Editorial - A Look Ahead

2021, our view.





It’s going to be several months before we get back to normal.

By normal, we mean going to movie theaters regularly, dining safely in restaurants filled to capacity, and packed into football stadiums.

The Vaccine is working; but, by one estimate, 90 percent of the population is going to have to get it before we achieve herd immunity. And, there are side effects - often, different side effects for different people. We are, after all, tricking our bodies into thinking we have a mild case of the coronavirus so it produces antibodies to the more serious COVID-19.

We have no use for masks. We can’t stay away from bars and nightclubs and weddings and super-spreaders (a word we hope we never have to say again after this year). By all scientific accounts, this likely is not the only pandemic the human race is going to have to face - the next one may be our last one.

However, by the grace of God, we seem to have a light at the end of this dark tunnel. If we can keep the first responders healthy, and keep the researchers saving our lives through science, we just might make it. We survived a close call.

Sometime in 2021, the government likely is going to hold hearings on what happened and what we can do if it happens again. They should look at our service economy - how we have become so reliant on selling and shipping and servicing goods to each other, rather than actually making things, that we truly endangered lives. If we got the manufacturing economy going again - for instance, Ford introducing the new electric Mustang - we could have a better chance in the next pandemic. Rather than five assembly lines, have one assembly line - at least items would continue to get made and inventoried/shipped and workers could keep their jobs by just rotating on shifts. And, we need to recommit to the Agrarian Economy - one farmer in one combine in one wheat field can feed thousands, while not endangering the person next on the assembly line or next in the fast-food line. 

It’s not going to happen but, perhaps, we need to scale back on watching sports, too. COVID-19 can cause a swelling of the heart (among many other nasty side effects) but we, as a nation, just could not let our athletes remain sidelined. Our demand for their work kept them on the field - except for those who opted out - and with that, it is a minor miracle there were not more of them collapsing on the gridiron, the court, or the pitch. Maybe this is the time we could become more athletic ourselves - rather than just watching. Walk that trail. Shoot that hoop. Bicycle that ribbon of asphalt from one side of town to the other.

Some of those activities are solitary - some provide the team aspects that so many of us seem to crave. In any event, our own fitness might be the key to staving off extinction.

We have lessons to learn, in 2021 and beyond, from COVID-19. Thankfully, as the winter gets darker but the spring is coming, we are learning these before it’s too late.

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