With an abundance of caution.
It’s a term we’ve seen multiple times a day. It prefaces any announcement of impending changes wrought by the war we are waging against the spread of coronavirus.
Many other terms are oft-repeated, and I will be glad when that dissipates: monitoring, self-quarantine, recommendations, social distancing. Indeed it has changed our language in addition to our lifestyle.
We have also seen the full range of human emotions, from downright skepticism to full-on sky-is-falling panic.
We have seen businesses adjust their models to try and survive this through innovation. Their resilience will be a great testament to how we fare through all this.
We have seen educators and families adapt to a new reality in teaching without a classroom. Many of their efforts are truly inspiring.
We have seen organizations try to shift gears almost by the minute to try to craft the correct response. Meet or not. Open or close. Cancel, scale back or postpone events.
I do believe that everyone with whom I do business electronically has sent a COVID-19 email update of some sort – banks and credit card companies, department stores, delivery services, online shopping venues and many more. I’m convinced the same person wrote the first three sentences in all of them.
We have seen the best of humanity as neighbor pitches in to help neighbor, and the worst as the horror stories keep coming about the life-and-death struggle for toilet paper.
That neighbor-to-neighbor effort goes far beyond the folks next door to include an entire community pitching in to see that education continues, and that senior citizens and others have adequate food and other needed resources.
One of the great drawbacks to social distancing is that we are, by and large, social creatures. While we attend church to have certain needs met and civic groups for another and community events for another, they all fall under the same category of “getting out to see folks.”
Facetime and live streaming are good substitutes but can go only so far.
This may be the greatest loss during the pandemic, more than economic losses, which could prove to be staggering, the loss of most human contact.
(It should be noted that the governor did not include churches in his 10-person limit declaration due to freedom of religion, but churches are being necessarily cautious.)
One of the numerous unknowns is the question, “How long can we stand this before cabin fever sets in?”
Let’s hope it’s long enough.
In the mean time we will soldier on to produce a weekly newspaper. If you buy it from the various locations where it is sold retail, please practice all precautions.