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  • Writer's pictureKen Murray

Isolation Day 32 - The Times they are a Changin

Updated: Apr 17, 2020

Connie had a rough day yesterday with a blood clot in her bladder but that was treated and resolved and she has had a better day today. Al said her voice is getting stronger, and her friends and family are calling her to wish her well. She is still positive for Covid-19 and cannot be released until she has two negative tests.

I've been doing some reading on what may be our new normal. Here's a summary of my thoughts this.

  • There needs to be less reliance on foreign goods, especially healthcare products like masks and ventilators. More manufacturing needs to come back to the US, especially those critical to our health - the whole supply chain. Cost will be driven up due to higher US wages, and the Federal government will likely subsidize these goods as they do the farmers and the food supply.

  • Wearing masks in public. There will be a huge need for face masks, and they need to be made in the United States. We can't be reliant on foreign products where our healthcare is concerned.

  • Tracking people and other personally identifiable information (PII). We might be issued codes based on our health status. Personal information will be used more and more to track us. You thought privacy was a problem before.

  • There has got to be a major push for some type of healthcare-for-all solution. This outbreak and the subsequent unemployment has proven that having healthcare tied to an employer is not sustainable. I think private healthcare should still be an option if you want to pay for it, but all citizens should have access to reasonable healthcare.

  • Voting needs to be done via the mail or electronically rather than in person. Millions of people, from the military to US citizens living abroad vote by mail now. It can be done well and securely, and should be the norm.

  • For schools, they are talking about having staggered school days, smaller class sizes, longer time in classes. There needs to be strategies and tools for more schooling-from-home. There is a bigger need for online classroom applications for students and teachers. The employer-working parent-student child-daycare services dynamics need to be in sync. Parents can't return to work if they don't have daycare for the children.

  • Software applications like Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, and other meeting and collaborations tools will become the next viral apps.

  • Restaurants that survived this first outbreak will need to keep every other table closed to maintain social distancing. Menu item prices will increase to account for lost revenue due to fewer patron density.

  • Employers will need to continue to offer flexible schedules and work-from-home opportunities. They may need to reduce their daytime staff population to address social distancing, and create evening shifts to support their workload.

  • We must get Internet access for all US population, especially in rural and under-served populations. Many people and locations do not have high speed Internet access, and they need it to effectively work and study in this new paradigm. The Federal government needs to mandate this and ensure communication companies extend their services to areas and people in need.

  • I think there needs to be consideration for jobs that are needed for the new economy. As people work from home, automobile, oil, and travel industries will, as they are already, be greatly reduced. A massive education and retraining program needs to be implemented for people who lost their jobs so they can be employed and serve where they are most needed. For example, I think the travel industry is going to be affected for years to come. Travel industry employees should be retrained to work in, for example, healthcare, where there is a tremendous shortage of staff. There needs to be subsidies or credits for those who enter the healthcare field.

  • Travelers, especially foreign travelers will be tested and monitored before and during travel. Business traveling will be a thing of the past as it's been proven it can be done remotely.

  • Sports and concerts will play to empty or sparse venues. Outdoor sports like baseball will need to be played in southern states and southwest, and they may be played into late fall and winter months. Pay-per-view streaming for sports and concerts will jump in popularity.

  • And finally, my prediction for Time Magazine's Person of the Year will be healthcare professionals.

I watched the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I first saw this movie around 1975 on HBO. Three of my friends and I watched it. I even skipped baseball practice to watch this movie. It was hysterical and remains my favorite comedy of all time.

Here's a throwback photo from March 2019 of Shelly and me at Angkor Wat in Cambodia. As we were together at this temple, so are we together today in quarantine.

And in closing, I never saw Bob Dylan in concert, but his song "The Times they are a Changin" seem appropriate.

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