Until there is a cure, better testing, or a vaccine, we will be on edge in how we go about our living. Are we able to absorb what the army calls "collateral damage" or are we simply going to cocoon and hibernate for well over a year? So what risks are we willing to make to ensure that our liberal arts survive and thrive? What level of collateral damage are we willing to incur so that bookstores, libraries, and book publishers can reopen?
How about with books, free speech, and the support of writers, libraries, teachers, and bookstores?
I don't take corona lightly. Over 80,000 Americans have lost their lives to it -- and America has bankrupted its immediate future over fighting it. I personally know people who have had it -- and of people who lost their loved ones to it. Lots of precautions need to be taken right now, but I also know that we need to get back to focusing on living. It won't be like life used to be, but we have to move towards recapturing a world that we knew and enjoyed, even if we are not fully ready to shake hands, hug others, and enjoy full social intimacy. For now, I would settle on seeing a bookstore open or a restaurant with outdoor seating at half its seating capacity. I would like to watch baseball on TV if they can play it safely in empty stadiums.I want to be able to return to complaining that my coffee from Starbucks was not made perfectly rather then see shuttered stores.
Corona capitulation forces us to look at the values that underlie our actions, systems, and governments. What do we see when we look in the mirror now?
Some people may sound like draft-day GMs in a sports rotisserie league... trading lives and making decisions that will impact millions for years to come. It is not easy to make decisions that impact the country. Sure we want to be safe. Life is precious. But living like we used to is the ultimate value that we treasure and seem to want to pursue, at least some form of it.
What will be permanently changed or significantly altered as a result of the corona carnage— financially, physically, mentally, philosophically, and legally? We came back form AIDS, 9/11, the Great Recession, Gulf Wars, and natural disasters. It is time for our recovery from corona.
Books are essential and bookstores and libraries are essential to the book world. Book publishers and printers also need to reopen, at least some of them, even part time, at 50% of capacity.
A life without books and without the experience of community with those books, is not one that I cherish or find value in. Sure we can shut down for a little while, which we have, but we can make sacrifices now so that we can do this safely and effectively.
The book world needs to be re-opened. Today.
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Birth Of A Blog
Nine years ago -- May 13, 2011 -- I launched my award-winning blog. Here is the very first post: