03.13.20

Watching the beginnings of COVID-19

Posted in Canadian life, Politics, Random thoughts at 6:50 pm by ducky

On 22 Oct 1987, when the stock market crashed hard, I happened to be on the UCSB campus. I was surprised that the sun was out and people were smiling and laughing. I immediately realized that it was stupid to expect the world to turn black&white and bread lines to form immediately.

Still, that’s the place my brain jumped to.

I am having a similar odd disconnect right now. COVID-19 has been going for several months now, and yesterday there was widespread and somewhat sudden action in both the US and Canada.

Everything is going to be vastly changed for weeks, or months, maybe even a few years, and yet I see people walking blithely down the street, cars driving across the bridges, and joggers running on the seawall. Acting normal.

Meanwhile, I think about the last global pandemic, the Spanish Flu. When I was growing up (born in the 60s), I never heard about the Spanish Flu. It really wasn’t until the Web came along that I got the full story. Why didn’t anyone (like my grandparents, who were teenagers in 1918) talk about it before?

Maybe it was boring to them because everyone they knew had talked about it forever. I bet, however, it was because it was too traumatic. I know that I don’t like to discuss Trump’s election or the Iraq war because it is so painful for me.

And I wonder where that switch gets flipped. How does that transition happen? How will we go from today’s blitheness to it being too painful to talk about it?

I suspect the answer is “lots of trauma”. I’m not looking forward to that.

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