Usually when Wednesday comes around, I am breathing a sigh of relief as I begin to count down the days to the weekend. However, this week I'm more cautious with my optimism. Even though we are heading out of town for a much needed vacation, I have so many things on my mind. How are you all feeling? The after-effects of lockdowns seem to have people struggling to reconnect and the shock of the recent protests has left us all concerned about the future.
In the past week, I have had the opportunity to reflect on the events of the past few weeks My good friend, Andrew Langer, had me on his radio program on WBAL last Saturday and I was able to talk about my post from last week on how I was talking with my kids about the protests. And earlier this week, I posted my first Whiskey is Freedom profile of the very cool Congressman Denver Riggleman from Virginia's 5th District. If you haven't read either post, I encourage you to go back and do so.
Through the thoughtful conversations I am having, I am learning so much more than I thought possible. While I remain steadfast in my convictions, I also feel compelled to begin to have a dialogue about what unites us all as Americans. This will take some out of the box thinking. Luckily, I am meeting so many leaders who seem to be doing this and desire for change. So, I want to continue to talk with these men and women who are willing to cross the divide regardless of the political costs and share with you all the good things they are doing. I'd love to get your feedback and hear more from you about what you're thinking (and be bold about it!) and how you think we can be more united in our shared experience.
Some good news...
~It looks like three federally funded coronavirus vaccine candidates are set to begin trials in the coming months. The three candidates — Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson — will be conducting these phase 3 trials on thousands of subjects around the U.S. Separately, Pfizer is set to being phase 3 trials this summer but they aren't participating in the NIH study. There is not a vaccine proven yet to treat the coronavirus but the medical and research community remains very optimistic about all the vaccine candidates. Researchers hope this will yield results in 6-8 months.
The impact of finding a vaccine is huge and is a game changer. While schools systems struggle with making decisions about re-opening and nursing homes keep their doors closed to visitors, there is hope in finding therapeutic remedies to bring us back together again.
~So many of us are yearning for a more normal existence or a semblance of what our lives used to look like. We've missed birthday celebrations, visiting family, cultivating clients and going on vacation. Everyone can relate.
There is no denying it, the coronavirus has upended the travel business. Airline travel was down to virtually a standstill. Eric Hargan, who typically was traveling 10-15 days a month, hasn't been on an airplane since March. Currently, airlines are seeing a bit of an uptick in air travel but travel experts predict that airlines will begin to lower their prices to lure back travelers. Be prepared for airfare wars and fire sale rates as more and more states begin to reopen and flexibility in travel can resume. So if you have been waiting to take that long-anticipated vacation, now may be your opportunity to get a great deal and to re-claim some of your life back!
I am excited to announce that Beatrice Leader is joining the B&P team to work on special projects. Over the last week, we have had some lively discussions about the idea of American exceptionalism and the formation of the American identity. Beatrice is a superstar with a desire to learn from new experiences. She will be a junior at Wake Forest University in North Carolina in the fall where she is a Business and Spanish double major.
From Beatrice: "As a young adult still developing my own opinions on politics and the world, I’m so excited to contribute to Bourbon & Politics and learn to articulate and expand my views. Having studied abroad in Spain this past semester, I feel as though I have gained more perspective on what it means to be an American through engaging in interesting conversations with my host family and others. I look forward to continuing a similar dialogue here!"
So throughout the summer, and especially in wake of this challenging start to 2020, we feel that it’s important to remind ourselves about what makes America the “Shining City Upon a Hill” that we know it to be. Although these challenging moments can make us question if America truly is exceptional, these instances also call attention to the fact that while America is imperfect, it has remarkable qualities and values that have allowed us to adapt to the needs of our people and prevail time and time again. These uniquely American qualities emerge throughout our history as a country in more ways than one – and sometimes in ways we may hardly even notice.
Please keep reading for more great content from Beatrice and me as we begin a new series on the blog that will open up a discussion on what unites us in our shared experience as Americans and what makes this country truly exceptional.