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  • Ingo Schobert

Corona - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Corona - rarely has one word impacted so many people all over the world, what comes to my mind with equal impact are names, Hitler and Stalin. And like these two, Corona is evil! You cannot see it, it doesn’t make any sounds, it hangs around, and it might take weeks before you know that it got you.

The Ugly - With currently over 3 Million Cases all over the World, and about a third of them here in the US, and about 55 Thousand Deaths, approximately a quarter of them here in the US, and that in just a couple of months, besides HIV there hasn’t been a more dangerous virus around that I know of, at least not in my lifetime. And unfortunately, it hits the weaker parts of the society more than the rest. It is the elders and the physically disadvantaged that are most likely not to survive the pandemic, and financial damaged hit the less wealthy population the hardest, there is a difference between loosing 40% in the stock market if you have plenty and not being able to pay your rent if you have little. I hate all the reports where rich people / institutions / companies receive Millions while poor people don’t receive their government checks, which are in my opinion too little anyway. And I don’t want to speculate if the actions our government took to fight this threat were timely and appropriate!

The Bad - Well, it is, in my opinion, pretty bad that we all are under house arrest. If you have a house and garden then it is pretty much doable, but if you live in a studio apartment, I cannot even imagine how one deals with this incarceration. Furthermore, panic style purchasing products is not a good way to demonstrate social responsibilities that keep a nation going. That is in particular true when such purchases are made to gain, mostly financial, profits. For example, to buy hand sanitizer by the thousands in an attempt to shift supply and demand so much that they can sell it for much more, or people sneakingly sell toilet paper on the internet, by the sheets instead of rolls, for the same price as a roll. Overall, there are many things that are bad during this crisis, and there will be as many afterwards. As a photographer who likes the outdoors, this is not my time! As a traveler who loves to go to different places, this is not my time! But, of course, this is only bad on a personal level, yet, nevertheless it is bad for me.

The Good - Yes, there is something good with the Corona outbreak to talk about! Like Social Distancing. I believe that Social Distancing actually does the opposite of distancing us from each other, I think it brings us closer together. We learn to wait in long lines, respect the space of the others around us, and to communicate with each in an effort to coordinate movement, for example when walking past each other. Similar to the aftereffects of 9/11, we are more aware of who the true heroes around us are, the First Responders, and also the cashiers, delivery personnel for things ranging from pizzas to cleaning supplies, and everybody else who is out there to make the living for the rest of us more bearable. Whenever I see the mailman, or the UPS driver, I give a brief wave with my hand, or a nod, to show my appreciation of their dangerous tasks, usually with a tear in my eye because it touches me emotionally. These are the people that deserve our admiration, and society has mostly recognized this fact by now. I just wish the country’s leadership, on both sides of the fence, would make intelligent decisions to resolve this crisis as fast as possible rather than letting ego and politics get in the way of doing so!


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