As the Covid-19 continues to claim lives across this country, I along with many other well-meaning people look for opportunities to see the forest through the trees. It’s part of my nature. It is also part of what I do for clients every day. I’ve become quite comfortable with it as it is almost second nature at this point.
That said, this pandemic rightfully makes me uneasy. Not that I can’t see the country getting to the other side of this crisis, but the choices we make to get there may leave some in unsettled waters. Unlike the proverbial phrase “yin and yang”, which is the ancient Chinese philosophy that symbolizes the intersection between black and white, good and evil, the Covid-19 position between right and wrong is not so easy to distinguish.
I wish that was not the case, and that it is easy to discern if our policies during this horrific pandemic will be on the right side of history. Are we as individuals, business leaders, health providers, social activists, community influencers and, of course, our elected officials, doing what is best for all of Americans?
I read an article recently that suggests “…what is unfolding in the United States is a battle between those who want to save lives and those who want to save livelihoods”. The premise is that the economic turn-down is so massive “…it is not only impacting the health of the economy but also health on a broader scale."
President Trump is “strongly” in that camp. It’s a legitimate position and certainly easy to see how allowing businesses to reopen early encourages the economy and serves as a necessary “means to an end”. Fair analysis of “The Tax Cut and Jobs Act” signed in 2017 primarily benefited corporate America but the more recent SBA Paycheck Protection Program and other government initiatives enacted in response to Covid-19, can be credited as helping businesses keep their workforce employed.
Keeping the economy strong is important but saving lives must be paramount. That means, society has the responsibility to embrace economic and health policies that recognize and protect all people. Let us not mourn the death count without calculating the mental anguish for tens of thousands of families that were restricted from hospital rooms while loved ones labored with death. Let us not count the survivor rates without accounting for remaining physical conditions and medical expenses for the survivors and their families.
Some of us in America are more fortunate than others. Let us remember the truck drivers who deliver important products, emergency personnel who answer the calls, the teachers who teach our children and yes, hourly wage earners who clean facilities or serve meals with smiles as they themselves are financially vulnerable and stressed by the potential calamity of medical and emotional bankruptcy.
There are no easy answers for society. Some things are just not in our control. But this is a wake-up call for those that can make a difference for themselves, their families and communities. Develop an economic and strategic plan that recognizes life’s unexpected events like temporary and permanent job lost, business and market turn-downs, government cut-backs, personal and family emergencies, health and long-term care needs, and much more.
This was not our first unplanned life event. It won’t be our last. Let our legacy be built on the preparations we made, the work we did, the lessons we learned and the generations we made stronger because we took time to care.
It’s Your Life…Plan for it.
Eric D. Bailey
* source – Gazettenet.com Published 5/25/20