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The New Abnormal

Mar 20, 2020

Today's news continues to be a downward spiral... More COVID-19 cases, more shutdowns by more economic sectors around the US (and globally) and an investment marketplace that has devalued literally the entire value of the world economy by around a third.

There's much activity to stop the bleeding - on all fronts - but little sense that it's more than a Hail Mary pass in the last seconds. And that's maybe the worst problem of all.

At Nonstop, we've believed that the healthcare system in the US has been badly broken for awhile. Despite the incremental improvements - important though they are - that PPACA delivered, the inflation has continued, the under coverage has worsened (out-of-pocket exposure for people with insurance) and access to care now has explicit outcomes (too few doctors, too few hospital beds, too few pretty much everything). 

And in this moment - and perhaps only in this moment - the situation has taken at least a partial step backwards from the political bipolar mode and focused on the fundamental human issues of species survival... or at least the survival of our capacity to function in some normal fashion as a society.

And therein lies hope.

Hope that we can recognize the existential abyss we've been aiming at in our game of political chicken... on healthcare, on climate change, and on the very ideals of what it means to be free, independent people in the 21st century.

"All politics are local." That quaint 20th century notion has unraveled as the political mode shifted, driven by the radically distributed information sharing enabled by the Internet.

But crisis forces sobering moments on all of us. Our world has radically shrunk - whether through forced "shelter in place" directives, spot shortages of basic necessities and the realization that while we may all be in it together notionally - we're pretty damned dependent on whatever our local communities can do to help us get through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our local infrastructure, our local government and, perhaps most fundamentally critically, our local first line of defense agencies will largely determine how the dust settles in the coming days, weeks and months. 

And that's powerful. Whatever the world figures out as 'best practices' - the actual delivery will depend on us locally. We can cut through the BS - it doesn't matter right now if you're a for-profit business, a nonprofit or government: the reality of the moment has aligned us. 

It's taken this pandemic to force the "All politics is local" back into play. Now it's on us to actually take back our power as individuals, as families, as communities -- and recreate the notion of who and what we are in the world. 

It's frightening and awful that it took COVID-19 to create this moment for taking back of power. And it makes clear the reality: we don't have a choice - we'll either take back this power and make our communities healthier or the dystopian future of science fiction just became the new abnormal.

- Be Safe, David

The information and materials herein are provided for general information purposes only and are not intended to constitute legal or other advice or opinions on any specific matters and are not intended to replace the advice of a qualified attorney, plan provider or other professional advisor. This information has been taken from sources believed to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to its accuracy. This communication does not constitute a legal opinion and should not be relied upon for any purpose other than its intended educational purpose.

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