I would be lying if I said I have not felt a shiver, or sporadic avalanche, of anxiety over the last few weeks. The overwhelming flow of activities concerning the coronavirus is hard to ignore. Family and friends losing their jobs, business owner friends sweating as they work to stay in business and keep their employees employed, voluntary self-contained friends overshadowed by an unconstitutional stay-at-home edict, the stock market’s roller coaster ride, never ending news coverage of anything related to the virus, and more. To deflect the skipping of a heartbeat, I take a deep breath and say a prayer. These brief pauses bring peace and hope as I know I am in God’s hands.
The first set of emergency orders brought closure of schools. This resulted in anxiety for many parents for two reasons: how to care for their children during the day and what is their educational path for the remaining school year? Although there has been a tremendous amount of initial tension in many of these households, families are adapting. Workspace can be shared with school desks. Parents are learning that their children do not need to be confined in a school building to learn. In Colorado, we have our own science lab right outside our door to study biology, geology, and the star-studded sky. With virtual classrooms [see notes at end of article] parents can be assisted and assured that their students are advancing intellectually and appropriately. Additionally, they can witness the imaginative creativity and curiosity sought by their students.
The parents are faced with anxiety as the emergency orders also involve closure of many businesses by the government not deemed “essential,” and therefore many of their jobs and income are temporarily erased with the potential to be permanent. The ability to provide for their families is threatened every day that goes by as we wait for the stay-at-home orders to be lifted and some fraction of normalcy regains traction. President Trump and Congress just passed a stimulus package to help families, individuals and businesses bring back jobs on a permanent basis. A job is the greatest gift an individual can receive as it enables them to reach their greatest potential.
Although it is hard for all to acknowledge, there is a shining light in current business activity. We cannot ignore the detrimental economic impact on the restaurant, hotel, entertainment, and airline industries, to name a few, due to the coronavirus policies put in place by the government. However, other industries are experiencing dramatic growth, most notable in the healthcare, online businesses (Amazon to Zoom), grocery stores, and supply chain distribution. Due to limited supply of medical supplies (i.e., ventilators), drugs, food and basic daily items, many burdensome and expensive government regulations are being lifted to expedite delivery by the trucking industry. Although the FDA was very slow to respond, it is accelerating the review and approval of new drugs, tests and production of medical equipment, including ventilators, by relaxing or eliminating regulations. Private healthcare and medical companies have proven to be indispensable in bringing necessary equipment and care to those in need. Telemedicine, with restrictive policies lifted, is becoming an acceptable practice of medicine. In Colorado, licenses and certifications from other states are being honored. Regulatory burdens are being dismantled brick by brick.
We are also seeing the innovation of our minds as unsuspecting industries are crossing over into new territory, and sometimes with an avid competitor. It is in our DNA to strive for excellence. Here in Colorado a company in Frederick, H2 Manufacturing Solution, is manufacturing with the assistance of Colorado Tech Shop Inc. printed 3D free masks for non-medical personnel because “it is the right thing to do.” Aytu BioScience, Inc., in Englewood, has begun distributing the first of 100,000 rapid tests that will give results within 2-10 minutes. Apple is donating millions of N95 masks. Ford and GE Healthcare are partnering to produce ventilators. My Pillow Mike Lindell responded to President Trump’s call to action stating his company will produce face masks to protect medical workers.
The kindness of our fellow man is exhibited unselfishly. Childcare is being provided to our medical staff and other first responders. Packaged goods are being left for emergency room staff. Neighbors are checking in on older residents to make sure they have medicine, food, and other essentials. The White Envelope project was started by a supportive gentleman encouraging others to take a white envelope, place a few dollars in it, and slide it in the mail slot of your favorite business/restaurant with a short note to let the owner it is for all the employees. Rex Moore of Rock River Ranches in Colorado supplied bison meat to restaurants and lost 80% of his business. Moore went on social media to see if anyone could help him. He received over 2,000 order requests in a few days, which is more than three times his restaurant orders in a month. We no longer take for granted our normal resources of food, clothing, toiletries, heat, etc., nor the people working on our behalf to provide these goods.
We must stay positive and deflect the arrows that are constantly shot our way in our current situation. We are all a product of our mind and our thoughts. Feed the mind with positive activity, we thrive. Look for the good in ourselves, and in our family and friends. Disruption can lead us to new and more fulfilling adventures.
It is hard to believe that three weeks ago I was in Chicago visiting my soon-to-be 90-year-old dad. The word “coronavirus” was barely heard. My dad was and continues to be completely unwavering in changing his lifestyle. I believe that it is because he had been challenged and experienced the fragility of life many years prior to this pandemic. He has seen the American spirit act in adverse situations. Courage triumphs fear. The American spirit is blessed with resiliency and perseverance to conquer the worst that one may face, even if the evil is invisible. Breathe. At this time, we do not know how this pandemic will end. Join us believers. Know that God is with us as He instructs us:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7). And know in our asking, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God” (Luke 18:27).
Notable online links that are educational and entertaining:
Open Culture: openculture.com Last week The National Emergency Library made available 1.5 million books free. Also includes: 1300 free online classes; movies; ebooks; textbooks; language lessons; free business courses; free K-12 education.
The Kennedy Center Video Digital Library: https://www.kennedy-center.org/digitalstage/digital-library/Search/?SearchText=hamilton&Genre=&Theme=&ActiveTab=Performances&SortColumn=Name&SortDirection=Ascending
Ibooks is offering a number of free books.
Two apps for online books and movies through your county library: Tumble Books and Hoopla
Down Dog, top rated yoga site, offers free levels of yoga for the next month: Yoga for Beginners, HIIT, Barre, etc.: downdogapp.com