In light of the current Covid-19 pandemic leading to schools and businesses closing down, asking everyone to work and study from home, it seems our recent articles on why we need broadband everywhere and why online learning is a 21st century solution for our schools were right on the mark. It’s unfortunate how trying to explain the need to do these things is met with resistance until a black swan event makes the debate seem silly. Broadband everywhere in Erie County is necessary right now. The complaints about cyber schools being unnecessary or detrimental are proven wrong overnight and the options for students are amazing. Even telemedicine is being promoted as a way for patients to get medical attention remotely and quickly while not exposing others to a potential viral infection, but things move at a glacial pace when bureaucracies are involved or special interests must be defended.
Of course the other enormous issue exposed to bright light during this viral outbreak is our over reliance on China for everything from our pharmaceuticals to manufactured products. Could this be an opportunity for Erie County? Aren’t we the people, right here, who used to make things? In a series of articles here we promoted the idea of Made in the USA, in fact, made in Erie County. Let’s try that again.
Eventually this crisis will pass, but let’s not forget what we’re learning because of it. Let’s implement broadband everywhere ASAP. Let’s get everyone, at all levels, learning online and working online. Most importantly, let’s get Erie County making things again, especially things currently made in China, but that should be made here. If a business says it’s moving to China, look for a Made in the USA alternative. There’s opportunity in this crisis, we can be better, stronger and more self reliant in the end, or we can wait for it to pass and slide back into the same situation that got us here. It’s our choice. Which way sounds better to you?