To be honest, I’m a bit germaphobic and even hypochondriacal.
Imagine the irrational thoughts running through my mind when the first COVID-19 case was announced here in the United States.
As of today, April 1st, the U.S. has the highest number of confirmed cases in the world—186,101.
As I have mentioned before, I am a dual citizen of both the United States and Italy—the top two nations with the most confirmed cases in the world. My cousin, Pietro, called me last week to see how we were doing. Of course, I asked him the same question. So far, my family members in Italy and in the United States are all safe. Thank God.
When I hear the personal accounts of nurses and ER doctors working around the clock with little sleep or limited resources, when I see videos of hearses lined up in Italy waiting to unload coffins, or when I hear that famous people like country music star Joe Diffie died 2 days after being diagnosed with COVID-19, I am overwhelmed.
Are we just fish in a barrel? Is it just a matter of time before someone I know or love contracts this disease and dies?
I understand why President Trump has extended the quarantine through the end of April and I support his leadership. However, the impact on our economy and on our personal lives is life-changing. Our conservative pro-Trump coffee shop is still struggling to survive without foot traffic (your online orders are needed and appreciated.) Our family will not be able to celebrate my granddaughter’s first birthday tomorrow. Our Church is not offering Communion during Holy Week, as we will only be participating virtually from home. Imagine all of the weddings and funerals that will be sparsely attended. Of course, I’m sure you have stories of your own.
Is there hope for the future? Yes. Rather than be lead captive by fear, let’s evaluate our circumstances spiritually, medically, and mathematically.
Jerome Zeiler, a Catholic priest recently wrote the following:
Satan: “I will cause anxiety, fear, and panic. I will cause the churches to lock their doors. I will cause Christians not to worship together on Sunday. I will cause the sacraments not to be given or received. I will cause fights to break out at the grocery stores and on social media and inside the home. I will cause greater animosity between nations. I will cause turmoil inside and out.”
Jesus: “I will restore the family. I will bring husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters closer together. I will greatly strengthen the communal life of religious brothers and sisters. I will greatly strengthen the spiritual lives of my priests. I will bring dinner back to the kitchen table and to the refectory. I will help my children slow down their lives and appreciate what really matters. I will teach my children to rely on me and not on what is of this world. I will deepen my children’s faith in me. I will renew their prayer life. I will deepen their love for me and for one another.”
There’s so much good that is coming from being quarantined at home with our family. We are learning to let go of materialism and be grateful for the things that really matter in life.
My mentor and physician, Steven Hotze. M.D., has reminded all of us to calm down and not buy into the emotional hype and hysteria created by the media. Rather, he encourages us to focus on building a healthy immune system by taking Vitamins A, B, C, D and Zinc, eating clean, exercising, and getting plenty of rest. He told me that this will all be over by May 1. I hope he is right.
Finally, I read two articles this morning that paint a less frightening picture about the true fatality rate of this virus. Basically, the reality is much different when we focus on the math rather than the media. Both the Wall Street Journal and The Spectator ran stories written by doctors suggesting that far more people actually have COVID-19 than are being tested and confirmed positive. The vast majority are asymptomatic and will never be tested. I recently discovered that my real estate agent and his wife contracted the virus, but had very minor symptoms. They are both healthy now. Therefore, based on their estimates, the true fatality rate of the novel coronavirus is probably more like that of the flu, or .1%. I don’t trust the mainstream media. Only time and better data will tell the true story.
The bottom line is that this too shall pass. Life will resume.
The real question is, what will we have learned from this as individuals, organizations, and as nations? And can our businesses survive this?
In the meantime, I humbly request that you consider ordering our fresh-roasted coffee online and have it shipped safely to your doorstep.
The purpose of this note is to let you all know our status and give you the opportunity to help us power through these uncertain times. After all, there’s nothing like the power of conservative coffee coursing through your red-blooded American veins!
Will you give us some love and stock up on coffee the way most Americans stocked up on ground beef and toilet paper? Or even consider making a donation?
Every dollar goes a long way to keep us in business through this pandemic!
Brandon Vallorani is a visionary entrepreneur and accomplished brand-builder, author of The Wolves and the Mandolin (ForbesBooks; 2017), co-author of Would Jesus Vote for Trump? (2019), and a third generation Italian-American.
Brandon Vallorani is the Founder of over a dozen startups that have developed numerous high-impact brands, sites, and e-commerce stores for conservative and religious markets, and which have achieved placement 6 times on the Inc. 5000.
Vallorani graduated from West Virginia University with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, and began his career in the non-profit sector. He quickly rose through the ranks to become Executive Vice President in a few short years, simultaneously earning his Master of Business Administration from Thomas More College.
He lives in Metro-Atlanta, with his wife with whom he shares seven children, a son-in-law, and three grandchildren. In his free time, Brandon enjoys traveling, his three dogs, and learning Italian.