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Back in 2016, I had the honor of being commencement speaker for my alma mater, Royalton-Hartland. My speech was mostly on point, celebrating our school and community and the great students that came from them.

Even as the state prepares for the complex task of restarting a virus-ridden economy, we are weighing the cost to keep nonessential businesses closed and the cost of human lives if reopening unfolds too quickly, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday.

From afar, the COVID-19 pandemic is generating news of such terrifying magnitude that it is nearly too overwhelming to comprehend. Millions are suffering and thousands are dying. Economies are collapsing. The world seems out of control.

The United States fumbled testing for the coronavirus, that much is clear. New York state is lagging behind in testing, but is making strides to catch up. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is putting great stock in social distancing to slow the spread of the virus.

Separation because of the coronavirus pandemic is doing more than keeping us from socializing. In many cases, it has built a barrier between the public and their local news outlets.

About two weeks ago, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and President Donald Trump tussled over the commander-in-chief’s groundless wish to “reopen the country” on April 12, Easter Sunday, and start getting people back to work.

For several days, Gov. Andrew Cuomo criticized federal lawmakers for passing a bipartisan $2 trillion bill to fight the coronavirus pandemic. The governor said the bill will provide insufficient aid to state governments.

Due to coronavirus concerns, a lot of families will be visiting grocery stores rarely if at all, feasting on caches that they had collected prior to the state’s shutdown of schools, non-essential businesses, and gatherings of any size.

I’m sure you saw the rather sad news reports of families peeking into windows and waving at their loved ones who were, for lack of a better word, imprisoned in their Washington nursing home in order to prevent the spread, to the outside world, of coronavirus which had sickened so many reside…

San Francisco and six Bay Area counties, with a combined population of nearly 7 million, are under “shelter-in-place” orders directing everyone to basically stay inside their homes for the next three weeks in hopes of suppressing the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the region.

Back in 2016, the Bank of Japan shook up the markets when it announced that, for the first time, it would impose a negative interest rate on financial institutions. The move smacked of desperation as the once-proud archipelago continued to struggle against deflation, an economic battle it ha…

(Editor’s note: Due to the coronavirus, Scott DeSmit’s regularly featured column will not be running in its normal form. Instead, we have provided a column from 2004, hence all the old references to President George W. Bush. Enjoy.)