One upside of the pandemic has been a renewed focus on personal hygiene, something the many of us–myself included–often neglected prior to COVID-19. But despite my best efforts, I’m sick…we are not invincible.
Over the years, the stress of running a business, lack of sleep, and poor hygiene habits have led a compromised immune system and frequent colds. This year has been a welcome relief. Simple steps like thoroughly washing my hands before touching food and actively avoiding touching my face have left me sickness-free all year. What a wonderful change of pace, even as the virus permeates around us and my stress-levels have reached all-time highs.
But my streak ran out this week. My son is in preschool and came home with a cold. I got it. My wife got it. My daughter got it. Now we all have it. It isn’t much…runny nose, cough…but it’s amazing how foreign this seems when you have been well for so long.
(as an aside, the coronavirus test came back negative…we checked)
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News that President Trump, his wife, and top aides have contracted COVID-19 is not exactly surprising considering how bold the president has been in disregarding social distancing and mask protocol that may not always stop the virus, but certainly acts as barriers to it.
While I send my prayers for speedy recover to the President, it has once-again highlighted that COVID-19 is real, particularly to the man who downplayed its significance.
There should be no victory lap that Trump is sick. But I do hope the incident leads to a bit of self-reflection and humility. Despite being in several high-risk groups, I expect the POTUS to make a full recovery. I also doubt it will have an impact on the outcome of the election.
It should, however, have an impact on how we approach the virus. Going back to spring, I bemoaned that authorities have treated this virus not just as a health problem, but a political problem. Indeed, it has become a political problem…a big one…but it did not start that way and need not stay that way.
It’s time for a little national unity. Let’s take this virus seriously both from a pathological perspective and an economic perspective. A cost/benefit analysis should have been avoided, but here we are. By taking it seriously, we can best overcome it. That starts by recognizing it is real. By federal, state, and local governments working together, we can create a national testing regime that will minimize risk and provide the same level of testing that the President enjoys now. That will inspire confidence in the economy, open borders, and bring back travel.
We’ve been isolating for a few days and are all feeling much better today. Hopefully by tomorrow we’ll be fully better. Sleep is the most important antidote to the cold. But unity inspired by shared purpose is the most important antidote for our very sick United States of America. Without being hopelessly naive, I hope that one upside to the this dreadful week will be a bit of humility and a pivoting toward solutions, even in the midst of a contentious presidential election. Voters will hold leaders accountable for their actions. That is the essence of our duty as voters. But seeking consensus even now should not be seen as antithetical to that endeavor.