John HazlehurstAs a sometimes cranky member of the Silent Generation, I understand that our world is unpredictable, irrational and occasionally crazy.

First the Democrats. They started with a couple of dozen presidential candidates, including age-appropriate, highly qualified folks like Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Michael Bennet, Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar. They all fell by the wayside, leaving a couple of superannuated septuagenarians to duke it out for the right to oppose the superannuated septuagenarian incumbent. Meanwhile, given the opportunity to endorse popular former Gov. John Hickenlooper to oppose incumbent Senator Cory Gardner in November, Dem caucus participants chose Andrew Romanoff. Doesn’t really matter, since Hick had already qualified for the Democratic primary on June 30, but still…

Next, COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus. It has already reshaped lives, upended plans, altered expectations and created new realities for businesses large and small.

Along with many of our contemporaries, we’re reluctantly cocooning. We won’t be barflies at MacKenzie’s this Friday evening, squeezing into our favorite downtown bar for a convivial glass of wine with friends. We’ll stay home, have a glass of chardonnay together, eat home cooking and then find something to watch on Netflix.

I suspect that we’ll be more active on social media, glad to spend time posting, commenting and cruising our favorite groups. Yet we worry about friends, family and people whom we scarcely know.

A friend’s FB post: “My entire company is transitioning to working from home. Tomorrow working half a day to test connections etc. also invoking social distancing — we are supposed to be at least 6 feet away from each other, not shake hands etc. I’m concerned as both my wife and I have fairly serious underlying conditions. I hope this is a wake-up call for those who think America can just ignore the health of others — we are literally all one global community in this.”

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It’s particularly sad that our country lacks unifying, inclusive and inspiring leadership. We need FDR, Ike, JFK or Ronald Reagan, but they’re long gone. And the virus doesn’t care — it’ll be up to us to do what little we can to halt its spread through the community. In doing so, we might be guided by Immanuel Kant’s categorical imperative, formulated in 1785.

It’s simple and short: Act only as if your action would become a universal law for humankind. We may not be able to do much as individuals to slow the spread of COVID-19, but we can all follow the preventive regimens suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and local authorities.

It also seems that travel, meetings and other gatherings ought to be avoided or canceled.

Yet some businesses have seen unexpected benefits. Denver divorce mediator and financial consultant Denisa Tova had already transitioned much of her practice into a virtual model before COVID-19.

“I began offering mediation sessions virtually for couples who were in different geographical locations and wanted to move things along,” former Colorado Springs resident Tova notes on her website. “The virtual process seemed to ease some of the pain and anxiety. The session(s) are done from the comfort of the couples’ individual places and they dialogue, listen and watch me model financial options and discuss parenting schedules on their [tablets] and laptops. After the sessions are completed, I prepare and deliver the mediated financial and parenting agreement and financial disclosure documents via email. Virtual mediation offers ease of scheduling, availability and accessibility, quick response, privacy, efficiency and transparency.”

Since COVID-19, her business has exploded.

“Nine out of 10 new clients are opting for virtual mediation now,” she said earlier this week. “It alleviates many of the emotional components of divorce, but I didn’t expect it to take off this fast.”

And yeah, it’s unfair that much of the economic damage from COVID-19 is being borne by businesses and workers in the hospitality, restaurant and related service businesses, especially given the lack of immediate safety nets for most tipped employees.

But at some point in the future COVID-19 will disappear, the bars and restaurants will be crowded and our president might shake a hand or two. As for me, I’ll take Hick in 2020 and Mayor Pete in 2024 … if I live that long!