Well, we’re eleven days into this New Year, and how’s it working for you so far? It’s a little early to make any pronouncements, but one thing is for sure, life certainly isn’t dull in the US these days, in spite of the challenges of the pandemic, the economy, and just keeping one’s head above water. In every race, in every marathon, in every challenge, even in childbirth, there comes a moment when you feel overwhelmed and think ‘I can’t do this….this is too much’, and you think you’ll drown. That’s the hard part, that ultimate moment, and if you just hang on, the victory will come later, the praise, the elation, or even just the satisfaction of having finished the race. I think that’s sort of where we are at the moment. That hard time when you think you’ll drown. We won’t, we can’t, we just have to keep swimming, either dog paddling as best we can, or in long smooth strokes. I have moments of panic myself in the pandemic, but you just have to stay calm. The storm WILL pass. Soon, I hope.
My panic was over the Covid numbers this week. The US broke ALL records, with 307,000 new cases in one day this past week. Staggering. And if you count backwards from that date, you land on Christmas, 14 days earlier, and that shocking number of new cases is the direct result of what people did on Christmas: how much they traveled or partied or how many people they saw without paying attention to the rules of social distance and wearing masks. I will admit it, that number infuriated me, and showed us that while my family and I cancelled all our plans, didn’t travel, and didn’t spend Christmas together, in order to follow the rules——others didn’t make the same sacrifice, traveled, had fun, saw lots of people, and now the rest of it pay the price for it, for the highest numbers of any country in the entire pandemic. And a week from now, we’ll know how badly they behaved, and how irresponsible they were on New Year’s Eve. It really is discouraging to see to what degree people don’t follow the guidelines or the rules.
The news this week was not super encouraging. There were the very bad numbers in the US, and rising numbers elsewhere in the world, though not to that degree. January is always kind of dull and an anti-climax after the holidays, the weather is cold and dreary in many places. California is blazing with the virus, out of control, so the entire state is locked down, and people there are depressed about it, and fed up. Things are very bad in Britain too, with a mutant strain of the virus that is more contagious, and which has already traveled to the US, France, Canada, and several other countries. And the vaccine is rolling out slowly everywhere. So bad weather, bad numbers, and now the price to pay for irresponsible behaviour over the holidays. That’s a tough first week in a new year. But what else can we expect if people are careless? And the long awaited vaccine is rolling out more slowly than planned, in every country. Governments are scurrying to get organized.
It was a historic week too. Although I am not political, and shy away from politics, we were all witness to an incredible scene in Washington this week, of protesters, or rioters, seemingly easily invading the Capitol building, looting, pillaging, stealing paintings, breaking into offices and disrespecting them, our Congressmen fleeing the building in terror, being escorted to safety, and the deaths of 5 people as a result of the chaos. Whatever one’s politics or beliefs, the images were shocking, and a sign of massive disrespect, in a country which is otherwise civilized and sane, where one can’t even imagine scenes of that kind, more typical of underdeveloped countries where civil unrest is common. But in the US? Land of the free and the brave? Where freedom is a remarkable gift, and mutual respect one of the cornerstones of the foundation the country was built on. What happened? How could scenes like that happen in the US? The entire world looked on dumbstruck, like watching someone having a major temper tantrum and losing control in a department store or some public place, while people watched in horror and astonishment with no idea what to do to stop it. It was embarrassing, frightening, sad, disheartening, and not a proud moment in our history, whatever one’s beliefs. It was a loss of control, and an absence of respect in a major way. And it isn’t the image or the way America wants to be viewed in the eyes of the world. Violence is never the answer and never achieves a successful result. So on several fronts, it was a discouraging week at best.
So what do we do now? Just like the marathon or the race or a challenging childbirth, we just keep going, keep swimming, keep running, and we’ll get there in the end. When people behave and follow the rules, we’ll get a grip on Covid, the vaccine will roll out more smoothly in time, the pandemic will NOT last forever. The economy will recover. We just have to keep swimming, just keep running in the right direction, and we will get where we need to be.
In the immortal words of Winston Churchill, “When you’re going through hell, keep going” and “Never, Never, Never, Never Give up!!”.
And just as an aside, I had a new book come out this week in hard cover, “Neighbors”. Maybe if people stay home and read for a little while, things will calm down and get sane again.
Have a GREAT week!!! I am counting on it!! This is just the beginning of a brand new year, and the best is yet to come!!! Keep Swimming!!!
lots of love, Danielle