Letter to the Editor

A blessing in disguise?

To the editor: Being a devout agnostic, I cannot truly believe that anything is God’s will. My thinking in terms of blessings tends to be pretty limited for the same reason. But I can’t help but see the silver lining inside this ominous black cloud of the new coronavirus.

I see it as a wake-up call. A four-alarm fire drill to wake us up as to just how vulnerable we all are to the forces of nature. When forced to respond because the danger is “in our face” imminent, we do. Even the White House is finally beginning to see the reality and gravity of the situation. We, as a nation and as a world, are responding in a timely fashion because we perceive the crisis as being immediate.

The more serious crisis of our time, of course, is global warming. Our failure to arrive at a viable global response to the warming crisis is due to the fact that, to many in power, it does not appear imminent or even credible. The coronavirus is a temporary “bump in the road”; global warming, if not addressed soon and with an even greater coordinated response, is the end of the road. Perhaps the silver lining of the new coronavirus is that it will demonstrate to the world that we can, when we must, work together toward a common goal. We can put the breaks on economic expansion and see that economic reduction is not only possible and necessary but has benefits as well. For example, the air in Beijing became breathable within days of the factory shutdowns due to the virus.

Here in Alaska it will be interesting to see how we weather the two-headed storm of a drop in oil price combined with a drop in tourism. It is likely that we will all be spending less, traveling less and perhaps working less. How will our government deal with even further reduction in revenue?

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