Grandpa, what was the pandemic of 2020/2021 really like? We talked about it in school today. Ms. Anderson told us that more people died in the United States during the year 2020 than in World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War combined. Was it really that bad? I remember you telling me that my great grandpa, grandpa Hosea had it. Did he die from it?
Son, come here and let me tell you what I do know. We did study about that horrible time in world history when I was in school. That was a scary time. I don’t want to frighten you, son, but just about everybody in the United States had a relative or knew someone personally who died from that virus. They called it covid-19. The 19 was used to designate the year the virus popped up worldwide. It started in Wuhan City, China during the latter part of 2019. There were all kinds of stories floating about that the Chinese were experimenting in a lab, the virus got loose and spread among the population. With people freely traveling around the world back then, as they do now, it didn’t take long for the virus to reach just about every country.
Grandpa, Ms. Anderson also told us that the virus hit Europe and America real hard. I don’t understand that, since these two places were known to be advanced in many ways, as they are now. Son, I wish I could explain why the western world was affected so badly by the virus. There were lots of things that couldn’t be explained about this virus. For example, seemingly healthy young people, in their twenties and thirties would come down with the virus, get real sick, go to the hospital, and never come home. Family members couldn’t visit their relatives who resided in nursing homes. Patient with the virus who were in the hospital couldn’t have their relatives come visit; many of them died alone in the hospital. Churches closed their doors to parishioners. Yeah, son, it was a scary time in world history. But you know one of the scariest things was that after a year of the virus creating havoc all over the world, folks got anxious. They wanted to get back out and do things as they had done them before. They wanted to discard safety practices like wearing masks and keeping safe distances from each other.
Grandpa, Ms., Anderson told us that this might happen again during my lifetime, That’s scary, grandpa. Isn’t there something the scientists and people in charge can do to keep this from happening again? Son, I’m not really sure. But one thing I am certain about. We just don’t seem to prepare ourselves for things like this. They happen when we least expect them. We’re far too busy competing with each other to make the most money. Anything that might protect us, but add a little too much cost, we don’t want to do it. Although the pandemic was a worldwide event, people around the world weren’t willing to come together, pool resources and efforts to try to make sure everybody had equal access to vaccines and other measures to fight against the virus. The rich countries, like the United States did a good job of getting vaccines to its people, but poor countries struggled. By the grace of God, the virus was eventually brought under control. I think we can live without being fearful that we’ll see covid-19 spread as it did back in the early 20s.
Grandpa, I hope you’re right, but I can’t help but wonder what will happen next.
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.