Corner Column


May you live in interesting times.

Commonly referred to as a Chinese curse, its actual ties to China are doubtful. Nonetheless, we do seem to be living in interesting times, and its roots appear to be from China.

It’s a bit like watching an explosion in super slow motion, the spread of and reaction to the coronavirus.

A crystal ball would be worth trillions right now, but we don’t have that luxury.

Those in positions to try to make decisions about events and institutions have my sympathy.

As Mineola ISD Superintendent Cody Mize said, there is no script for this. The term “uncharted territory” has become ubiquitous.

As a participant in the discussion to postpone the Mineola chamber banquet, I can say that those who favored carrying on made some good points. But with each passing day, it seems, those willing to take such a risk are becoming fewer and fewer.

We’d all like to be remembered as Admiral Farragut who proclaimed “Damn the torpedoes” at the Battle of Mobile Bay during the Civil War. But had Farragut’s ship struck one of those mines, would we even know who he was today, or at least we would remember him in a quite different way.

No one wants to be that person, although secretly I’m sure many of us would like to see life return to some semblance of normalcy sooner rather than later and take a bold step to make that happen.

But since we do not know and have no road map, what are we to do?

Just think where we would be without the various types of electronic communications, without easy or quick access to information. Although it can also be a curse, as evidenced by the over-reactions that gave rise to unconscionable hoarding.

But it is that unknown quality of the events of recent days that helps spur unreasonable actions and reactions.

Those of us in business are not just inconvenienced, we truly have concerns about our short-term situation. When the phone stops ringing and people stop coming through the doors, it’s scary.

Please check out what some of them are doing not only to stay in business, but to be of service to the community during difficult times.

We’ve seen this before, with the Great Recession that began impacting business in Texas around the end of 2008, and also in 2001 in the days following the terrorist attacks. As each of those events had a different trigger, we can take only so much of what we learned then and apply it today.

I think we all believe that there is an end game and it is not too far off. But what to do in the mean time is a tough call at any level. And how long will those impacts last?

I’m sure the owner of the toilet paper factory has a different set of issues from the small retailers who need each and every customer who comes through the door.

With all the unknowns, there are some things we do know. We will get through this. We will rally together and take care of each other to ensure that not too much slips through the cracks. And in the great American capitalist spirit, there will be a t-shirt for those who want to claim that they survived this.

In the mean time we will continue to produce a newspaper. One of our chief news sources, especially in the sports arena, is our schools, so our reporting will be mostly limited to updates on the situation.

And without other events to report on, the pickings may be a little slim for awhile.