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May 7, 2020

I might sound like a broken record, but it touches me to no end seeing our neighbors each night come out of their homes for the Cheer. They don’t have to do this. Last night at exactly 7:00 p.m. when Louie and I walked out our back door, neighbors were already outside, including Allen and Karen who walk down from their home around the corner. Our neighbor’s boys couldn’t wait to start clapping with contagious enthusiasm. Seeing this nightly gesture of kindness says so much about their human character.

A recent headline caught my eye: “What do Countries with the Best Coronavirus Responses Have in Common? Women Leaders.”

Call it motherly instinct, downright smarts – or both, leaders in Germany, Taiwan, New Zealand, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland acted with decisiveness, innovation and compassion. No longer is the saying, “Women are the power behind the throne.” They are in the throne.

And German Chancellor Angela Merkel, one of those leaders, is the epitome of the expression, “Look out for the quiet ones.” She rarely delivers big addresses to her nation. But when Covid-19 made its presence, so did she. There’s been relative calm in her country – thanks to her quintessential calmness that transferred to a populous looking to its leader to lead in this crisis (she’s the daughter of a pastor and holds a doctorate in quantum chemistry). Merkel’s early action, including aggressive coronavirus testing, has resulted in relatively low case and death numbers – and has caught the attention of other world leaders.

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, I learned that the UFC, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, will proceed in Jacksonville, Florida, this month on three separate dates (including flying in competitors from around the world). In light of the pandemic, organizers say that fight nights will be closed to the public (but televised), being mindful of social distancing – that is, until the gladiators duke it out in the ring.

But the real winner, just might be Covid-19 – because it shows up anywhere and there’s no protection against it.

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