2020: The Year of the Mask

As we prepare to bid 2020 a fond farewell, we’re left to contemplate this 10-month quarantined loss of normality. Homebound. Working in living rooms and dining rooms. Kids in virtual school. Pets everywhere. Sickness. Nowhere to go. It’s jarring.

Apparently the Trump road show is mercifully coming to a fiery conclusion, but Covid cases are raging like regional wildfires across America. Today the U.S. set a daily Covid-19 death record for the second straight day. We saw 3,740 citizens die. Another 80,000 could die in the next three weeks. How do you pop champagne to that?

It’s like some bad season of the Survivor television show. But instead of getting voted off the island, some 340,000 Americans died this year from a virus. We’re seeing 229,000 new positive cases daily. Shortly there will be 20 million cases across the United States.

As tragic as this news is I must pass along my gratitude and appreciation to the front line workers that are facing the greatest public health challenge of our times. It’s a withering work environment.

The rest of us reside on edge. People are out of work. Evicted from housing. Losing benefits. It remains unclear where this is all going. The end is unclear.

Yet even in the face of Pres. Trump abdicating his leadership role to indulge in a post-election pity party, America has stood tall in these darkest of days.

The work being done by front-line medical workers, ICU staffs, EMS, administration, coroners, and all first responders is heroic. This has been hazardous terrain responding to calls.

For law enforcement they also are contending with the largest single one-year increase in homicides since the country started keeping such records in the 20th century.

Still, with all this swirling around, these guardian angels have answered the call. The sick have been cared for and the dead comforted. Local, state and federal safety nets have banded together to fill the holes left by an absent federal response.

We will make this right. In the meantime grab hold of hope. Multiple vaccines are being distributed. A stimulus package may provide some needed aid. Donald Trump will leave office in 20 days. There will be a Biden inauguration.

It’s New Year’s Eve. Let the baggage go for half a minute.

Take a spin around the neighborhood. I find solace in the green glow from the Covid lights reflecting off the damp road. It’s calming. We hear you everybody.

Happy New Year!

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