My wife and I are sitting in front of the TV, watching endless global coverage of the current crisis. We flip around the channels, but all media outlets are saying the same things. Some more graphically than others.
Everyone is afraid. Some people are even afraid to leave their homes. Travel is non-existent. If you were someplace else when this started, it’s likely you were stuck there for a while. You may still be there.
The economy is tanking. People are still buying essentials, but no one is spending money on extravagant or unnecessary things. No one is going to places where there might be large groups of people. Most such activities have been canceled or postponed, anyway.
The politicians aren’t helping. They are as bipartisan as ever; each side blaming the other for not acting quickly enough or decisively.
But I know that someday, probably sooner rather than later, this current pandemic and the fear it is causing will be over. Many things will change and some will never go back the way they were. But it will be over.
How do I know this?
Because the scenario I described above wasn’t in 2020. It was in September 2001. The situation and the cause of so many deaths were different. But many of our reactions; the fear and uncertainty were exactly the same. And we will never forget.
But we got beyond it.
We got on with our lives. Later that same month, my wife and I flew again. The security was a nightmare and travel was much more difficult than it used to be. Some of that hasn’t changed. And travel will change forever because of this pandemic.
But we will travel again.
The economy is in the toilet. Not as bad as it could be, but much worse than it was. And in the fall of 2001, it got so bad they halted trading several times. Businesses failed and people pulled out of banks and investments. So-called experts claimed the economy would never recover. But if you look at a 40-year graph of the Dow Industrial Average, 2001 was hardly a blip.
And the economy will recover again. It always has. Hopefully, it always will.
We’ve been through pandemics before, as recently as 2009. The H1N1 pandemic wasn’t as bad as this one, and only history will tell how bad the Covid19 pandemic will be. But it was still bad. Over 12,000 deaths. There was a lot of fear back then. I began this pandemic with a small collection of hand sanitizer because it was everywhere in 2009.
But early on, when I mentioned 2009, people said, “Oh, yeah, I forgot about that.”
I don’t think people will forget about this one. The reach is too wide and the effects too broad. And there will be permanent changes in our lives because of it.
We won’t forget. But we will get over it. We always have.
Because that’s what people do.