Publisher’s Note
OpinionPublisher's Note

Publisher’s Note

Publisher Michael Morris reflects on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. It is not too bright quite yet, but we are at least beginning to talk about the when and how we will get back to normal (no comment on Georgia’s timetable specifically). Like all crises of this magnitude, it will take time, patience, perseverance and an adjustment. I do personally believe that we will normalize more quickly than usual. I do believe the economy will come back more quickly than from a typical recession.

Why will we normalize more quickly? Because we have not been under duress for an extended period of time, like from World War II or from the Great Depression. We have not gotten set in our patterns over months or years. Instead, we are all itching to get back to the things we love to do, and there is not rampant destruction around us. I think most of us are sitting at the start line awaiting the signal to begin again.

Why will the economy bounce back more quickly than normal? Again, we have not been in this hiatus for a significant period of time. While some businesses, tragically, will not return, most are still poised to reopen as soon as it is safe. Many, possibly most (but not all) of the unemployed, furloughed and laid off have positions waiting for them.

The economy has experienced a hiccup, not a long-term, tragically disruptive halt. The economy hit a brick wall, not because of typical economic cyclicality, but because of an external threat. We do not have to counter a mounting tsunami surge that has been building slowly and dragging us down with significant cyclical momentum behind it. We have the potential to go back to normal with relative speed and alacrity.

But that, my friends, is just one person’s opinion.

The past six weeks have challenged almost all of us. Only a few people have experienced a similar phenomenon, and that would have been in excess of 75 years ago. For some of us, this period has been more traumatic than for others; therefore, I don’t want to suggest there have been any silver linings. However, in the future, I do want to be able to look at some of the positive things that have occurred or that I have been able to accomplish.

I have been able to spend quality time with my kids that I have often postponed because of a busy schedule. We have played games together, cooked and, of course, taken long walks. This is time spent that I will never regret, and it will most likely never come to pass again. I can only hope that my dog understands that I have not moved back home permanently! I know he will miss his hourly walks (or maybe he will breath a sigh of relief). In addition, I am eating healthier than I have in years. I am exercising more and taking long walks that give me the opportunity to think and regroup, but alas, I just might be having an extra drink or two at night. One thing I certainly have enjoyed: I have connected (by telephone) with cousins and friends I have not spoken to in years; let’s call it a virtual family reunion. I do admit, I am ready to eat out, visit my parents and take a trip (further than the nearest grocery store)! But I hope, years from now, I can remember more of these things than some of the tougher decisions that had to be made over the past few weeks. Stay safe. Stay healthy. We are nearing the end of this tunnel. I saw a sign in my neighborhood I particularly enjoyed: What a year this week has been!

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