Seizing the Golden Hour


Have you heard about the golden hour?
The golden hour is the period of time following a traumatic injury during which there is the highest likelihood that prompt medical and surgical treatment will prevent death.
In a crisis, I have a hunch that there’s a golden hour as well.
While in medicine, the golden hour is literally an hour, in other endeavors we are given a longer time to seize the moment. Not forever. But a season perhaps. 
For America, life post Covid-19, whenever that may be, will be different. But will it be better?
It can, if we want it to be. 
The crisis laid bare some real weaknesses. 
Our public health care system was caught unprepared for this pandemic. We lacked resources and equipment and we found that when we needed to replenish our stocks we had to look overseas. 
We now have an opportunity to strengthen our health care system and recapture our manufacturing capacity to ensure our national security. 
We also have an opportunity to reconsider some of the people we’ve forgotten in our society. 
Teachers, hospital workers, delivery drivers, supermarket staff, restaurant workers, pharmacists and support staff, first responders , farm workers (many foreign and undocumented) are essential to our society. That has been made clear by this crisis. Yet many live paycheck to paycheck often without health insurance. During this pandemic, we have asked them to risk their lives to keep us afloat in our time of need. Maybe, just maybe, we will begin to think of these important workers differently. Maybe, just maybe, we can find it in our hearts, to extend them healthcare, a living wage and an affordable place to live. 
Prior to this we haven’t done those things have we?
Maybe now we will look at policies and attitudes that have prevented tens of millions from climbing the ladder and sharing in the American Dream.  
And if we think this work is for someone else to do we’d be wrong. 
Sure, the president and Congress have a role to play and to date they’ve failed to stem the forces that have kept so many from living a secure and stable life. But we have a role too. 
On the local level, we have an opportunity to be better citizens. We have an opportunity to support our schools and our teachers. We have an opportunity to support our first responders and front line workers by advocating for policies that support housing near jobs and transit. 
We can be smart consumers and shop local. 
Delray’s economy is built on real estate, food, beverage, tourism and culture. 
There are other industries in town and they are important. 
 We need to diversify for sure. 
But we also need to cherish what makes us who we are. 
The chef Jose Andres was on 60 Minutes last week discussing his heroic efforts to feed the hungry in America.
The hungry in America.
Digest that for a moment.
The richest nation on Earth has people who are hungry and homeless. Lots of them. 
We have people who struggle and live lives of quiet despair. We can and should seek to help these people. We have the solutions. Do we have the will? 
Will we seize the golden hour?
Mr. Andres says the local restaurants in our community represent our DNA. When we support these establishments we support the men and women who work there, those who fish, grow our food and deliver it to our homes when we decide to take out. 
I think that’s true. 
Restaurants are the largest U.S employer supporting more than 15 million jobs that add about $1 trillion to the economy according to the Wall Street Journal. This month, they are expected to lose $50 billion in revenue. 
We are seeing a yeoman’s effort right now to support and save our local restaurants. 
It’s heartwarming.

But when this crisis passes, will we care about where these workers live? Will we show concern for their health care needs and whether they have a path to a life of stability? 
I hope so.
It’s our choice. 


  1. Terry Persily says


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