March 4, 2021
COVID 19 - Light at the End of the Tunnel
 Traveling gives you the unique opportunity to see the impact of various influences around the world. While in California last week (Manhattan Beach and San Diego), I witnessed a state that treated COVID much differently than we do in Georgia. The restaurants have been closed for much of the pandemic. Most have recently opened, but only outdoors, which is fine for a community where outdoor temperatures range from 60-75 degrees year-round. In addition, as I walked on the board walk, there were big signs calling for $350 fines if you were caught without a mask. How do they fine the surfers who have a bathing suit on, a board, no ID  and no money? This is beyond me but they are seriously roaming around giving out tickets....this too shall pass.

I read the AJC everyday and observe the graphics of how many cases are being reported and how many deaths are occurring. While the past has been sad and depressing, the projection of the future as we roll out several new vaccines, is exciting! What I observed in California was elation at the restaurants and bars being open and a return to normalcy. It was like a breath of fresh air was hovering from Malibu to Catalina Island. Some reasons to be excited:

1.Relief Package - More help is on the way. Whether you think it is right or wrong, tons of money will be put into the economy, as we recover from a long year of drudgery. With this much money, the tide will be lifted for many.

2.Vaccines - We now have three (3) vaccines in play, and the faster they are rolled out, the safer the world becomes. People will go back to work and back to enjoying life. The prediction is that all adults will be vaccinated by the end of May.

3.Pent up consumer demand - Let's face it, for many, the last year has been spent at home, learning to cook, not spending money on travel or going out. There is a huge pent up spending spree waiting to happen. Consumer spending drives the economy, and we are about to see growth occur.

"Never Waste a Pandemic"- The chair of a nonprofit board that I am a part of used this expression to outline the necessity to make drastic changes in drastic times (a get out of jail free card to make mistakes and blame the circumstances for any missteps). This is the opportunity to make changes that are long overdue for the betterment of the world. We learned so much during this pandemic. So many individuals are living on the edge in many sectors of the economy that are vulnerable to such shutdowns, while others saw their net worth skyrocket. The hospitality industry (hotels, conventions) travel (airlines), and restaurants saw vulnerability. Changes have presented themselves such as: 1) increasing minimum wage 2) job retraining to better jobs in areas that have great need 3) righting racial injustices through better policing and hiring practices and 4) improving health standards in everyday life.

Conclusion - we are coming through a disaster with much grief and great anticipation. Let's not forget the impact this has had on many and strive to make needed changes for the benefit of other.

Favorite Masks for 2020

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