Robin Smith / April 20, 2020

2020: Are We Seeing Clearly Yet?

As the Year of Our Lord 2019 came to an end, could anyone have predicted the lessons in 2020?

There are many lessons we can learn from the current pandemic and ensuing shutdowns. There are also some things that were predictable because they never change. The first given: Political turmoil in 2020 — it’s an even-numbered election year. The second given: The national media and the Democratic National Committee — one and the same — will find heinous fault with anything proposed by the Right.

Currently, the press vacillates between accusing the Trump administration of “overreacting” to the novel coronavirus and switching to screams that President Donald Trump thinks he’s a king for trying to reopen the economy against the wishes of enlightened Democrat governors.

Go ahead and shake your heads. Yes, we predicted the political Left truly being invested in failure of the American people; but maybe some folks just didn’t realize how disgusting it would be.

But not all things are political. The year 2020 will occupy a lot of written copy for historians. It should also serve as one of those times that Americans can see life in a way that never would have occurred outside the reach of a crisis that touched pretty much everything.

In November 2019, Americans were happily spending their growing paychecks. Business owners were enjoying the Trump economy and Christmas was on its way. Who could’ve guessed that one of the more virulent of coronaviruses being studied in the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a biosecurity level 4 facility, would within a matter of weeks have infected the world?

Different from woes like wildfires, tornadoes, or earthquakes that had already hit the lives of Americans in 2020, but on a regional and episodic basis, this novel coronavirus was a contagion that had never provoked an immune response in anyone. COVID-19 was thought to impact the elderly and frail most, but early cases were proving that this pathogen was an equal-opportunity inhabitant. While some had and have no symptoms or only endure mild responses, others succumb to hospitalization and death.

A temporary response was needed to understand the pattern and presentation this virus would make — to save lives we claim to care about as we declare #AllLifeIsPrecious. But now it’s time to bring our economy back online and allow folks to work and adapt.

So, to the lessons learned in these first four months of 2020. We now know:

  • What a world looks like without a needed vaccine.

  • What Americans will experience when government controls healthcare, the economy, and our ability to come and go, as well as its surveillance and enforcement of restrictions. It looks an awful lot like socialism.

  • That we do have rights. But those rights extend to the point at which another’s begins. Those over the age of 55 who have been most susceptible to death with COVID-19 have rights just like the 20-, 30-, and 40-year-olds who want to move freely without restraint.

  • How important it is to have elected officials in place who may hold the power to operate in extraordinary times with greater enforcement but understand the temporary nature and need for restraint and limits on that power.

  • The value of spending more time with our own family in our homes, instead of days overly crammed with events and busyness.

  • That homeschooling can and does work. Distance learning is still education.

  • That some business can be performed remotely to reduce some critical infrastructure issues in urban areas. Schedules can be managed to allow creative solutions to choked highways.

  • That today’s culture places excessive worth on celebrities, athletes, and media talkingheads.

  • That we’ve undervalued doctors, nurses, and the entire healthcare team, as well as law enforcement and first responders. But we’ve also undervalued truckers, grocery-store operators and employees, those tending to our utilities, and so many other American workers who keep supply lines running and are truly essential in times of crisis.

  • That working and making is much more fulfilling and necessary to the health of individuals, families, communities, and our nation.

The first third of 2020 is almost history. The lessons that some will learn — and use to grow — will separate Americans even more. There will be those with 20/20 vision and those who miss the value of ensuring that we do have our health, our family, our free markets and economy, as well as our Liberty, all intact.

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