I went back into my journal from 2020 to see what I’d had to say in those first days of the pandemic. I remember the feeling, and remember not knowing how we were going to live under such circumstances. We learned.
It’s been a year
by Ruth Neuwald Falcon, Seattle, Washington
“I feel a darkness descending on the earth, a more biblical statement that I am wont to make. The last time there was a global pandemic was 102 years ago, in which my father’s very young first wife died along with—can this number I remember from a news story this morning be right?—at least 50,000,000 others. Someone back then, someone distinguished, was quoted as saying that if it went on for another three weeks, it would mean the end of civilization. The president, at a campaign rally last night, called it a “Democrat hoax.” And no Republican has the spine to contradict him. If they all did it, he would collapse.
“Two more cases today in Washington. One in Oregon. The Washington ones were in King and Snohomish Counties. Very close to home. I told my gym buddy I don’t think I’m going to go anymore for awhile. By the end of the conversation, she said, “You’ve really got me freaked out, Ruthie.” I know that, because of my background, I am quick to see catastrophe. But now it is the whole world—except for the U.S. President and his cronies—that is catastrophizing.
“It is hard to imagine what is coming and how it will impact our lives.”
I wrote the above exactly one year ago. Today, I got my second vaccination. It would have been impossible to imagine what the intervening twelve months would bring. The thought of over half a million dead in this country would have been too much to anticipate, and now that reality is too much to bear. Even with the advent of the vaccines and a new president, it is still hard to imagine what is coming and how it will impact our lives. And it’s still not time to let our guard down.