We all watched the news and heard about the awful things happening in distant parts of the globe and people could scarcely believe how many were being affected by this new plague called the Corona-Virus. Then, as spring approached, the virus starting reaching us here. What started with just a few cases scattered on the West coast and a few in New York, they began to mushroom into hundreds, then thousands, and now by the middle of May 2020, there have been millions of cases of this virulent disease diagnosed in our own country. And that does not even begin to count the unknown number of cases that have yet to be tested. Only future historians will know the true scope of all of this.
What we do know, with certainty, is that in a few short weeks everyone’s world has changed. Within a tiny march of days, our schools and businesses have closed. Airlines, bars, hotels and restaurants and theme parks, just about everything closed. And many of us have endured lock-down conditions, not just to protect ourselves from this highly contagious disease, but also our neighbors and the essential workers who must keep doing their jobs, in order for the rest of us to survive. Although there are many who are already trying to start returning to a somewhat normal life, the specter of a deepening pandemic is still a very clear and present danger.
My sister, Pat Smith-Wood, is not only a gifted writer, but is also a published author of a series of novels, beginning with “The Easter Egg Murder”. She is working on a new one that will be out soon, and with all this extra time on your hands, why not check out my big sister’s work! I have included links to her series at the bottom of this article.
She sent me this story that I want to share it with you below. Hopefully, it will give you some much needed “perspective”…..
“I think this is interesting. My paternal grandmother was born in December 1899, so that’s close enough to be exactly what this piece describes for her during her lifetime. She was a corker, and never let anything stand in her way. She gave birth to five boys, and each birth was two years apart. She lived to be 99. I thought of that when I read this email. See what you think.
Patricia Smith Wood
Today is Saturday, May 9, 2020 . It’s a mess out there now. Hard to discern between what’s a real threat and what is just simple panic and hysteria. For a small amount of perspective at this moment, imagine you were born in 1900.
On your 14th birthday, World War I starts, and ends on your 18th birthday. 22 million people perish in that war. Later in the year, a Spanish Flu epidemic hits the planet and runs until your 20th birthday. 50 million people die from it in those two years. Yes, 50 million. On your 29th birthday, the Great Depression begins. Unemployment hits 25%, the World GDP drops 27%. That runs until you are 38. The country nearly collapses along with the world economy. When you turn 39, World War II starts. You aren’t even over the hill yet. And don’t try to catch your breath.
On your 41st birthday, the United States is fully pulled into WWII. Between your 39th and 45th birthday, 75 million people perish in the war. Smallpox was epidemic until you were in your 40’s, as it killed 300 million people during your lifetime.
At 50, the Korean War starts. 5 million perish. From your birth, until you are 55 you dealt with the fear of Polio epidemics each summer. You probably experience friends and family contracting polio and being paralyzed and/or die.
At 55 the Vietnam War begins and doesn’t end for 20 years. 4 million people perish in that conflict. During the Cold War, you lived each day with the fear of nuclear annihilation. On your 62nd birthday you have the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tipping point in the Cold War. Life on our planet, as we know it, almost ended.
When you turn 75, the Vietnam War finally ends. Think of everyone on the planet born in 1900.
How did they endure all of that? When you were a kid in 1985 and didn’t think your 85 year old grandparent understood how hard school was. And how mean that kid in your class was. Yet they survived through everything listed above.
Perspective is an amazing art. Refined and enlightening as time goes on. Let’s try and keep things in perspective.
Your parents and/or grandparents were called to endure all of the above – you are called to stay home and sit on your couch.
It could be worse.”