I understand the pain of middle America. I was born and raised in the Heartland or the Rust Bucket depending on whom you ask. Many of our communities have not experienced digital transformation throughout activities of daily living.
The Midwest is all about connection in community; businesses do things with a handshake. Businesses in the Midwest haven’t needed to digitize or offer virtual services—doing so might have even been detrimental and seen as impersonal.
Conversely, businesses on the West Coast had been forced long before COVID19 to become virtual or digital by design across services and industries in order to stay competitive. I think that’s why not all, but many small businesses or restaurants, are able to continue as usual during the Bay Area Stay in Shelter. Hell the bar across the street from where I live, hires a DJ to play music for our apartment building to hear from our balconies, and you can order food and beer to carry out.
After watching videos, like this one by NowThis, of people protesting stay-at-home orders, I am absolutely speechless. My heart hurts for some of the things people have been lead to believe through propaganda that are not true. I wish that they could see the disconnect in what they are actually angry about is being misdirected.
I’m saddened that their actions will likely lead to a spike in the spread of COVID19 and that their loved ones might die because of the disregard of the recommendations of the healthcare community and their governor.
For some normalcy to be restored, digital infrastructure needs to be evaluated and brought to businesses in the Midwest that haven’t experienced digital transformation yet. This is especially imperative for companies that are easily able to utilize new ways of conducting their goods and services.
When digital is not the answer, pivoting to provide for the market demand and providing PPE to essential employees as they work will help the economy. There are many stories of breweries making hand sanitizer, or car manufacturers making ventilators and masks.
Culturally, there needs to be a massive public service campaign to increase STEM education and understanding on COVID19. It’s hard to make informed decisions when you don’t truly grasp the reality of what is at stake.
Lastly, the perception of social services needs to drastically be altered:
stimulus checks or UBI is not a free handout but a safety net created by the money invested through taxation.Tweet
UBI is much less costly to our economy than a declining economy or worst yet, the loss of lives and the strain on our healthcare system now and in the future if we return to work before recommended time to allow the pandemic of Covid-19 to no longer be a threat to our society.