I was wrong. COVID-19 is serious business

Agriculture isnít insulated from the effects of this crisis.


Chris Torres, Commentary, American Agriculturist

Mar 16, 2020


Growing season is right around the corner, or it might be here already for some farmers.


In a typical year, this is an exciting time. Farmers are eager to get out and put the previous year behind them. Itís the start of a new journey and a chance to do things bigger and better.


But this isnít a typical year. Everything we do, every person we visit, every place we go, weíll be thinking about COVID-19. Itís like a dark cloud hanging over everything right now.


I couldnít believe it at first. I, like most people, started hearing the news of a novel new virus out of China and just thought to myself, ďNothing will happen here. Weíll be fine. Nothing to worry about.Ē Yes, it spread fast, but most people werenít dying from it. I wasnít worried.


Then, cases started appearing in the U.S. People started dying in a nursing home in Washington state. I wasnít surprised; I expected it. The experts told us that older people with underlying health conditions were most at risk. So, I wasnít afraid. I told myself, ďThis is the mediaís fault. Itís getting overblown. Nothing is going to happen.Ē


Be cautious; itís serious


My wife, who works in a hospital, urged me to stay home and cut back on trips. I didnít buy it, though. I was convinced that all of this was just overblown and that it was going to pass.


Well, I was wrong. I admit it. This isnít going away. I told my kids the other night that theyíll remember this when theyíre older ó kind of like when they ask me about 9/11 and if I remember that day. This will be an event that will forever be etched in their memories, just like 9/11 is for me. This is their 9/11.


What changed my mind? Everything. Stock markets crashing, sports leagues canceling their seasons, universities going online only. Iím an eternal optimist, but at this point itís time to admit it: This is serious business, and we all need to start paying attention.


Iím still convinced that itís a little overblown. I was at dinner the other night celebrating my mother-in-lawís birthday when I saw a headline on the television: ďCoronavirus chaos!Ē Headlines like this donít help anyone. They just work to get eyes on the screen for higher ratings. In a situation like this, itís getting people scared.


Think carefully about actions ...