By Ron Huff •
As I sit here, the television is blaring information about the Corona virus from every possible outlet. Even the sports outlets are focused on the virus as most sports have been cancelled or suspended. The supermarkets are being flooded by nervous, if not panicked, consumers who are stocking up on everything.
Here at Frog Holler we are trying to remain calm. Of course, the chances of a stranger coming anywhere near us is practically zero, so we have pretty good control over random contact. I have not changed any of my behavior so far except washing my hands more often and considering what might be coming. On the other hand, our behavior is being limited by cancellations of all kinds of social events.
We had scheduled a trip to Florida for a third straight year to the Sebring car races that were to be held March 18 thru 21. The week before I got a call from a local friend who had passes for the horse events being held at the Carolina Horse Park at the same time. I regretfully had to decline. By the time we heard that Sebring was cancelled and called back about the horse events, it had also been cancelled.
Our plan was to visit friends in St. Augustine on the way down to Sebring and we have decided to visit them anyway. I would not risk flying for an unnecessary visit, but I also do not want to overreact to this emergency. We will drive down, visit them and use whatever precautions seem reasonable in dining out or being around other people.
Humans do not do too well in situations like the current one. The range of reactions goes all the way from greedy exploitation of the situation, to imagining the worst possible outcome, panicking and worrying needlessly. Worry never helped anything, though it is a common reaction for many. It only makes things worse and accomplishes nothing.
The best way to react to this situation is to get the real facts, follow the advice of the real professionals and be reasonable in your approach. There has been a lot of misinformation coming from the internet, gossip and even the federal government. I believe at this point we know enough about how the virus spreads to avoid a total overload of our health system, which is the underlying strategy of the government and health care industry. It is very important to take this seriously, especially until there is enough testing done to identify the scope of the problem. It is inevitable that the disease will spread much more that it has and that we are in for weeks, if not months of vigilance.
The good news is that the recommended social distancing, if followed, should slow the spread of the virus so the system can keep up with it. Many believe that the government and news media are over-reacting and making things worse, but over-reaction is what we need at this point to avoid a big spike in infections that overwhelm us. The stock market has certainly over-reacted as it normally does in such times of uncertainty. As of now, there is no reason to believe that this will fundamentally hurt the economy after the dust settles.
The declaration of a National Emergency and the impending deal being put together in congress to help us all through this should ease the pain that will be felt by many. The availability of funds for relief efforts should make people feel more secure and less panicky. Of course, there will always be those who suffer more, but that is the nature of our society and economy.
Life will go on and we should get the best out of it no matter the circumstances. Upon hearing the news of the Sebring cancellation, we decided to have a small get together to celebrate anyway. It was a beautiful day and we gathered to enjoy the weather on our front porch with the best Margaritas I have ever had. The recipe and mixology were supplied by our good Sebring buddy Jerry who I have renamed Captain Agave, after the plant from which tequila is made. We had a wonderful time including a pickup truck tour of Frog Holler accompanied by the hollering of those riding in the truck bed. There were no casualties.
No one can predict what the next few weeks will bring but we can enjoy the present responsibly.