Guest Editorial: The Fear Factor, The Coronavirus And Courage For Our Community

By Recker McDowell —

The Coronavirus pandemic is unprecedented in its impacts on public health (especially for seniors and those with underlying health conditions), on the economy and jobs and on everyday life.

It is touching literally everything.

But it’s also the fear and anxiety that is also driving the fallout. From closed workplaces and canceled sporting events to ‘shelter in place’ orders and historic stock drops on Wall Street, consumers, businesses and investors have no visibility on when the pandemic might end on what the economy and world will look like.

The fear factor (from a global, economic and community perspective) is off the charts.  Going to the grocery store is stressful let alone scrolling through Twitter or thinking about our jobs.

We need courage and leadership on how to we are going to get through this. We need to give people hope and confidence their jobs won’t be cut, their small businesses won’t close and that the pandemic will eventually subside.

It’s easy to say we need FDR ‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself’ leadership from President Trump, governors and mayors.

We do need that kind of national leadership from Washington to Wall Street.

But the leadership and courage also must come from the grassroots level, from our communities and neighborhoods and from our workplaces.

We need to talk not only about public health solutions and approaches to the Coronavirus but how we are going to navigate our economy and everyday lives.

That takes courage, hope and leadership in our communities from employers, from local leaders and from each other.

We need to lift each other up and help those in need (especially seniors and vulnerable populations as well as workers and businesses hit hard by the pandemic). It means reassuring each other even when we are uncertain ourselves. It means finding opportunities for innovation, compassion, creativity and empathy.

Fear, anxiety and worry won’t get us through this. It will only spiral. We need to rise to the occasion and this unprecedented test and give each other the best we have to offer.