Robert Redfield, M.D., the head of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), said something yesterday that made me and other people, perhaps you, gentle reader, sit up and get more serious than ever. He said that given winter’s arrival, and the holidays become super-spreader events, and no prospect of mass vaccinations for months still, that the United States is facing “the worst public health crisis in its history.” (!) This is a frightening prospect, but at least we’re getting straight talk from top officials again
So, in a paraphrase of Churchill, we must brace ourselves to our duty, and bear ourselves honorably, so that later generations will speak well of us. The reference to Churchill is not grandiose. We in the USA have already endured four times the number of the dead that Britain suffered during the 8 months of the Blitz in 1940-41, and our Blitz is going to get worse.
Let us continue to try to be our best, and do our best. What do we do in the worst of times? Well, we can learn more, give more, become better skilled in anything. We can learn sign language, learn Italian at last (for instance), make a TikTok video, work out, tutor online, write a poem, cook a meal in a cuisine you want to learn. We can renew our resolution to look out for each other, we can help with food banks, and meal-providers like PADS. You can adopt a homeless animal. You can plant micro greens and learn to eat them. You can paint a picture, learn to knit, make your own holiday cards, write handwritten letters to loved ones, write your family history, scan photo albums into online albums to share with relatives and friends. Well you have your own ideas too. But let’s somehow do something good during this plague.
There is another threat this long cold lonely winter, and that is the growing culture of illiberal grievance that is being pumped up by the usual suspects. This threat will come up a lot between now and January 20th, and beyond. We need to pay attention to it, too, in addition to surviving COVID.
Rev. Leland Bond-Upson