Today is March 19, 2020, and in the Northern Hemisphere it is the first day of Spring. I'm a Spring baby and it's my favorite season of the year. Today is also six days after President Trump declared a National Emergency due to the new coronavirus, COVID-19. Since the virus first appeared in Wuhan, China back in December 2019 it has spread throughout the world with the number of cases climbing daily and, sadly, the number of deaths. Some countries have closed their borders and implemented mass quarantines of its citizens. Governors and other state and county authority figures in the U.S. have mandated the closure of schools, bars, restaurants, movie theaters, gyms, shopping malls and more, and are stressing the need to practice "social distancing" from others. Major sporting leagues have cancelled events, concerts have been put on hold until further notice, and travel restrictions have been put in place. The National Guard has been activated. Grocery stores are being ravaged, with toilet tissue and hand sanitizer disappearing off the shelves as quickly as they're stocked, leading to the policing of the quantity you can buy. The stock market has been falling and experienced its biggest one-day drop ever over economic concerns resulting from COVID-19, and its decline continues. This pandemic has created pandemonium to say the least, and no one knows how much longer it will go on.
The Spring season represents renewal, rebirth, joy and hope. After a long, dreary Winter, it's a time to wake up. How interesting a concept that is, given what's happening in the world today. Our leadership operates from a place of greed, lack of empathy and overall incompetence. Racial inequality is very much alive and well, with African Americans being killed because of the color of their skin, or treated with prejudice because of how they choose to wear their hair. Others are being persecuted for their religious beliefs or their sexual orientation. There are many more violations and atrocities taking place around us, but COVID-19 doesn't care where you live, what you do, who your parents are, your nationality or your economic status. It has gripped the world in its indiscriminate vise, brought it to its knees and is shouting at us to wake up. Enough is enough! When we wake up from the nightmare that is this coronavirus, what will we have learned? This virus is forcing us to be more mindful of how we move through the world, and of how to navigate what's quickly becoming our new normal. It requires each of us to act responsibly and be considerate of the greater good; not just ourselves. Every life matters, so don't be selfish with your actions if it could endanger someone else. Look at yourself and decide if it's time to make some changes to become a better you, and maybe make the world a better place. Don't be afraid to take that step. This is the world's wake up call, and now is the time to do it.
While we all work through this challenging time, I implore you to stay safe, and in spite of it all, I wish you a Happy Spring!