Dozens of thousands of Georgians and millions of Americans spent the weekend heading home from various destinations, adventures, and vacations from Spring Break. In addition to some surprise screening procedures at dozens of U.S. airports, they are returning home to a vastly new normal. As I well recall from the aftermath of 9/11, sudden and significant systemic change is often unsettling, for some unnerving and for others it produces difficulties with coping. We may consider ourselves the most high-minded creatures on earth, but in reality, not unlike that Pavlovian dog in your family...we are all accustomed to and in many cases crave repetition, habit, and routine. Just two weeks ago, many were moaning and kvetching about Daylight Savings Time. Crises have a clarifying way of putting things into perspective. Though the overall health havoc to be wreaked on Americans and our world may not be evident for some time, the economic injury and impacts may well be more lasting and debilitating sooner. For most who are exposed, come down with symptoms, quietly host and transfer the virus or feel its greater wrath, most likely atop other pre-existing conditions and the compromised immune system which comes with age...the illness will come and go in a matter of weeks. Yet tragically for thousands, perhaps millions globally, pneumonia and other related complications caused by COVID19 will take their lives. In an effort to block and reduce viral transmission, we are hunkering down, burrowing in and for a period of weeks, if not months, we will become creatures of home. Some transitions are easier to swallow, others quite costly and jarring. If children cannot go to school, there must be childcare, but if both parents work, even from home, who will manage their time, online studies, and in the absence of daily structure and many recreational options...how best to make the most of their idle minds? Here are some suggestions and thoughts...as we prepare to ride this out. It's not Snowmaggedon, we still have power and functioning utilities, though we can expect more rain, spring and warmer temperatures (which also help shrink spread of this virus) not far ahead of us. For me, it means more time with my children and family, perhaps finally putting away all of Christmas, getting my 2019 income tax returns ready and completing both an office move and a financially appealing re-finance of our home. You can always find silver linings if you are willing to look. Many larger employers are already shifting to telecommuting, but this isn't really possible for airlines, hotels, car rental companies or your favorite restaurant. Many businesses will fail as a result. The blame for this outbreak should not be political, nor partisan, but our elected officials will be judged and held accountable for the responses which they plan and deliver. Again, crisis brings both danger and opportunity, as well as a brilliant spotlight. And remember, our children will be less occupied, so not only will you matter more, they will be paying you more attention. What are you saying on the phone? How is your demeanor? How are you handling all of this and showing your stress? They learn from and in many cases will mirror your example. Panic can spread much faster than a virus or germ. Humans are perhaps more greatly susceptible to fear than they this contagion. Witness the runs on toilet paper (no pun intended) and other basic commodities. Facts, logic, calm are generally trumped by rumor, innuendo, anxiety. It's, unfortunately, human nature. As Americans, we have weathered numerous natural disasters, a Civil War, World War I., WWII, 9/11 and many prior outbreaks of contagions rising to the level of an epidemic and related concerns. As a young girl, my mother, prior to the invention and general availability of Jonas Salk's polio vaccine, contracted the disease and nearly died. During her own treatment and recovery, including time spent in an iron lung, her younger brother became infected, succumbing to the disease at the age of 3. While that emotional scar still exists, Mother survived, that and much more since. And so will most of us. Americans can be a hardy bunch, but this won’t be an easy hurdle. Please buckle those seat belts, as we may have a slightly bumpy ride, one where your contents tend to shift a bit in flight...but just as the vast majority of thousands of aircraft land safely each day...again, this too shall pass. God bless you and yours.