I can’t think of a year in modern history, and certainly not in my lifetime, that has gotten off to a worse start. 2020 was just a few days old when the United States military executed the leading general of Iran. For a few days we all wondered if another war was inevitable, but to save face, Iran bombed a, mostly empty, Air Force base to save face and we called it even.
Whewwww — we dodged a bullet.
Then just a few weeks later Kobe Bryant and his daughter died in a helicopter crash. It’s still doesn’t seem real. Even in retirement Kobe was a force of nature. The universe just doesn’t seem right without him being here. To compound it with the loss of his daughter Gianna is tragic. She was such a talented basketball player. I would have definitely tuned in to watch her play and carry on her father’s legacy.
Just now I google’d Kobe Bryant and saw the Wiki entry, “Kobe Bean Bryant was…” Was.
Was sucks. I want is.
2020 got off to such a damn horrible start that I wanted to reboot it and try again. And it’s such a nice, symmetrical number. 2020 was supposed to be the year that we got a new liberal president, a liberal congress and senate. Get things turned around. I was optimistic that Andrew Yang would shock people, but now it looks like Biden is the guy. What a waste. Anyone but Biden. Any democrat but Biden.
But little did we know that the decade of the teens left a little going away present before forever settling into history.
Somewhere around Wuhan, China a bat had a virus that hopped a ride on some caged animal, probably in a wet market, and the unlikely, but inevitable, happened. A new virus found the warm inviting folds of some poor person’s lungs and infected them, and then someone else, and then a few others. It was January 24th before we heard about it here in the news. Vera and I bought masks on Amazon that night. The next day we went to Walmart and bought $200 worth of non perishables. And then we waited.
China went into meltdown, and then lockdown, but not before 5 million people left the Hubei province for Lunar New Year. The virus rampaged through the population, but was mainly contained in Hubei.
Mainly, but not entirely.
Flights started getting canceled. Borders closed. But it was too late. The cat was out of the bag and there was no putting it back. All that anyone could do, all that anyone can still do, is try to slow the spread, but spread it will.
Italy has now surpassed China for the most deaths due to CoVid19. Spain, the USA, Germany, will likely catch up soon.
In Italy 9% of the infected are healthcare workers. Eighteen doctors have died, as of today. But still the number of infected, and the number of deaths, increase every day, everywhere. The incubation period is around 4-14 days, and people are shedding the virus before they show symptoms. So anything short of a complete and total lockdown will be ineffective at stopping it.
Here in America the healthcare system is woefully ill prepared for what’s going to come, and they know it. Doctors and nurses are scared because they are already running short on masks and other PPE equipment. They’re going to get a heavy dose of the virus and many will die. I’ve seen videos of nurses in China and Italy in tears from a mixture of exhaustion and fear.
Here in Swannanoa we’re as prepared as we can be. I’m a little concerned about getting the virus because it’s not a certainty that I’d pull through. Probably, but no guarantees. And our primary concern is making sure that Dearest doesn’t catch it, because for her, the chances are too great that she wouldn’t survive.
There hasn’t been this much widespread uncertainty in the world since WWII. I think three months ago you could ask the majority of people in the world where they’d be living, where they’d be working, generally how they’d be doing, and most could give an answer that they were confident about. But not anymore. We’re going from record low unemployment to record high. It’s an election year, so who knows how this will change things. Who knows which candidates will even be alive in seven months.