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Patio Chat 1, Covid: “Should You Take It Seriously?” – 6:02 minutes

SERIOUS: While all of us always took seriously the “wash your hands, don’t touch your face, cough or sneeze in your elbow” routine, we should all be taking the potential impact of this sickness seriously. Several things sobered me:

– The private-public alliance that was presented in the Presidential press conference on Friday, March 13, was impressive. I was trying to think, “When have I ever seen anything like that.” I hadn’t. It reminded me of my reading about the massive private business/governmental partnership that was formed to accomplish the insurmountable Normandy Invasion on the coast of France on June 6, 1944, during WWII. Have we seen this much public-private sector cooperation since then? I don’t know. I don’t think so. Since then, headlines have read “Trump Invokes Wartime Authority,” and “Merkel: Biggest Challenge since WWII.” As I listened to the press conference and read the more recent headlines, I was sobered.

– Newt Gingrich is not given to hyperbole and melodrama. I had the privilege of working close range with him right before and during his run for the presidency in 2012. On Friday, March 13, 2020, he wrote in Newsweek of the seriousness of the Coronavirus in Italy where he and his wife – now serving as the US Ambassador to the Vatican – now live. I read it. (Yes, I know this is not Italy, but) I was sobered.

– On Sunday, March 15, a close friend connected with an Israeli expert on communicable diseases shared what he had learned. I was sobered.

– Approximately 80 or so mega-church pastors and Christian leaders were on a phone call with the White House on Monday, March 16. I was sobered

– Bottom line: My concern – not fear, but concern – significantly heightened.

– (Memes: I do, however, think the memes are creative and humorous. In all this uncertainty, the humor is refreshing. I see no inconsistency between taking the illness seriously, but chuckling at our obsessions – with toilet paper, for example! – regarding the Coronavirus. Some of the memes are hilarious. I am glad to get some comic relief. We all need it.)