This year was a rough one, there have been so many deaths, such tragedy, so much ill will and then things that just persist on aggravating the normal person. The news has been hard from around the globe, the fear that the majority of us had with this pandemic, and the personal loss that some of us have had to endure. Tomorrow dawns a new day, a new light and even though the pandemic is still going on, we are closer now to the end.
2020 the year of tragedy
I was shopping at Costco with my wife, when I was alerted on my phone that the Basketball player Kobe Bryant was dead. Even though I am not a diehard basketball fan, I still knew who Kobe Bryant was and I was affected. I felt like my bell had been rung. The news reports went on to tell about how he and his daughter, a couple of her friends and their parents had died. My heart was broken. RIP.
At that time The Coronavirus/COVID-19 was decimating China. There were rumors that the virus was from undercooked bats or from bird nest soup. Then the virus started to spread, in Taiwan and then in Japan. On January 20, just eleven days after the SARS-CoV-2 was reported to the world, what started in Wuhan China came across the Pacific and the first case was noticed in Washington State – just north of where I live.
The Coronavirus has taken so many lives this year. The number of confirmed deaths worldwide was 59,905,468 – to put that into perspective, that is almost the population of Italy – 21% of those cases were from the United States with a total count of 12,598,660.
Eleven days after that, the worst of the fires in Australia were burning. It had reached apocalyptic proportions. Even though the fires started the previous June, the height of their fire season was showing total devastation. The fires finally were all put out on May of 2020, but 46,050,750 acres were burned, the death toll was 34 directly killed by the fire and 445 indirect (smoke inhalation). and there were 3,500 homes and 5,852 outbuildings destroyed. It is also estimated that more than a billion animals lost their lives, from the endangered Koalas to farm animals.
Then we had the wildfires in the Northwestern United States. On July 5th fires started. The fires would continue to burn over a million acres and 11 people lost their lives.
Don’t even get me started on “Murder Hornets.”
As a postscript to this section: Dawn Wells died Wednesday morning. She was from the TV series Gilligan’s Island and I watched every episode and most of them more than once. People would ask who do you like better; Ginger or Mary Ann? As it turns out Mary Ann won over Ginger. RIP Mary Ann.
Where is the toilet paper?
There have been many Shelter in place orders. Businesses have been shut down, because they could not survive without the steady flow of customers. Store shelves raided and essential supplies disappeared, people were off the streets and staying at home and the economy took a hit. People lost their jobs and people lost hope.
The country turned to their leaders, but our country’s leadership failed. Our President, on April 24th, suggested that his medical advisor look into injecting disinfectant. Some governors took the hard stance and some governors did not take a stance at all.
Then at the debates, President Trump made fun of Biden for his mask, then, in a move of poetic justice, President Trump contracted COVID-19.
George Floyd died on May 25th 2020 – He was killed at the hands of police, which sparked riots across the country. Here in Portland riots were out of control. It seemed that the riots started out peaceful and then turned ugly after the sun went down.
Campaigns were started by organizations, including BLM, to defund police or even get rid of the police all together. However, the insurance costs across the country due to damage and looting were in excess of one billion dollars. The damage caused by looting and property destruction is the most it has ever been in the United States, so Federal police were called in to squelch the rioters.
The deplorable actions of four police officers caused civil unrest, which sparked the need for police, the violence between the two sides created the ill will against the police, which sparked more civil unrest to continue: It is a vicious circle.
Let us not forget the Seattle self-declared autonomous zone.
Covid part 2
Now there is a variant to the original COVID-19 virus, and apparently it is worse then its predicessor. God save us all.
So with so much turmoil in our world this past year, has there been anything that is good? I wanted to end this post on a high note, because with all this bad that each of us are facing, we need to have some good in our lives.
The hole in the ozone has healed: According to the dw.com, “An ‘unprecedented’ ozone depletion in the northern hemisphere has healed, but unlikely due to the impacts of worldwide coronavirus lockdowns. scientists say. The hole has been about three times the size of greenland.” (www.dw.com/en/record-size-ozone-hole-over-arctic-now-healed-and-closed/a-53304374 12/21/2020)
Air Pollution during the height of the pandemic had significantly reduced; so much so that the mountain ranges behind Los Angeles could be seen. The stay at home orders showed what would happen and what the world would look like if we didn’t have gasoline powered vehicles.
The vaccine for COVID-19 was produced in less than a year. When COVID hit, we were told that a vaccine would take 18 months before we could have anything that would work as a vaccine, now people are being vaccinated – the end of COVID is near!
I would like this opportunity to thank the selfless men and women who held this country together. Thank you to the medical teams; the nurses, doctors and clinicians. I would like to thank the Firefighters and the ambulance drivers that took care of emergencies. I would also like to thank the men and women in blue, because they have the hardest job: They put their lives in danger everyday – they are judged on the actions of the few, when there are so many more that do good.
So I stand here at the docks, 2020 is sailing off into the setting sun. I wave goodbye and good riddance. This has been an awful year, but it is now over.