Monthly Archives: March 2020

Tips for the Virus-Wary

Healthline.com has assembled a group of medical experts to discuss the  coronavirus in its present and future contexts. It’s not a happy outlook, but we’d best be aware of what’s ahead.

The first thing is to avoid multiple contacts in crowds and to purchase face masks when they become available. (Drug stores are likely to be out of them more regularly than not.)

Coronavirus is described as “a bullet train without the constraint of train tracks. It is moving very fast in many directions at the same time.” That means the virus will likely be everywhere before much longer. So start taking precautions, say, with your next breath.  If it eases off in a month or two, it’s “likely to recur next fall”. Seriously.

You probably know by now that younger people have a far better chance of   besting the coronavirus than older ones, but that will always be germane.

It’s likely to be 18 months before the U.S. has an effective vaccine for the coronavirus. We could go on, but there’s more first-hand information in the Healthline post. Check it out directly. (And learn how to stop touching your face.)

A Car Dealership Dealing With Coronavirus

Businesses have to worry about attracting customers during a lengthy period during which they will be competing with Coronavirus for their attention. But you’d think a car dealership would have fewer concerns than other businesses, given the essential nature of personal transportation.

That’s not so, however, with our car dealership and service center, Keller Brothers Ford outside Lebanon, Pa. We received an unexpected email from Dan Keller addressed to “Dear Customers and Friends”. They’re clearly not counting on the essential nature of their customers’ automobiles to maintain business relationships with them.

“Like so many of you,” the email begins, “we have spent the last several days and week learning about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it is impacting us. For Keller Bros. Auto, that means understanding how it affects our employees, customers, and community and then making the necessary adjustments to our store and daily operations.”

Those adjustments include, the email enumerates, “ramping up cleaning services at our stores” and adding hand sanitizer throughout the dealership, “disinfecting all hard surfaces, and all vehicles (whether they are on our lot, or customer vehicles in for service). Our employees have been instructed to stay home if they have presented any symptoms or been in contact with anybody who has been sick.  They have also been prompted to report if either of these has occurred… We will do all that we can to make your visit a safe and clean experience.

“A wonderful passage from which to draw comfort is Psalm 91, where the psalmist specifically discusses how to get through times of fear and illness and hos to navigate these times without worry. “My wife Suzy and I have been reading that passage every night before we go to sleep. These are unsettling times, but we WILL get through it together…”

This from a car dealership that faces business pressures, yes, but is clearly concerned about its customers’ health and welfare. Bless ’em.

Spreading Fairness on the Web

 

Somebody, two guys, actually, has taken the trouble to explore the fairness terrain in a way it can be explained to young people so that it will stay with them as they mature.

David Elkind and Freddy Sweet, of Live Wire Media/Elkind+Sweet Communications, Inc., created a  website, GoodCharacter.com, that includes “lesson plans, activities, programs and resources” on the nature of fairness so it can be grasped by K-12 youngsters in a most engaging way. The site is intended for  “teachers, administrators, custodians, or school bus drivers” – all those “helping to shape the character of the kids you come in contact with”. They might, of course, add parents.

A little more intense attention to the nature and necessity of fairness in daily living – fairness and the awareness thereof – would be a very good thing. Maybe in a generation or so we wouldn’t have so much insulting going on in public life, chiefly in politics.

Practicing fairness builds character and, as GoodCharacter.com notes, “The payoff for having good character is that it makes you a better person and it makes the world a better place.”

How often do you hear a salutary message like that these days? David Elkind and Freddy Sweet are to be congratulated for spreading it web-wide!

Who’s Upholding Fair U.S. Elections?

Well, it appears to be happening. After the Super Tuesday balloting, and now Mike Bloomberg’s withdrawal from the race,  Joe Biden has reached a standoff with Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential competition. And President Trump’s forces have been anticipating Biden’s electoral strength all along – hence the Ukraine controversy over Biden’s son, Hunter.

Also, thanks to the Russians, the integrity of the  U.S. electoral process, in general, has been under cyber assault.  Has an elemental American procedure  – free and fair voting – ever been under such stress? Not likely.

It would be heartening, indeed, to see a more forthright defense of the U.S. presidential election process occurring. But it hasn’t emerged as yet.

“Prior to resigning as U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security,” advises material on Wikipedia, “Kirstjen Nielsen attempted to organize a meeting of the U.S. Cabinet to discuss how to address potential foreign interference in the 2020 elections. Mike Mulvaney, the White House Chief of Staff, reportedly warned her to keep the subject away from Trump, who views the discussion as questioning the legitimacy of his victory in 2016.”

And, “Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, has blocked various bills intended to improve election security from being considered, including some measures that have had bipartisan support.”

So the status of American electoral integrity is uneasy indeed. Leaders of the country, regardless of their party membership, need to ensure that a fundamentally fair vote occurs. So far, we don’t hear enough such concerns being expressed.