Day 11: 2020 Pandemic. Why Decisive Leadership is Key; A Tale of Two Adjacent States

22 March 2020

Every training environment I was in, and every unit I served with in the Army emphasized leadership. From West Point, to Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced, Ranger, Special Forces Qualification, etcetera. Then in the Infantry and Special Forces as an Infantry platoon leader, Battalion scout platoon leader, Brigade recon platoon leader, Special Forces A-Team leader, and on. The cornerstones of leadership are responsibility and making decisions.

A leader is responsible for everything his/her unit does or fails to do. A leader makes decision. “Do something, Ranger!” Sometimes making a decision was pounded home so hard, they didn’t care if you made the right decision; the key in a dangerous situation, is to make a decision. Not stand around in the kill zone pondering what to do next.

Below is a graph showing the difference between TN and KY. It shows the difference in infection rates for COVID-19 between the two states which share a very long border. I know it’s hard to read the words but let me give you the crux of the matter. The blue is Kentucky. The orange is TN. Where the color is faded that is the number tested. Where’s it’s dark that’s the number positive. Here is a timeline between actions, or lack, by the governors of each state, which is what the boxes say:

6 March: KY declares state of emergency. TN parties on.

7 March: KY prohibits price gouging, starts daily updates, pushes social distancing, and waives copays, deductibles and cost-sharing for private insurers and state employees. TN goes to the Grand Old Opry.

10 March: KY executive orders pharmacies to refill prescriptions for 30; closes prison visitations; restricts long-term care visitation. TN Governor finally acts and says he doesn’t see a need for workplaces to close. AKA stays in the kill zone.

11 March: KY advises schools to close within 72 hours.

12 March: TN finally declares state of emergency.

13 March: TN finally advises that people not gather in large groups and to wash their hands.

14 March: KY hospitals cancel all elective procedures. COVID-19 testing is free to Kentuckians. Forces home isolation for those positive who refuse to self-quarantine. TN is still figuring out hand-washing at the local bar.

16 March: TN advises schools to close by 20 March, almost a week after KY. KY closes in person dining in bars and restaurants. Waives waiting period for unemployment. All in-person instruction must be ceased.

This past week over 1,000 ER doctors from a single county in TN sent a petition to Governor Bill Lee to lock down the State. He said no. Nashville just recorded it’s first COVID-19 death. I was alerted to the petition by my SIL, whose husband is a doctor in Brentwood. Who goes out to work each day.

I think we’ve viewed elections and politicians as something we can argue about and a pain in the ass if we don’t agree or like who is in office, but not factors in whether we live or die.

They matter.

. Also now in Kindle Unlimited.

(same as above, minus the preparation part in order to be smaller in print)

Once more, the NY Times has dropped its paywall for information about COVID-19, Coronavirus. Click to go to it.

Originally published at .

West Point grad; Special Ops Vet; NY Times bestseller of over 80 books; for free books and over 200 free downloadable slideshows go to

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