contrast the January 8th Wall Street Journal article to an article that appeared in the April 27th Wall Street Journal by Dr. Scott Gottleib, titled, “America Needs to Win the Vaccine Race.”  He delivers an important message, for sure.  Dr. Gottleib makes three very important statements at the end of this article.  “1. It is now evident that public health is now part of national security.  2. A successful vaccine will allow Americans to reclaim the country’s safety and sovereignty.  3. The first country to reach this prize will be the first nation to recover.”  

Perhaps we are on a dawn of a new industrial revolution here in the United States as we, for national security reasons, bring back manufacturing to our domestic shores.  Perhaps we are on the cusp of major breakthroughs in the world of medicine as our doctors and scientists work on a vaccine for COVID-19.   We have all had to change our daily routines both professionally and personally over the past several weeks.  While this has been cumbersome, perhaps by hitting the “pause” button on the path the U.S. was taking with China and other countries, we, domestically, might be able to create a new reality that will provide a more abundant future than we would have otherwise had. 

I am here to talk by phone or video conference.  I welcome the day when it will not be too risky to have an in-person meeting, a hug or a handshake.  In the interim, let’s wear our face masks and do what we need to do to stop the spread of coronavirus so that we may have a bright and abundant future. 

 __________________________________________________________________________

[1] Khan, Natasha. ”New Virus Discovered by Chinese Scientists Investigating Pneumonia Outbreak.” The Wall Street Journal, 8 Jan 2020.

[2]Gottlieb, Scott. “America Needs to Win the Vaccine Race.” The Wall Street Journal, 26 Apr 2020.

 

Here we are at the beginning of May, several weeks into a new social distancing way of life. 

I think about my sociology classes taken years ago at Kent State University and a term I learned there, “social mores” (pronounced môr′āz′, -ēz), comes to mind.  Wikipedia defines “social mores” as social norms that are widely observed within a particular society or culture.   We are now learning appropriate etiquette for navigating in the new reality of living with COVID-19 in our communities. 

Gone, quite possibly for a long time, are the days of a cordial handshake or hug as we greet each other.  Venturing out in public without a facemask is now considered impolite and disrespectful of our neighbors and fellow shoppers in grocery stores. 

While we can embrace technological advances that allow us to have virtual meetings and “share screens” to discuss what we would normally discuss in person, this is not as convivial as getting together in an office setting or coffee shop.   

I was re-reading some articles in the Wall Street Journal recently to review the timeline of events that has led us to where we are today with regard to this pandemic we are experiencing.  As recently as January 8, 2020, in the Wall Street Journal, there was an article titled, “New Virus Discovered by Chinese Scientists Investigating Pneumonia Outbreak.”  At that time, there were “only” 59 people sickened with the coronavirus in Wuhan with seven in critical condition and no deaths reported.  This January 8th article goes on to state that “the disease afflicting patients in Wuhan hasn’t been transmitted from human to human, and health-care workers have remained uninfected, according to city health officials, suggesting that what is sickening them is for now less virulent than SARS.”   Today, April 27th, at the time of this writing, we have over three million cases of coronavirus worldwide. 

Contrast the January 8th Wall Street Journal article to an article that appeared in the April 27th Wall Street Journal by Dr. Scott Gottleib, titled, “America Needs to Win the Vaccine Race.”  He delivers an important message, for sure.  Dr. Gottleib makes three very important statements at the end of this article.  “1. It is now evident that public health is now part of national security.  2. A successful vaccine will allow Americans to reclaim the country’s safety and sovereignty.  3. The first country to reach this prize will be the first nation to recover.”  

Perhaps we are on a dawn of a new industrial revolution here in the United States as we, for national security reasons, bring back manufacturing to our domestic shores.  Perhaps we are on the cusp of major breakthroughs in the world of medicine as our doctors and scientists work on a vaccine for COVID-19.   We have all had to change our daily routines both professionally and personally over the past several weeks.  While this has been cumbersome, perhaps by hitting the “pause” button on the path the U.S. was taking with China and other countries, we, domestically, might be able to create a new reality that will provide a more abundant future than we would have otherwise had. 

I am here to talk by phone or video conference.  I welcome the day when it will not be too risky to have an in-person meeting, a hug or a handshake.  In the interim, let’s wear our face masks and do what we need to do to stop the spread of coronavirus so that we may have a bright and abundant future. 

 __________________________________________________________________________

[1] Khan, Natasha. ”New Virus Discovered by Chinese Scientists Investigating Pneumonia Outbreak.” The Wall Street Journal, 8 Jan 2020.

[2]Gottlieb, Scott. “America Needs to Win the Vaccine Race.” The Wall Street Journal, 26 Apr 2020.