The Coronavirus has taken a strong hold on the world, including America and the American economy. This virus originated in China in early January when a few individuals ate a bat. This gave them a new virus, something that has never been seen before, thus there was no vaccine or treatment. The virus spread wildly through China and then on to other countries.
Several weeks ago, President Trump banned all travel from China. Last week he banned all travel from Europe. It was too late. To date, 4,816 cases have been diagnosed in America and just under 100 have died. So, last week the government recommended limiting crowds of more than 250 individuals, then 100 individuals over the weekend and today 50 individuals. Universities went to online classes. Here in Michigan, the governor closed all k-12 schools for three weeks and cancelled all sporting events. Restaurants, bars, libraries, health clubs, movie theaters… have been closed. As of today, the financial markets are down 29% from its highs just three weeks ago.
In the history of this country, nothing like this has ever happened. Think about it. We have had pandemics before, world wars, the great depression, Pearl Harbor, Bay of Pigs, September 11, 2001… life just went on. America has never shut down like this. Schools have never been cancelled like this. It is unprecedented. History will tell us if shutting down the economy was worth it. As of now, I have no opinion (other than being incredibly sad that March Madness was canceled and my retirement account is down big time). Maybe we over-reacted, maybe we saved thousands of lives.
Joe’s Perspective: So, here we are. We have learned a new word, “Social distancing.” Most of us are isolated at home. We can’t go anywhere because there is no place to go. Everything is cancelled. Our role as citizens is to reduce the spread of this virus. For the most part, we have accepted this role.
On Saturday, I told my four daughters what I will tell you here. “We have to find a way to make the most of this time. 22 days from now, I don’t want us to say that we just let this time get away from us. This is an opportunity to get a lot accomplished. We need to set some goals.” So, we limited T.V. ipads, cell phones… We set goals for academics, physical fitness, family time, outdoor activities…
My wish for you is the same. Don’t let this time get away from you. Use this time wisely. Work out, get a head in a particular subject from school, read a book, help your parents complete a house project, spend time with a sibling… Obviously, I can’t come up with these goals for you. You need to do that on your own. If you don’t set goals and show some discipline, you just might find that your time off was a waste. So, stay safe, be smart, relax, but also put your time to good use.
Your Turn: Have you set any goals for your time off? If so, what are you focusing on?