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Scoot: Will America unite to stop the spread of COVID-19?

March 13, 2020 - 1:06 pm

The annual French Quarter Festival in New Orleans is the latest domino to fall because of the coronavirus. The 36th annual FQF, originally scheduled for April 16 – 19 has been rescheduled for October 1 – 4.

Jazz Fest, scheduled for April 23 – May 3, has not yet made any announcement about rescheduling; and, at this point, it is still scheduled for late April through early May. With the number of bands scheduled for Jazz Fest and since many of the biggest acts perform at Jazz Fest as part of an on-going tour – it is easy to imagine that any rescheduling of the fest would be a logistical nightmare.

President Donald Trump is scheduled to declare a national state of emergency this afternoon about 2:00 pm (CDT).

Postponements and cancellations continue as the numbers of coronavirus victims continues to rise. At some point the surging numbers will flatten out and then decrease and we will return to normal – but at what cost?

At every level of American society – businesses and individuals are losing money. If there is one positive thing to point out, it is that much of the business that is being lost now will come back once the growing threat of the coronavirus subsides.

Information that is coming some of from the President’s own officials indicate that much more could have been done to better prepare America for this current crisis. Test kits were not available and too many infected people went without being tested.

President Trump has generally downplayed the significance of the coronavirus crisis. He has always linked judgment of his success as president to a booming stock market; and early in the spread, stocks began to plummet. For the record – no one should blame President Trump for the coronavirus – but many have suggested that the President’s nonchalant attitude about the disease may have been seen by investors as a failure in leadership that would make the problem worse.

While it is fair to question President Trump and the government’s response to the crisis, it is now time to work together and stop pointing fingers – and we all know how tempting it is to point fingers during a presidential election year.

Americans have demonstrated that we will come together during a time of crisis. As harshly divided as America has been in recent years – it is hard to image that the threat over the coronavirus will unite us – but that is the challenge we face.

One of the most profound sections at the World War II Museum in New Orleans is the area where signs are displayed showing the campaign asking Americans to make sacrifices. We have reached a point where we are asked to make sacrifices – but how far will we go?

We are told to stay home if we feel sick. That’s not an easy request for those who are paid only when they work and live paycheck to paycheck. We are asked to avoid crowds and to maintain “social distancing” – staying at least 6 feet from each other.

There has been a run on items like, toilet paper, sanitized wipes and anti-bacterial soaps and sprays in many areas. I wonder how many people would love to have back all the toilet paper that was wasted during Mardi Gras parades.

If you were at a store and there were only 4 rolls of toilet paper on the shelf – would you buy all 4 or would you by one and leave the rest for another person? There are ways we are being asked to sacrifice but the question remains – how far are we willing to go?

If we pull together and forget defending our political territory and if we avoid crowds and following common sense recommendations – we will stop the spread of the coronavirus; and life in America will return to normal. If we refuse to make sacrifices and adjust our behavior – we will be partially to blame for the continued spread of the coronavirus and the damage to our booming economy will deepen.

I’m willing – are you?

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