Find Courage By Acknowledging The Good News During The Pandemic
| Paul Fain
In these troubling and uncertain times, is there any good news out there? As very real pain and suffering, physical and financial and emotional, spreads across the globe, is there any good news? Let’s consider:
Gas prices are down, way down (even though we have nowhere to go). Apparently, the virus is causing pollution levels to plummet from Venice to the Himalayas. “Front line” workers are getting the respect and admiration that they deserve (now let’s pay them their worth!). Crime is down (tough to break into houses when everyone is home). Families are (re)connecting and deepening relationships. Businesses are rapidly adapting to digital commerce and expanding their methods of communications and delivery.
Inflation is down. The Fed is injecting massive amounts of money into the economy to support households and businesses. The virus hurts some industries, of course, but helps others (think data centers, cell towers, conferencing software, home improvement companies, etc.).
People are living in a real-time case study in personal financial planning. In other words, we have received the gifts of awareness and understanding. For example, a cash reserve of three to six months’ living expenses really can help bridge a crisis. Up-to-date estate documents including healthcare directives are very important (to intubate or not? Decision-making in isolation?). Maintaining adequate and appropriate life, health, and disability insurance coverage is vital. Now is an opportunity to review and strategize how-to shore up these areas of our financial plans.
This is a roller-coaster. We are not going to return to normal in 30 days. If you are fearful or worried, it is understandable. Fear is a natural, healthy response to danger. It takes courage to turn towards what’s happening. “And when we can meet our own life with courage, we have more discernment, more compassion, and more gifts to share with others,” says author and teacher Oren Jay Sofer.
Courage is not the absence of fear. But do not let the fear-mongering of the media infect your thoughts. I’m not advocating that we should live in denial and pretend everything is OK, but we can bolster our courage by acknowledging that some good news always exists.
On the downside, I am driving my wife completely nuts.
This article was originally published in the Knoxville News Sentinel on April 24th, 2020.