Facts still matter, as does collegiality

We have all been subject to a barrage on social media as of late that lack a basis in science, fact — or for that matter — basic human decorum.

Many of the comments we have read or heard border on the rude or absurd. Most are so far-fetched and far reaching it would be a disservice of time and ink to repeat them.

That said, truth, fairness and collegiality have a critical role to play in our democracy and in our personal and professional lives.

During COVID-19 many of us have learned a great deal about ourselves and society. From challenge truly comes opportunity and inspiration.

I recall watching a nurse on an interview discuss long and intense shifts working with COVID-19 patients in New York.

As she shared insights into her days, I was startled to see that nearly all of the skin on her nose was worn raw, as were outlines edging both cheeks where protective masks had been terribly unkind to her skin.

These stories of serving with courage, compassion and care under extremely challenging conditions for fellow Americans is tremendously inspiring.

I believe we need to celebrate these and similar efforts as they represent a special quality that defines who we are as Americans.

The same can be said for all critical infrastructure industry employees. Each have been difference makers in helping America battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the remainder of 2020, it is my hope that we all learn to be more patient, a bit more kind and most of all, a lot more tolerant. We are after all, in this together.

Science is far from perfect but it provides the best hope for truth we have at the present time. Thousands of gifted minds are working day and night on vaccines, treatment improvements and helping educate us on reducing the spread of COVID-19.

Many have remarked that science has missed the mark multiple times with this novel coronavirus. And to that we can reply with certainty — absolutely. Hence the very important term novel attached to the virus.

If we had previous experience with the virus, it would be neither novel nor filled with as much uncertainty.

However, I believe in the power of science and I believe in the resolve of the American people. This is not a time in our history to blink, let off the gas on scientific inquiry, let up on good social distancing precautions nor allow us to be divided by trivial issues that do nothing to advance ourselves, our thoughts or civility to fellow citizens.

When I think about the men and woman who were part of the Greatest Generation who performed heroic acts to protect freedom both at home and abroad, my daily work seems a bit trivial.

While I possess great admiration for their efforts, I might suggest that the Greatest Generation is never a single generation but rather the best individuals from each generation who rise up to accomplish amazing feats under extraordinary challenge.

Thus, we have minted a new great generation during COVID-19. From this challenging time we will see innovation, determination and resolve in areas our minds have yet to fully comprehend.

It is during these challenging times we as individuals and as organizations either wither and die, or stand proud and serve our fellow Americans with compassion and honor while refusing to let obstacles define our destiny.

When COVID-19 retreats — and it will — can we look back and say it was a positive defining moment we used to grow as individuals and help our organizations move forward? And if not? What changes can we make?