Perspective: Language Of The Pandemic

May 28, 2020

The words we hear about this mysterious virus that continues to spread, increasingly to children, carry serious emotional content and power to influence our hearts and minds.  For instance, we have heard something like, “I believe beyond a doubt there will be another wave of this virus in the autumn and winter months.”  But contrast this pronouncement to the message:  “If we can crush the curve, do thorough testing and contact tracing, continue safe social distancing, and safely move the opening of businesses, then we can avoid a second wave of infections.”

Two little words -- if and then -- can make a huge difference in how our heads and hearts process this devastating historical experience.  Instead of feeling hopeless, paralyzed, and despair, these two little words would challenge and motivate leaders, health experts, and agencies to work together to create solutions based not only on common values, but also proven scientific evidence.

The if and then language is like the message of the Hebrew prophets, who weren’t really limited to predicting doom and gloom.  They continued to say, “Repent and change your ways, or these things will happen.”  The future isn’t fixed. It can be changed for the better if the right actions are taken.

Is our nation ready for this challenge? According to recent polls, a significant majority of our people are. Now, our elected officials and our agencies need to hear hopeful and persuasive language from us – If and Then.

May it be so!

I’m Connie Seraphine, and that is my Perspective.