Our perspectives on COVID-19 today are significantly different than they were one year ago.
I have some thoughts, reflections and more on that matter.
First of all, we hear the word “pandemic”.
What is that?
“Pandemic” is an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and typically affects a significant portion of the population.
COVID-19 meets that criteria.
And, while the loss of life has been significant, it pales in comparison to the pandemic “Grand Daddy” of all time, “Black Death”.
Also referred to as “The Pestilence”, “The Great Mortality” and “The Plague”, the bubonic plague killed upwards of 200 million people worldwide from 1346-1353.
Transmitted by fleas on black rats, this disease ravaged Eurasia and North Africa.
It created religious, social and economic upheavals and had a profound influence on the course of European history.
Some sources say up to 60% of the European population was killed by the bubonic plague and the world population was reduced by some 20%.
Based on today’s world population, COVID-19 would have to claim more than 1 and 1/2 billion lives to pass the bubonic plague as the deadliest scourge this world has known.
That being said, COVID-19 has disrupted our world in a manner not seen since the Spanish Flu pandemic of the 1900’s.
Therefore, we need to have a discussion about lessons learned with the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the top of my list are waiters and waitresses.
Specifically good ones.
We can get into boring and non-ending discussions as to why folks weren’t interested in taking my food order or delivering it to my table.
Their value has never been more evident than those days when people were attempting to eat out and the numbers of servers was dwindling.
The good ones are rare as hen’s teeth and they clearly stood out in these times.
I don’t think you can ever tip a good waiter or waitress too much.
I know I would probably be more “PC” by saying “waitstaff”, but I’m an old guy who likes to hang on to some old terms.
By the way, and somewhat related, science needs to really look into the “magic bubble” we discovered in restaurants.
I was expected to wear a mask into my eatery of choice and had to keep it on UNTIL I was seated.
The mask-wearing staff could come and go but as long as I stayed in my seat, COVID-19 couldn’t find me.
You know what else I learned?
It’s hard to really identify folks, even good friends, when they’re wearing a mask.
Now I know why crooks wear them when sticking up banks.
Also, it appears masks need to come with instructions.
Now I had some issues with those paper models that were blue on one side and white on the other.
Which side went out?
My wife got me squared around on that.
But, if I saw one person, I saw a dozen folks with masks around their chins with equal numbers just below their noses.
Jim Morrison and the Doors said it best.
“People Are Strange”.
Another COVID-19 revelation for me was the traffic flow arrows some retailers went to in their store aisles.
What a waste of tape and signage!
People who push shopping carts are the same people who can’t figure out “merge” zones for motor vehicle traffic.
I also noted many of them also had “mask issues”.
It also created a whole, new way to litter parking lots and sidewalks.
“Social Distancing” also seemed to challenge some.
I thought if we were really serious about that, we should wear suspender-supported 6 foot Hula- Hoops when ever we went out into the world.
I also noted that there’s just as much “tail-gaiting” in stores as there is on highways.
The worst “suggestion” for COVID-19 safety was to replace the handshake with the “elbow bump”.
First of all, most of us aren’t contortionists and didn’t it violate the “6 foot” mandate anyway?
When reviewing the material on the bubonic plague, I couldn’t help but wonder how much worse it could have been with Facebook, Twitter and 24 hour news all over it, like stink on a dog.
Remember those ominous-looking red graphs flashed before our eyes day-after-day-after-day on the news?
Replace that with a flea-infested black rat from the streets of London.
Jack Nicholson in “The Shining” would almost be laughable when compared to a glaring, red beady-eyed rat.
Also, based on the news coverage I’ve seen since the vaccinations started, there’s one guy’s arm I’ve seen inoculated at least 113 times.
I thought we only needed two shots?
Listen, my friend, we’ve been through something that I would refer to as a “character-builder.
And, if you’ve lost someone dear to you due to COVID-19, I’m sorry.
But you have to admit that what we’ve experienced is something that doesn’t happen every day.
For that, I’m thankful.
But if I see a flea-covered rat wearing a mask, I’m outa here!