One of the few upsides for me to this Pandemic is having caught up on my reading. Usually I read 2+ hours each day, mostly business, economic and general news, but for enjoyment, I read mostly history. Over the last weeks I read about Churchill during the Battle of Britain and about a plot to kill Lincoln while enroute to his first inauguration. Both reads have overtones to today’s political landscape. I have also had more time to reflect personally about, well, life. It has been said that it’s truly an ill wind that blows no good.
While reflecting on life, I was recalling the birth of my first born, Nicole. We were young, in love and all was well in the world. It was the 80’s. Lisa was experiencing an “easy” pregnancy, no morning sickness, she didn’t swell up, and she was feeling pretty good overall. We were both very excited. Contractions began one warm Sunday morning in August while we were watching TV on the couch. Of course, I began to panic, but Lisa was calm and in control and I remember succinctly being in awe of her qualities which so attracted me. She showered, then got dressed before heading to the hospital to deliver her first child. “In those days” we were required to take a Lamaze class to build the Mother’s (in reality, the Father’s) confidence level. We learned breathing techniques, watched child birthing films (on BetaMax tape), were taught general anatomy (although rather late, given our current state) and “things” to be aware of in the hospital. One of these “things” was a machine monitoring the mother-to-be and baby’s heart rate with probes glued to Lisa’s torso like fishing line to a lure. The screen had two horizontal lines, one monitoring contractions and the other the baby’s heart rate. The idea was to watch this screen for telltale signs of stress on the baby. If the line for contractions went up and the line monitoring baby’s heart rate went down, it meant trouble. Well it goes without saying that’s what happened. As contractions increased, Nicole’s heart rate decreased indicating trouble was afoot. Immediately I grabbed a nurse (figuratively, of course) and over-excitedly explained what I was seeing. The nurses had heard this one many times before from nervous fathers fresh out of Lamaze class. I was told to calm down and that all was fine. When it happened again, I grabbed a nurse (in reality, this time) and pulled her into Lisa’s hospital room to see what I had seen. Sure enough, she saw it too, the baby was in distress. Things moved faster now as I was escorted from Lisa’s side and doctors and nurses rushed in to prep her for an emergency C-section. She was taken to the operating room and in short order emerged with 5 pound, 11 ½ ounce peanut we named Nicole. Emotionally, I remember being a wreck. My emotions had been taxed to the extreme, fear and worry, joy and ecstasy. Lisa, as always, seemed to take it all in stride.
Good is not always positive and bad is not negative in all respects. This global Pandemic is not good, but positives have emerged for some. The economy is said to be exhibiting a “K” shaped rebound. The upper “K” represents what is often expressed as a “V” shaped recovery, or a sharp bounce back. Many of the country’s best educated and those in select fields such as tech are financially better off than prior to this crisis. Work continues, often from home, with minimal public contact and no contact with those who may be infected, potentially spreading Covid. Cash is good, as Government checks fill our coffers and our confinement limits our ability to spend, further enhancing our cash position. Our savings and investments have increased. The positives in the bad. The flip side or bottom of the “K” are those most negatively affected who, out of work, and out of cash, find things getting worse daily both financially and oft times health-wise. The negative in the bad. Although most of our clients are experiencing the upper arch of the “K”, I think we all personally know those who are hurting. Like the birth of my first child our emotions can get the better of us. In times like these it’s best to dig deep and find the calm in these most difficult times.
As always, we thank you for your business and continued trust.
Jack P. Cannata