Photo by Salt Water New England

Sunday, March 22, 2020

New York Times Opinion: America Will Save America.


Some opinions from today's Times:
Governors and mayors, business owners, university presidents, philanthropists, pastors and nonprofit groups of all kinds have taken the initiative to mobilize, guide and protect those they lead and serve.... These are the hallmarks of a horizontal, open society, one that is often inefficient but ultimately more innovative and resilient than closed, top-down systems.... 
Over the longer term... we are better off with as much experimentation and as many leaders as possible... to guide our transition to a very different world. 
For example:
  • Many of the universities that managed to move all classes online [with] its obvious benefits in terms of lower costs and greater inclusion...
  • We are also suddenly living in a world... of drastically reduced plane and car emissions....  
  • [W]e need to invest in more locally based, customized goods and services and supply chains, which are less vulnerable to threats like cyberattacks, natural disasters and disease (not to mention automation).
  • [W]e are seeing a fast forward, to a rudimentary Universal Basic Income... 
We can use this crisis to create a better America. 
- Forget the Trump Administration. America Will Save America. <https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/21/opinion/sunday/coronavirus-governors-cities.html>

And:
[C]an we more surgically minimize the threat of this virus to those most vulnerable while we maximize the chances for as many Americans as possible to safely go back to work as soon as possible... 
Either we let many of us get the coronavirus, recover and get back to work — while doing our utmost to protect those most vulnerable to being killed by it. Or, we shut down for months to try to save everyone everywhere from this virus — no matter their risk profile — and kill many people by other means, kill our economy and maybe kill our future. 
- A Plan to Get America Back to Work, Thomas L. Friedman <https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/22/opinion/coronavirus-economy.html>

19 comments:

  1. A vaccine is the only thing that will halt this disaster. We can try to reduce the effects on society at large, but without a vaccine we are all vulnerable and basically playing Russian roulette.

    Beyond that is the global economic collapse that will effect every single one of us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree! I hope a vaccine is developed soon for all of our sake! I admit I’m very worried about the global economic collapse as a result of shutting down economies. I’m already lagging behind career-wise and financially as a result of graduating right in the middle of the global recession.

      Delete
    2. I think this overlooks the reality. Researchers across the globe are working fast and furious on a vaccine, but its unlikely to come during this round of the virus. Vaccines take time. Think about it this way: if a vaccine were truly able to be developed soon, the market would have rallied on the news. It also would have rallied after the large rate drop last week and today's announcement that the Fed will provide unlimited funds to the market. These things are music to the ears of the market, yet it garners a flat response.

      The market is looking for an effective, transparent response. It doesn't deal in wishful thinking. We would be wise to also be thinking clearly. Once the clown show ends, the market will stabilize.

      Aiken

      Delete
  2. We are staying in our house with the exception of an occasional grocery store run.
    PENN's campus is closed, of course, so I'm finishing my class online, a new experience. Stay safe and well everyone.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am working from home and staying inside with the exception of going out walking twice a day. I am fortunate enough to have a forest with lovely trails right in my neighbourhood.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nature walks help to clear the mind, gives some diversion. I went to a close by park, walking meditations, twice last week while the weather decent.

      Delete
  4. Well, if the anti-malaria drugs that Governor Cuomo will be testing on Tuesday work against the coronavirus then this pandemic will be over in a matter of weeks. Cross our fingers.

    But so far as the "opinion" goes, I think it's naive (and Pollyannaish) to think that we're suddenly going to "transition to a very different world" once this surreal nightmare is past. I predict things will simply return to the way they were a few months ago -- both the sweet and the sour. And this is what the overwhelming majority of us want (if we're honest)-- forget about the "better world" angle -- just give us back our previous lives.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What's "naive (and Pollyannaish)" is the fantasy that "this pandemic will be one in a matter of weeks." And a lot of people also want a better world. Only stupid people want to go back to their "previous lives" having learned nothing.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous March 23, 2020 at 6:26 PM:

      I guess we'll just have to wait and see, won't we, and from your tone I think I know how you would define a "better world?"

      Delete
  5. “When disaster strikes, those with the least lose the most.” Please ponder and pray for people in other places where covid-19 is inevitable. Places where residents wonder where they might get the water needed to regularly wash their hands.

    ReplyDelete
  6. As far as universities moving classes online goes -- which were face-to-face classes not originally developed as either hybrid or fully online classes mind you -- it's not that easy. According to many discussion the last two weeks with colleagues here at Michigan State and further afield at Michigan, many students' lives are already so tenuous/pulled in so many different directions at once/literal train wrecks at 18-22 that they are having real difficulties handling everything and/or even accessing internet service from their homes or new locations, to remain engaged and (hopefully) finish the interrupted semester. We have been asked by our administration to be flexible with reason. As I remarked to a colleague in a meeting last Friday all about just this point, how long are we supposed to wait for them to submit remaining work? July? August? September (the start of Fall '20)? Longer? The current term concludes at the end of April.

    Best Regards,

    Heinz-Ulrich

    ReplyDelete
  7. We must, indeed, all hang together or most assuredly, we shall all hang separately -- Benjamin Franklin

    ReplyDelete
  8. On a happier note, I invite folks to listen to this. It's the Rotterdam Philharmonic. It moved me to tears. Enjoy - Aiken

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eXT60rbBVk&feature=youtu.be

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is why you need reserves. A rainy day fund. So you can ride out the storms that inevitably come along. I used to get some mild ridicule from my friends for not spending more. Now I'm glad I didn't. Live below your means.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I was wondering how the move nearly overnight from face-to-face to online classes was going. Being an online professor, I understand the infrastructure needed. I would surely think that a large school like Michigan State would have at least some online presence already. I wonder how this event will shape the face of higher education for the future...

    ReplyDelete
  11. If my college had closed early due to an event like this I would likely never have met my wife of 45 years. Hard to imagine how my life would have been different since we only really got together a few days before graduation.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh, yes. The infrastructure is there, and we have many hybrid and online courses going already, but suddenly moving what were originally designed as face-to-face courses to 'remote' status in a matter of days is proving to be the challenge for many faculty and, oddly, their students. I've been told by colleagues with that particular knowledge and skill set that developing a dedicated hybrid or online course takes a few months to do it right. Curiously, while the current generation of undergrads is online all of the time via their iPhones and other devices, don't forget, remote teaching and learning seems to be giving many of them considerable trouble. My personal opinion is that it is more an issue of intellectual flexibility and persistence in the face of the unexpected, which really seems to have thrown so many students for a loop. Too comfortable and complacent? Time will tell. The next few weeks should be interesting as the end of the semester approaches and projects come due.

    ReplyDelete