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Inside Sources: Conquering coronavirus through stages

In this photo from April 11, 1970, the Saturn V rocket carrying the crew of the Apollo 13 mission to the moon launches from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Photo credit: NASA via AP)

This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom. 

The coronavirus crisis is so big, it’s worldwide. Nothing on Earth, by definition, can be larger than that. How do you open the door to understanding a global pandemic?

 A lesson from rocket design may be the key to the lock. 

To the moon

During the Apollo program, NASA engineers knew that to reach the moon, the rocket carrying the astronaut crew would need a MASSIVE amount of energy to get there, which meant a whole lot of rocket fuel, which meant adding a lot of tonnage to the payload.

In order to reach orbit, the rocket’s engines and fuel requirement would have to be so enormous the moonshot seemed out of reach.

Then came the eureka moment: Staging, or,  two or more rockets stacked on top or attached to each other.

Stages of the rocket are jettisoned as they run out of fuel or propellant, thus reducing the weight of the rocket. Staging gave the successively lighter rocket greater thrust to free it from gravity and propel it into lunar orbit.

With the multistage Saturn V rocket, NASA successfully launched six moon-landing missions between 1969 and 1972.

OK, but what does that have to do with the coronavirus pandemic?” you ask.

Reduce the coronavirus crisis into stages.

Instead of passing a $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill as the House did Friday, break it down into smaller stages of legislation.

Even many of the Democrats who I’ve talked to about the $3 trillion bill are saying: Wait a minute, this could be a separate bill — and this could be a separate bill.

Do it in stages, then adjust. Tweak it, then move forward.

What’s working? What’s not working? What could we do to make it better? Have we made sure there’s no waste, fraud or abuse?

Think about the problems that you’re dealing with in the same way: whether that’s at work, dealing with finances, spouse, children or community.

Think of it in stages. Don’t try to solve it all in one big whack.

Take a page from the Apollo program.

Stages can allow us to move forward better, faster and with more certainty and confidence.

Give that a try today.


Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 11:00 a.m to 12:00 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app.



How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus is transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A

Utah’s Coronavirus Information

UtahState Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States