The Occasional Perspective - 3/7/22

Opinions and Reflections 

The Light at The End of The Tunnel – When I was growing up as a kid in a small town in Nebraska, our home was located next to a tunnel that traversed under the town. It had been built many years before my arrival as a way for allowing a large stream to flow into the Little Blue River through the town so that development could occur. I’ll never forget it because it was a place where me and my brothers – and, the neighbor kids – would gather for discussions, creating echoes down the tunnel by shouting and the like. It was one of those “kid” places that are often found in small towns where kids learn to interact, socialize, and grow up.

I’ll never forget the day when I and my brothers along with a neighbor kid decided to walk further into the tunnel. It was dark and we could not see the end. We got a candle, lit it, and started walking down the path over the cobblestones trying desperately to not step in the water and get our feet wet. We knew Mom would not be pleased if we came home with wet feet! So, as we traversed the tunnel, we came to a slight bend where neither end of the tunnel was visible. And, for whatever reason, at that point, our candle blew out. Yikes!! It was pitch black. One of us pulled out the matches and dropped them accidentally. Now, we were in real trouble. But, having young eyes our vision slowly adjusted and we found the matches that had landed on a dry spot. We got the candle lit and continued our walk. After just a few more feet, we could suddenly see the other end of the tunnel far down the path. And, actually proceeding down the path to come out of the tunnel was easier than going in due to the daylight streaming in from the other direction and lighting up the pathway. The end result was that our exit was far faster than our entrance.

When we got to the exit, we discovered that we were in a different part of town – a place that we had driven by on many occasions but where we had never really stopped to go down to the overpass. The different part of town was…shall I say “different but the same” as the rest of our little town. It seems to me that the tunnel experience I had with my brothers and our friend is very similar to the ongoing pandemic. We entered the pandemic not knowing exactly where it was headed with the bravado of a “we-can-do-this” mentality. Then we hit a bend or two where it became dark and we could neither see behind us nor in front of us as a society. We appear to be just turning the bend now where there is some light at the end of the tunnel. We should let our eyes, our ears, our senses adjust to the new darkness. The pathway is now lighted with the science we’ve developed just over the last several years that is showing us the way through the tunnel. We should pay attention to the pathway but keep the candle of vaccination and masking lit until we get through it all to the other side. When we finally get there, I suspect we will find a new environment that may be somewhat similar to our old one but also clearly different. The new place will be not only different but require different approaches and resources. As a different place than our original home, we will need to explore and probably have to go in different directions to find our place at home. It’s a journey of change, a new way of getting to the other side. We should embrace it.

The Revised World Order – We seem to be on the verge of a major shift in the World Order. It depends on events that are still to unfold. The unity of the democracies is heartening – and, hopefully, it will continue. All of us – I assume – do not want Armageddon to evolve. For the moment I will leave it there and not stray away from the health care path…

The Vilification of Fauci – The Neo-NonVaxers and others who are vilifying Anthony Fauci, MD have now reached the bottom of the barrel through their vilification of this patriotic public servant. It’s disappointing when anyone who holds a position resorts to personal attacks and inappropriate – let alone undeserved – distortion of an individual. It’s what happens in an era where factless information is spewed forth. We need to learn how to manage such information. In the end, the truth will win out. Hang in there, Dr. Fauci. Many of us not only admire and respect you but rely upon your steady hand as we traverse the mindfield (an intentional change) before us…

Overestimating The Average American Salary – Nina Strohminger, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor at The Wharton School – recently tweeted the results of a survey she conducted of her students asking them what they thought was the average American salary. Amazingly, over a fourth of the class reported more than six figures (yes, “six” figures). In fact, one bold student asserted it was $800,000 (yikes!!). In fact, the average is $53,838 according to 2021 Social Security Administration (SSA) data. Where do these young students come from? High earner (markedly) families so they have a distorted view of reality. Hmmm…what to do about this problem. 

How To Spot A Mainer – I’m working hard on trying to figure out the next stage of life – and, I’m getting lots and lots of advice from various quarters. One of my goals is to become fully adopted by my new home state of Maine. As a kid from North Dakota, I’m considered from “Away”. I keep telling my Maine friends; however, that Maine is just like North Dakota except it has mountains, ocean, and trees. Other than that – it’s like the land of the free and the home of the brave on the flat-land prairie called North Dakota. I was sent this nicely done pictorial on detecting an imposter in Maine. I’m working hard to make sure I’m not one of those folks – and, making substantial progress

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