A Global Teachable Moment and a Bag of Carrots

My wife came home from work yesterday with her computer and other desk supplies in a box. Today she starts working from home. That’s my gig. We now have two home offices set up. My daughter arrived home from college late last week, but still taking a full load of courses. So, she’ll be working from home too. This is all instead of leaving last Friday for a week at the beach at Dauphin Island of the coast of Alabama. My wife also brought home twenty-five pounds of carrots from work. Wholesale purchase from the farm that contracts with the college (and other schools’) food service. Expect the unexpected.

So far that’s the extent of the impact of the pandemic on our lives–change and inconvenience primarily, but at the moment nothing to complain about. As my wife said yesterday while the three of us watched a movie together on the couch in our sweats and with snacks, “the Goodwin’s have been preparing our whole lives for this.”

I aI am in no way downplaying the impact I think we will see. I believe we are at just the beginning of some very difficult and disruptive times. For many so far, it is just a surrealness wafting through the air. It feels like we are in the first chapter of a young adult dystopia novel.

The reality is probably that we have no idea what to expect, how to prepare, and how to deal with such massive health and the economic disruption. For the foreseeable future my family is economically secure, not facing any loss of employment and income. We understand our fortunate standing and that this is not the case for significant segments of the population working in jobs completely dependent on other people having the means and needs to purchase services or goods they provide or help manufacture.

The twenty-five pound bag of carrots is a reminder that we are all connected much more so than we often realize. No one’s financial, health, or happiness security is isolated and self-determined. We all absolutely need one another.

Assuming we keep our heads and have the capacity for any sort of collective processing and reflection (which will require significant positive leadership from our elected officials), we could be in the beginning of a very “teachable moment.”

Income inequality is not just a problem for the working poor. The wealthy rely on the working poor to provide services and goods. And, maybe an economic system built on perpetual expansion of goods production and more and more services is not sustainable.

Lack of affordable health care and paid medical leave for many in the population affects the health of all in the population.

Schools are providing many more services for our children than just education as evidenced by concern for children going hungry now that they aren’t fed by the school five days a week.

High-speed internet access might need to be considered a public utility like electricity and water, and not a luxury.

Our supply chain may not be as stable as necessary.

Actual fake Actual fake news and disinformation used to divide and maintain power has a direct impact on the actual survival of actual human beings. It isn’t just schtick, entertainment, and/or the new politics. Facts matter, and opinions not based on facts are corrosive to our society.

IIn the past, we have shown a great propensity to come together generously providing assistance for one another in times of need. This very well could be the greatest time of need and disruption that we have faced in three or four generations.

But I think we can do this. Who’s up for some carrot soup?

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