What Coronavirus Can Teach Us

Everyone has had their own personal experiences with the COVID-19 virus that raged worldwide in 2020. This month, of the 330,000,000 United States population, approximately 460,000 or 1.2% of the population (as of this writing) have contracted the virus. About 2% of those have died from complications caused by the virus. 

While many were sick and too many died, no one was left untouched by its fury. What have we learned? What are the takeaways for the Coronavirus Pandemic generation? What will we tell our grandchildren? How has it changed our habits and thinking?

We’ve learned to respect data

We learned that data is a more effective communicator than personal opinions and emotions. It was the data that helped nations all over the world to make decisions, though perhaps in some cases we did not react quickly enough.

We learned that we really need one another

Science has always taught that we humans have a deep need to be around other people. A homeless man seen walking painfully down an empty street in NYC, when asked if he needed money for food or medicine, replied simply, “nope, just lonely.” We are social beings, we need one another.

We learned to love technology

From the TV news reports, to Chromebook computers handed out for homebound school kids, to FaceTime and Zoom, we stayed connected. Our devices held us together, allowed students to keep learning, educators teaching, broadcasters reporting, and families conferencing online. Live streaming and binge watching were never as popular. Technology united us.

We learned to wash our hands

We’ve always known that soap removes dirt, grime, and grease, but now we know it also destroys some bacteria, and especially viruses — as long as we wash vigorously for at least 20 seconds or as long as it takes to sing a whole verse of Happy Birthday. 

We learned that life will never be the same again

Not in our lifetime has a single worldwide event touched so many of us. Even World Wars were fought in far-off places by only a few, economic depressions recovered, dictators came and went, and even though we live in the nuclear age, we have yet to blow ourselves up.

When we grow old we will tell our grandchildren about a tiny virus no one could see, feel or touch; that brought business to its knees, shattered world economies, and shuttered the windows of socialization. Then we will tell them about our bravery, determination, and realization that we really need one another. We’ll talk about the heroes who found ways for us to survive and ultimately we’ll talk about the value of compassion, and likely…progress.

Disaster Response, Human Generosity

Dorian befuddled us. Hurricanes usually follow their path and move along. Dorian sat. And sat. And sat over the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama, leaving over 13,000 homes in ruin, the islands literally decimated, and much of it underwater. 

Dorian devastation in Bahama Islands.
Photo: New York Post

After sparing the eastern coast of Florida, she still threatens the Carolinas as a Category 3 storm with 115 mph sustained winds. 

Hours after the news from the Bahamas, and even before Dorian plays out in the Maritimes, tens of thousands of charities, churches, communities, and individuals across the U.S.A. sprung into action—including many in Ohio.

When Dorian was expected to hit the eastern shores of Florida, Duke Energy sent 1,500 workers from Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana to stand by—a literal army on wheels. Now boat owners from all over Florida are organizing flotillas to quickly ship tools and shelter material that can be used to quickly build temporary shelters.

The human response after a disaster is one of generosity. After Hurricane Katrina, 50% of Americans reached into their pocket, and 75% did so after 9/11. Casualties from Dorian are real and help is urgently needed. So far fewer than 30 deaths have been reported, but the real casualties are weeks and months down the road from lack of access to medical care, clean water, everyday nutritional needs, reasonable and safe shelter, and personal security.

There are dozens of large and small charitable avenues to help the Bahamas. One of those is Team Rubicon Disaster Response working in partnership with our local Mathew 25 Ministries. Learn more »

Cincinnati’s Dog Days of Summer

August this year in Cincinnati has been warm, or hot (depending on who you ask) with temperatures for the coming week in the upper 80s to the low 90s with mostly sunny skies. It’s what we call “the dog days of summer.”

The Dog Days have nothing to do with panting dogs, and everything to do with the Dog star Sirius—the brightest star in the summer sky. In ancient times, the Egyptians believed that the sun’s heat combined with Sirius’s heat to make August extra hot. They noted that when Sirius the Dog Star rose soon after the summer solstice, summer rains increased and the Nile River rose and flooded the land.

Traditionally, Dog Days of Summer last 40 days from July 3 to August 11, the same time of year that Sirius the Dog Star rises at dawn. Sirius is only 8.6 light years away, so it’s easy to spot on a clear night. It is easily the brightest star in the summer sky and the brightest star in the Constellation Canis Major.

In Greek mythology, the “dog” in Canis Major follows Orion, the great hunter. In art, the dog is often seen chasing a rabbit represented by the constellation Lepus. There’s a small dog depicted in a nearby constellation called Canis Minor. 

You can read the mythological stories behind these stars and constellations here.

To find the Dog in the summer sky, we suggest using or downloading a stargazing app for your mobile phone. Here’s a handy list of the top recommendations for 2019 for both Android and iPhone.

What do the Dog Days of Summer have to do with small business accounting and daily money management? Nothing. Yet knowledge can be fascinating!