Let Us Keep Our Heads

I do not intend to play light on the seriousness of the Coronavirus pandemic here.  However, we do need to keep a perspective and that isn’t always easy when we are being force-fed bad news and wild speculation by the news media, social media, and even elected and bureaucratic “leaders”.

Yes, the virus is highly contagious.  Yes, the mortality rate for those that are infected can reach upwards of 2%.  Yes, it tends to hit hardest those that are most vulnerable.  And, yes, people are overreacting in many cases as evidenced by panic buying.

But, a few notes to ponder in an effort to get a more balanced grip on this issue may be in order.

Pandemics have been around since the bubonic plague and long before.  Many have been far more deadly than the current one.

Some, supposedly knowledgeable people, have spread the idea that this pandemic will last for 18 months or longer.  There is no evidence to support this theory and the limited history to date would indicate a 3-5 month duration.

Yesterday. Italy reported 680 deaths due to the virus.  Between 1500 and 2200 people die every day in Italy for non-virus causes.  That relationship to the population if applied to the U.S. would indicate that 7500-11,000 people die daily from non-virus causes and I’ve seen no projections that the virus will lead to anything like that mortality rate.

As the old saying goes, “Every cloud has a silver lining”.  Perhaps this one does too.

Just perhaps families will get a renewed appreciation of “family” due to the forced stay at home conditions.

Just perhaps people will see the need to always have reserves to be ready for any “storm” that may come along, not waiting for a crisis to act.

Just perhaps our governments and agencies will see that a focus on spending assets on medical research and preparedness and human security is more important than on bullets and bombs.

Just perhaps, people will understand the importance of border control and using our social safety nets to protect our citizens vs. anyone that comes into our country illegally.

Just perhaps our government and our large companies will see the benefits of being more self-reliant and less dependent on other countries that may not have our best interests at heart.

Just perhaps, we will all be tougher, more self-reliant, and more focussed on what is important in life and less concerned about having the biggest house, or the most expensive car in the neighborhood.

And, just perhaps we will get a stronger grip on the importance of nurturing the soul and a focus on our mortality.

Just my thoughts.  What are yours?


Ken Vincent
Ken Vincent
KEN is a 46 year veteran hotelier and entrepreneur. Formerly owned two hotels, an advertising agency, a wholesale tour company, a POS company, a leasing company, and a hotel management company. The hotels included chain owned, franchises, and independents. They ranged in type from small luxury inns, to limited service properties, to large convention hotels and resorts. After retiring he authored a book, “So Many Hotels, So Little Time” in which he relates what life is like behind the scenes for a hotel manager. Ken operated more that 100 hotels and resorts in the US and Caribbean and formed eight companies. He is a firm believer that senior management should share their knowledge and experience with the next generation of management.

DO YOU HAVE THE "WRITE" STUFF? If you’re ready to share your wisdom of experience, we’re ready to share it with our massive global audience – by giving you the opportunity to become a published Contributor on our award-winning Site with (your own byline). And who knows? – it may be your first step in discovering your “hidden Hemmingway”. LEARN MORE HERE


  1. Ken, thank you!
    I share every single word and I already have already written a lot, both on BZC and on LinkedIn, on this topic. The rediscovery of some values ​​such as family, solidarity etc. on the one hand; the risks of misuse of technology, the expectations that the lesson will improve, etc. on the other side.
    For what I want to say now I would like no one to think that I do not feel immense gratitude for doctors and health personnel, volunteers, supermarket staff, transporters, and everyone who is working to face this invisible enemy trying to ensure even a dignified survival to own communities.
    But let’s not call them heroes: it is a word that hurts, because its assumption is that there is something unusual that happens, something extraordinary, something unpredictable and that cannot be addressed with the standard structures of a country.
    This is the point.
    Now we call them heroes, but they have always worked like that. Despite the fact that health systems are often under-financed and deprived of economic support, reduced in resources and personnel. So when these dark days are over, let’s remember that the national health system is a precious commodity. Let’s remember these doctors who never rest, who put their lives and those of their families at risk.
    The doctors themselves report that they do not want to be called heroes, they want to be the actors of a high civic pact: the defense of the right to universal health. Being able to do research, get informed, collaborate and cooperate globally, take care of everyone and leave no one behind.
    “Blessed are the peoples who need no heroes” (Brecht),

  2. Ken, I appreciate your “Just perhaps” points especially your third one. I could add “Just perhaps we will expect, nay demand, clarity and honesty from our leadership.”

    That said, I don’t think the comparison you make around Italy, which could symbolize life everywhere, is totally fair. The virus is a single cause of death; the larger number of Italians dying every day, as you point out, results from multiple causes: old age, cancer, a car accident etc. etc. etc. One is a firehose of death; the other is a steady drip.

    A dear friend of mind wondered aloud if we’re “overreacting” to COVID-19. I replied that we only are until we’re not.

  3. Ken, there isn’t a whole lot I can say that you did not already say. . Yours was an article that contained pue logic and reason interspersed with a healthy dose of facts. I want to thank you for writing this article. You opened the window and let fresh air in. The point of my comment is to say I AGREE WITH YOU!