Friday, May 8, 2020


I was close to failing Sophomore English. My high school had an accelerated English track that I was put on. All was well until sophomore year when my dismal memory capabilities shone brightly. My teacher required we memorize many pages of vocabulary words. A good exercise, but I just couldn’t seem to remember them. I did poorly on the test and withdrew from the accelerated track. I still have to replace words in my writing because I have no idea how to spell them. COVID-19 has been similarly humbling. I have no idea how to even start to create a vaccine or treatment plan.

Besides being humbled, which is a good thing, the English class experience made me realize that some people have strong abilities that I just don’t have -- like memory. One of my kids has a super memory. It’s great when she is with me. She remembers everything, including days and years of every event we have shared. She has none of my memory shedding DNA.

Vanity is another problem I have, which I wrote about last time. Online venues let you show your good side and bury your bad side. Like George Orwell confessed, all my writing (and video) are rooted in ego. Teaching also nurtures ego because you control the environment. You talk about things you know. Long ago Augustine recognized "pride lurks even in good work". (Yes, I'm reusing a quote from the last article because I liked it so much.)

Does that mean you stay silent and live under a rock? Maybe. Sometimes it is good to be silent and listen to others, keeping your voice out of the cacophony of screaming words.

While COVID-19 is humbling, the coronavirus will affect the virtual communications environment in the same way that 9/11 impacted security. This pandemic is forcing late adopters to use technology in a way that makes our world safer and reduces the environmental impact of travel.

History will be repeated. We chatted about 9/11 until the financial markets crashed in 2007 – then we talked about lost savings. The same will probably happen with COVID-19. However, it does seem like it will leave lingering changes such as, virtual education, rapid diagnostic technology, and the establishment of medical borders.

However, time advances and even now I take both pride in my humility and speling.