Dean Williams once noted that “Expertise is great, but it has a bad side effect: It tends to create the inability to accept new ideas.” In light of the wide-spread panic born out of the current pandemic, it may be easy to get lost in these labyrinths, losing hope in the process. Loss of faith generally leads to the negativity that, left unchecked, could inflict devastating damage all round.
Believe it or not, we are in such a Catch22 position, “Where facts are few, experts are many.” –Unknown. On the one hand, we have the tentacles of COVID-19, holding entire humanity in its grip. And, on the other, we are also equally firmly bound by the massive swath of misinformation fueled by politicians eager to grind their own ax at the cost of the gullible. Almost every country, its political system, and also multitudes of otherwise sane advisors seem to be promoting their personal agenda as “experts.” Alas, no one can safely afford to trust them any longer.
On the one hand, we have ‘facts,’ and, on the other hand, there are ‘distorted’ facts that form the foundation of rumor-mongers’ efforts to destabilize the entire system. Of course, no country on earth remained untouched by this virus. No one has any notion of how much damage it will inflict, and how far and wide.
“Go on – but don’t think you can kill my confidence. I’ve had experts doing it for years.” -John Osborne, an English Playwright. Who can deny the fact that the virus we now know as COVID-19 was handled/studied, researched, or even mishandled by so-called experts? They, sure have, killed the confidence of every living being on earth, if not permanently, then temporarily for sure. How long will this temporary state last is anybody’s guess, though?
We had absolutely no idea all the relationship-building tools promoted by the fast-growing Social Media will come to naught, within a short time-frame. Please allow me to address this particular aspect right here, before you, the reader, take it in a different light. The power of Social Media that I am alluding to does not vest in remote communication, befriending our friends and acquaintances from 40/50/60 years ago. That continues to hold its value and has become an even more important weapon in our fight to maintain sanity.
What I am trying to highlight here is the widely accepted urge to travel far and wide so we could put a face to the name that had remained etched on our memory for a long, long time. It is the socializing part of ‘Social’ that has suffered a terrible setback. Alas, we may never shake hands with others for fear of catching some yet unknown virus at a later date.
Remember the two-week incubation period, after coming into contact with an unexpected carrier of the deadly virus?
Another crushing blow came to hit the global economy. Trillions of dollars evaporated from the money-market just like that. The entire group of trillion-dollar companies lost their elite status and came to billions overnight. In the same breath, practically every business, of any size, has met with the same damaging fate. It may not have affected us directly. But its impact on ancillary industries, employees, future growth prospects, as well as their tax contribution does force local governments to redraw their community-oriented plans.
The Healthcare industry continues to bear the brunt of the deadly onslaught of COVID-19, and so do the law enforcement agencies. Emergency Response systems around the globe continue to be inundated with a rush of urgent calls as if the sky was going to fall. But, who knows, if this onslaught continues unabated, the sky may fall one day, right before our eyes, or on top of our heads?
Rather than sounding panicked, please allow me to congratulate these ‘never-say-die, peace-time soldiers’ for their brave efforts at the cost of personal safety. At the same time, we shall salute the ground forces actively ensuring proper burial or cremation of the dead bodies.
Retailers, including restaurateurs, as well as the clothing industry (as a significant employer), seem to be busy nursing their wounds at this time. They are unaware of the mortal injury that so many of them have already suffered. The waiting game is on. It leaves us with little to guess what percentage will survive and how many will actually thrive enough to create new jobs in the foreseeable future.
Travel, hospitality, recreation, manufacturing, service sector, logistics, as well as heavy industries, continue to take their toll. Ancillary industries of all colors and hues have entirely shut down, with no possibility of their reopening any time soon. The worst part is how many employees will actually tun up to work after they resume operations. I am sure everybody would be equally concerned about the safety and self-protection measures put in place by those in charge. Can you imagine the cost behind such an enormous task, and that too, within a short time-frame, as the local government gives a clear signal, even allowing partial reopening?
Did any expert foresee such devastation could come out of a little virus, never mind its origin?
Although I am tempted to give vent to my feelings over the next few pages, at the very least, I would resist the temptation. Let the discerning readers make a concerted effort to beat the ‘experts’ and create the right atmosphere to support, strengthen, and nurture each other. As a non-expert, I can barely submit the above recipe. However, I do not expect anyone to try the same or even endorse it. All said and done, it is my honest opinion, we non-experts are far better off than all the experts of the world combined. At the very least, we have avoided becoming the instruments of utter devastation, unlike any seen during the two World Wars.
With a Note of Thanks to those of my ilk, and a Prayer for All …