By Steve Hunley
I don’t know of anyone who isn’t eager to return to his/her former life, yet life after the coronavirus may likely be very different.
It will be mighty interesting to see just what kind of conversations our nation will be having in the wake of the virus. We’ve seen the first real pandemic of our lifetimes and there is no question but what things will be different in the future. I doubt there is much one can do in the way of having a cure or vaccine ready until a particular virus is identified, but I wonder if we shouldn’t be having conversations about vaccine research and production for the future.
The rapidity and relentlessness of a pandemic has been amply demonstrated to all thinking people and I wonder if one of the first conversations shouldn’t be about an open borders policy? I’ve noticed a few comments here and there from professional leftists mocking the idea people could bring a virus across a border, which strikes me as being both politically correct and downright stupid. Any virus or contagion usually requires one thing to travel: a host. As the coronavirus began to spread all across the globe, the first thing countries did to protect themselves and their people was to close their borders. It makes it more imperative to have ports of entry for those wishing to come to this country to be examined. That is precisely what was done years ago when people immigrating to this country arrived at Ellis Island.
We also will need to have conversations about delivery of services such as educating our children. In an age where there seems to be more and more emphasis on things other than actually educating a child, we need to have a serious conversation about creating the ability to teach children remotely. If people can do their work remotely, there is no reason we shouldn’t be able to come up with a plan for our children to learn remotely as well. Local superintendents and boards of education would be wise to have a plan ready to deploy in the event of another pandemic.
We need to have a conversation about manufacturing needed drugs and pharmaceuticals in this country, even if it costs more for consumers. This has been a reminder to just how dependent we are on a foreign power and economy to provide millions of Americans with their medications.
The virus has reminded us of other such products we should consider manufacturing for ourselves. It is a reminder of just what could happen if a foreign economy faces turmoil or collapse.
The coronavirus has taken a fearful toll on our country, people and pocketbooks. Repeated pandemics could crash our economy and way of life. It would reduce us to a standard of living nobody wants to think about. I was reminded that almost nobody has lived through such a thing when I saw an article about how someone’s 106-year-old father lived through the Spanish flu over one hundred years ago! We are having to learn and feel our way through this difficult and costly process. Mistakes will be made but much will be learned. Everything that we learn hopefully will help us not make the same mistakes.
If this does not unite our country fundamentally in some way, it may never happen during our lifetimes and perhaps never again in the future. If we do not come together to help our friends, neighbors and country during a time of crisis, I fear we have lost our way, never to find it once again.
As we await a vaccine or cure and for this terrible virus to pass into history, let us be ever mindful of others and our responsibilities to others. Let us be thinking about the future and how we can make that better for everybody. In the meantime it is very important that we continue to talk to each other even if it has to be at a safe distance.