March 13, 2020-
As it happened, Friday the Thirteenth saw the climate of upheaval hit a pause button,at least as far as society as a whole was concerned. Of course, COVID19 has yet to run its course, and many are out of work, however temporarily. Remedies,though, are in the offing, both medically and economically. Perhaps, by next Tuesday, toilet tissue will be on the shelves, for more than an hour, again and there will be a sense of recommitment to work and study, as colleges and universities at least adjust to online curricula and some level of financial support comes from a Congress that is intending to work through the worst of the crisis.
This is the first open-ended challenge that humanity, as a whole, has had in a good many years. The other such calamities had human faces: The Axis Powers; Mao’s Cultural Revolution; September, 2001’s terrorist attacks. There were natural catastrophes that were more specific, in terms of dates and locations: Each of the last three viral epidemics; the hurricanes of 2005-until present; the great wildfires and ensuing floods; the many tornadoes, most recently those that hit central Tennessee.
It is being,and will be, handled better than at the onset. Governments are learning that the commitment to public welfare needs to be specific, all hands on deck and long-term. The people are learning that there are times, when being physically distant is an act of love. Both institutions and individuals are learning to trust science.
We are learning what the Gold Standard, in institutional and social life, actually means.