2020 - The Lost Year - Are We Destined To Repeat It?
August 9, 2021
The lost year - will the American people once again follow the mandates of politicians and so-called experts, and possibly lose another year?
Have we learned nothing from history, even recent history, and are we destined or doomed to repeat it? The Coronavirus epidemic, a gift from a virology lab in Wuhan China, was first recognized in December of 2019. In January of 2020, the World Health Organization declared the virus had escalated to a full-blown pandemic that spread across the planet.
The first American to be diagnosed as infected was in California in February of 2020. It was determined that the individual did not travel beyond our borders, and had no contact with anyone who may have traveled from abroad. Following this, cases began emerging in other states with the first victim to succumb to the virus, also in February, was a resident of the state of Washington.
The American people in a state of lockdown retreated to their homes and hibernated for most of 2020. They relied on their TVs as their saving grace to give them hope, relying on their leaders and so called experts with their daily instructions, updates, and good (??) guesses. Within that lost year, businesses, with exceptions for those that dispensed essential products, ceased to engage, schools discontinued classes, and houses of worship closed their doors. Hospitals were deluged with the sick and dying.
The methods and procedures to fight the virus included face masks, and when in a situation where a number of people gathered, a space of 6 feet between each was to be observed. Most of us complied, even when a number of power-hungry political leaders saw this as an opportunity to exert even greater control over the lives of the people with mandates, and in some cases threats, like dictators.
What added to all the chaos, and cast a foreboding of “what next?”, was how the streets were empty, with vehicle traffic down to a trickle. As I walked about, stores were closed and darkened; very few, if any, passers-by were present, and when I did encounter one, whether stranger or familiar, they were excited and happy to see that another living soul was able and strong enough to leave their homes, and to face the deadly invisible enemy.
Asymptomatic, comorbidity, therapeutic, herd immunity, communicable, epidemiology, incubation period, CDC, WHO, NIAID, symptomatic, social distance, gain of function, Hydroxychloroquine - before we had to suffer through the past year and a half, prior to the virus, had I mentioned any of these terms in an article, those of you who read it would have scratched your heads and said, what’s this? Now, I’ll wager most of you know exactly what they represent. Although people’s lives have been upended, and have been at the mercy of the government, CDC, NIAID, WHO, and the media, there is this one thing, that we have learned more about the world of viruses and their components than we ever thought possible.
As for the CDC, as an institution, it has not proven adequate in many cases, and its almost daily revisions of policy and instructions have tarnished its reputation, and its dispensing of information has become questionable. Part of the blame can be directed at one Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of NIAID, for creating a climate of uncertainty that brought politics into an already chaotic situation.
Wear masks; don’t wear masks; as the people became more and more uncertain of their fate, and fearful of a bleak future, their president stepped forward with hope, pronouncing with certainty and determination that we would have a vaccine to combat and defeat the deadly virus by year’s end; some disbelievers thought this absurd and him preposterous. But the good Lord smiled down on us, and sure enough, President Trump working with the pharmaceutical industry achieved the impossible.
Since the introduction of the vaccines in November of 2020, over half the nation has been inoculated, but sadly over 500,000 Americans have succumbed to the deadly virus, may they rest in peace, and their families be comforted. But those of us, who survived thus far, have had to endure the incompetence and questionable edicts and pronouncements of the experts in the science community, political class, and media, who then criticize and condemn those who refuse to allow the virus to rule their lives.
It doesn’t stop there. Now we are going through another divide, one that pits the vaccinated against the unvaccinated. More mandates are being implemented, which require proof of vaccination to gain admittance into various venues, restaurants, air travel, concerts, etc. And to add to all the misery, a new strain of virus, Delta Variant, graces us with its presence. Although not as deadly as the Coronavirus, it is said to be more infectious.
Are we headed for a repeat of the lost year, a period of desperation, uncertainty, and fear? Are there other lockdowns in our future, and deserted streets, churches and businesses closing, schools in remote learning? Have we learned nothing, aside from the descriptions I mentioned previously, about how to handle this dilemma? Will so-called leaders dictate new mandates, and the media acting as their sounding board deliver daily probabilities, possibilities, and good or bad guesses? Has history taught us nothing?
Visit Bob Pascarella's website at www.ShortStoriesInVerse.com