Don Kesner

Before I even start on this week’s column, I would like to offer this disclaimer: I am in no way attempting to predict the future of our nation.

I’m not attempting to frighten anyone with anything I write in order to offer some form of financial opportunity for anyone.

I’m not offering advice on how to keep up with the current changes in our country nor will I make any suggestions as to what anyone should or should not do about investments or how to protect their financial future. Now on to what I do hope to accomplish with this column.

I want nothing more than to do what this column has intended to do over the past 20-plus years and that is to offer some “Food for Thought.”

I’m sure that many of you have noticed that there is a trend that has been taking place in our country.

Yes there has been an increase in the job market over the past few years, but will our governmental leaders be able to recover from what is taking place in the business industry today?

For as many new jobs that may have been garnered over the years, technology is continually threatening the future of the job market for countless numbers of people.

Walmart is a prime example, offering self-checkout lines for individuals and by doing so are able to eliminate many more jobs of those who have previously been employed to work checkout lines.

I wouldn’t even begin to project how many more stores will close as technology takes over the economic and business structure within our nation.

As a company like Amazon takes a stronger hold on the retail market, more stores like J.C. Penney, Macy’s, Sears and others will end up closing many of their doors if not all.

Now, millions of people are finding it more convenient to order products online than to go through the motion and the hassle of getting ready, making the drive, fighting the traffic and now worrying about catching some virus that could threaten their lives or the lives of their loved ones.

Hanging across the rearview mirror of my car there is a face mask that I can put on in case I have to make a stop somewhere on the way home from my office.

In the pocket of my sport coat there is a pair of latex gloves so that I can feel somewhat safe when it comes to touching any item I may need to purchase.

Although our governor has offered a plan for beginning to reopen our state and to restart folks going about their, what-used-to-be normal lifestyle, I wonder how normal our lifestyle will be anymore.

Beginning to reopen the businesses, schools, churches and so forth is, I believe, a very necessary move. The question that is pertinent is, “will you feel comfortable returning to the norm of going to the store without a facemask or without wearing those handy, dandy latex gloves we have become so accustomed to?

Unless our officials offer a complete analysis of the coronavirus over the next few months, will parents feel safe sending their children back to school next fall and having them sit in lunchrooms and walk down hallways while rubbing elbows with hundreds of other children on a daily basis?

Yet, our children need to get back to school and continue their education. Consider the effects that being out of school for the past month or so, coupled with closing schools for the remainder of the school year has had on students.

Distance learning, i.e., teaching students over the Internet and having homework done online, isn’t the same as face-to-face interaction between student and teacher.

I have personally experienced the wonder of technology by attending my most recent doctor’s appointments by a virtual visit. I started out in a virtual waiting room – without fear of being close to anyone else who may be sick with some illness. After a short wait, a receptionist via facetime informed me that my doctor would be with me shortly.

I have no complaint because I had what I considered to be a nice doctor visit and didn’t have to leave my home. Who would have thought it could be?

The list of changes taking place in America are far too numerous to go into due to print constraints but I believe the picture is clear.

What’s going on even affects churches across our nation. Technology can  have a positive influence on churches if we can tap into the realm of technology and embrace the changes which could include livestreaming services, the use of websites and sites like Facebook, etc.

Whether we like it or not, change is happening. For many, I’m concerned that they will somehow get lost in the shuffle either because they don’t have computers or the Internet, or they may not be able to get the hang of this newfangled way of doing things.

Change isn’t coming. It’s here. And while it’s confusing for many, it’s convenient for so many others. It appears that either we get on the train or get off the track.

That’s a subject for another column. o

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