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Home Column NY Governor Cuomo Re-imagining Our Society: "We Control Our Destiny Like Never Before"

NY Governor Cuomo Re-imagining Our Society: “We Control Our Destiny Like Never Before”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Re-imagining our Society: “We Control Our Destiny Like Never Before”

During his COVID-19 Response Press Conference today, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo would utter the following words: ” We Control Our Destiny like never before…What we do today will determine what happens tomorrow.”

Earlier, he would say the following.

Governor Cuomo:

“With reopening, I want to set the bar higher. Meaning the question shouldn’t be, when do we reopen, and what do we reopen? The question should be, let’s use this situation, this crisis, this time, to actually learn the lessons, value from the reflection, and let’s re-imagine what we want society to be.”

“Okay, how do we use this situation and stop saying reopen, but re-imagine and improve and build back better? And you can ask this question on any level. How do we have a better transportation system, a better housing system, better public health system, better social equity, better use of technology? People who are working from home, a lot of them are saying, I should have been doing this all along. You have telemedicine that we have been very slow on. Why was everybody going to a doctor’s office all that time? Why didn’t you do it using technology? Why haven’t we been using more technology for education? Why haven’t we incorporated so many of these lessons? Because change is hard and people are slow. Now is the time to do it.”

“And that’s what we are doing in a multi-state regional coalition and that’s very important because that is the smartest way to do it. On a more granular level here in New York, we will have a “reimagine task force” that focuses primarily on downstate New York, which has been the most affected area, and led by the State with those local elected officials, but let’s get the best housing experts. Let’s get the best transportation experts and let’s use this as a moment to really plan change that we could normally never do unless you had this situation.

In light of all that he’d stated, I was able to immediately contextualize its meaning; or rather, apply my own interpretation. Basically, the chance for change has been thrust upon us and well, a ‘Brave New World’ comes to mind but that term’s always gotten a bad rap. So let’s just say, it’s all a chance to start over again – or as the Governor stated, “Re-imagine”.

I’d like to think the governor’s thoughts were along these lines and the rest of us could use our imagination. What’s possible? What COULD we do? What SHOULD we do?

On April 13, when the NY Governor first announced the Multi-State council that would be formed, RI Governor Gina Raimondo said something which really struck me at the time.

“So, like many of you, I have a team here that I’ve assembled to develop a plan for what we are calling the new normal. We’re looking at everything from how we screen people entering businesses to how we utilize more touchless technology in our day to day interactions.”

Whatever idea any of these governors drums up is bound to be under consideration for all the participating states. Remember, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts and New York would be part of this team.

Governor Raimondo’s mention of ‘Touchless’ brings to mind 5G technology. It’s had a slow overall rollout. Maybe this will all be the boost needed in order to get things going.There’s so very much that could be done with 5G.

As for ‘touchless’, here in NYC we were already on our way to OMNY’s “tap and go” entry onto the subways. Just use a Smartphone or credit card and on you go. What else could be done?

What will this supposed new society look like? Will it be a hit and miss or will it resemble the Smart Cities of China? Huawei’s Smart City Solution is being applied in over 160 cities in over 100 countries and regions. Will there be cameras and sensors at every turn? Oh sure, maybe not in the beginning, but eventually. The fundamental idea would/should always be to create something which can always be expanded upon. Otherwise, it’s a waste.

Will there be a greater deal of schooling from home? Will Cuomo’s latest Executive Order for tele-marriages become a permanent process – or remain simply as an option should one wish? Will our social habits, customs and interactions take massive turns; for the better or for the worse? Will crime take major dips? That is, with eyes everywhere and some way of quickly identifying individuals on our streets and everywhere else? That sort of approach is already being discussed for the handling of COVID-19 – Who’s got it? Who’s Immune?

It could be a matter of opinion. I personally love the idea of making people behave by keeping them in check. Just look up a few stories on China’s Smart Cities and you’ll see what I mean. It’s a subject I’ll definitely be writing about.

However, during some of my day-dreaming moments, I swear I can hear the laughter of a woman in the distance. It’s a sound that’s both sweet and delightful. I suspect she’s the embodiment of Mother Nature.

Why wouldn’t she be delighted? With the way things have been, you’d think we were giving the environment the respect it’s always deserved – and in fact, we are, simply not by choice.

Well, the chance for change has been thrust upon us. Will we being taking all the measures necessary to protect our children’s future? Once we’re free from this health mess we’ve still got Climate Change to deal with and honestly, the future doesn’t look too bright.

I can only hope and pray that whatever route we take ends up not being abused in the end. Too often, good things end up as bad. I think we need to go through a collective reawakening in order for these sorts of things, advancements, renewals and ‘reimaginings’ to truly work for the sake of all species and for the earth. But maybe that’s just me.

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