“What does Covid mean daddy? I was used to my five year old daughter asking questions, like “why is the sky blue?”, but this took me by surprise. It turns out she heard the word on television. It was the 15th anniversary of the pandemic.
“Well, it was the start of the year 2020 and everyone was looking forward to life going on as usual. Then one day, someone got sick and soon was passing it along to other people. Then those people got sick and gave the sickness to others.” I paused as the memories came back. Advised to stay home, wear masks and shut ourselves off from the society we had taken for granted was tough to accept. Depending on what we did for a living, or what we did in life, we were able to ride out the first few weeks, but then the weeks became months and more people got sick. Many of them died.
It created a social upheaval with opinions flying everywhere even as scientists were trying to figure out what was going on. Some called it “overblown”, others said it was a hoax. Many didn’t know what to think but followed the rules to be safe the best they could.
I remembered driving on U.S. 1 in Fort Lauderdale on the way to a crucial medical appointment. There were no other cars for blocks. Strip malls were empty and there was no one on the sidewalks.
Government leaders scrambled to come up with plans, rules and guidelines and it was difficult to know what to do. ”How could I tell my daughter that over a half million people died in the United States and many more around the world. I couldn’t, of course, and remember that children just want a simple answer.
“Covid is a name given to something that can make you sick but you don’t have to worry about it now. We have vaccines and we have learned to do what is necessary to keep everyone safe.”
I wondered to myself what lessons had we learned? Did we just go back to life as it always was? The answer was clearly no. Those who lived through it would never forget. The ones they lost, the day they got their first vaccination and the day they could visit safely with family and friends are burned into our memories.
Ray Brasted – Publisher