2020 Pandemic Living in America
The Year of Living Dangerously
By G G Collins Copyright 2021
What Went Wrong?
As I watched the events unfolding yesterday at the US Capitol, I am reminded that the past year has been one of tumult, chaos and fear.
The year began fairly normally, although there were already reports in late 2019 of a pneumonia in China that wasn’t responding to protocol treatments. By February, it was apparent that we would need to find ways to cope with an impending pandemic. We could see it coming from the horrible losses in China, Italy and other European countries.
In the beginning it was met with uplifting song, improvised music and appreciative applause for healthcare workers. But in the US, it has been reported that desperately sick people are cursing hospital staff as they try to treat them, yelling “It’s only the flu!”
A New Reality
The early months of the pandemic dissolved into physical scraps in grocery stores over toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Empty shelves mocked hopeful shoppers. It was nearly impossible to buy or steal a mask. Fortunately Etsy and other indie platforms stepped up. Restaurants, bars, churches, offices closed. Instead of “working from home offices” it became “remote working.”
Although we’ve have always considered firefighters, police, EMTs and hospital staff to be frontline workers, the designation took on new meaning. Grocery store, pharmacy and meat packing plant employees were drafted into duty as frontline workers.
Suddenly, going to the grocer or picking up a prescription became a red line to step over; a threat to be weighed. Do I really need that loaf of bread? Do I risk my life for a carton of milk? Should I keep my yearly physical or dental appointment? Is it safe?
Is Anything Right With the World?
I’m lucky. I can work remotely; have for years. But that doesn’t make me immune from stress and COVID-19. Unable to do anything about the pandemic, but report on it, I began looking for small things to uplift my spirit and remind me that some things were still going along as expected.
My neighbor has the old-fashioned idea that laundry should be hung outside to dry. She enjoys the crunchy feel of a sunshine-drenched sheet. I began looking for her hanging laundry, because it was a normal occurrence BP (Before Pandemic). Having a garden has been a lifesaver. Not only can I get outside, but watching things grow is therapeutic.
It’s not over, in fact, the worst of the pandemic may still await us, even as the vaccine parade forms. We have to get through it; there isn’t a way around it. We can’t beg or bribe our way out of a pandemic; but must abide.
There is no choice but to continue the year of living dangerously.
Posted on January 7, 2021, in About, commentary, Editorial, reporting, Uncategorized and tagged 2020, 2021 US Capitol Protest, COVID-19, Frontline Workers, Pandemic, Pandemic Coping, Shortages, Stockpiling. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.