We always knew that it was a possibility. The experts warned of it. Movies and novels predicted it, but in February 2020 it happened here. A contagion circled the globe crossing national boundaries with ease. In March Spring Breakers flocked to the beaches and the bars. One Year and, half a million US deaths later, we have viable vaccines. A science denying Federal Administration has been replaced by one committed to saving lives and listening to the experts.
Ten or so years from now a child born during this difficult and challenging year will ask it’s parent “What was it like living in the year of Covid-19?” You might say “We all tried to help each other.” Or, “We all did our best to stay well and tried to adjust to ‘the new normal.’” Many of us lost loved ones. I have friends and colleagues who have lost ten or more friends or even multiple family members.
For many it was a time of isolation and self development while others took to the streets in Black Lives Matter protest marches and wanton riots. Others flaunted long guns and ran roughshod at state capital buildings ultimately culminating in the storming of the US Capitol on January 6th. Tump lied and people died, more than half a million due to the virus to date.
When it looked like Covid-19 was really going to be a disaster, my first thought was that Trump would use it as an excuse to postpone the general election in November, Instead the states stepped up with more early voting, more mail in ballots which enfranchised more and most importantly allowed unprecedented numbers the opportunity to vote without compromising their and other people’s health.
I think of the national disgraces like March 2020 Spring Break Kid. As well as the second amendment wingnuts who feel that there should be less regulation of a deadly hand gun than the operation of a motor vehicle, as if anyone has the God given right to ride around on bald tires. We were confronted on the news with good ol’ boys and their women friends who claimed an infringement of their constitutional freedoms if they choose not to wear a mask.
They proclaimed, its their choice to make and if they should get sick then they get sick, BUT WHAT ABOUT ALL YOU INFECT ALONG THE WAY. We are witnessing what George Orwell warned about in 1984 the worshiping of a “Dear Leader,” the assault on the truth (replaced by vicious lies and dog whistles). The Politicization of the Evangelical Right’s assault on Science as “a point of view and not a fact.” This all has been going on for a very long time, this time the stakes were high. Millions are getting the vaccines now. That will help the economic rebound.
Let us never forget that we owe a dose of gratitude to our first responders and medical professionals as well as food service workers and essential workers and delivery people who took such careful care of us, all they asked of us is that we wore a mask. We are beating this Pandemic by working together as we experience the renewal of Spring let’s remember that there is Sun enough for everyone. In the midst on my darkest Winter I found within my an indomitable Summer.
(c) Changing Chelsea 2021 Paul Kornblueh