A year has past since the start of one of the worst events that has ever happened to the world. Towards the end of January 2020, we were all in a state of disbelief over what happened to Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, and 7 other people in a horrendous Helicopter crash. Most thought, this is just about the worst thing that has ever happened. Recently after an intensive investigation, it was discovered that the Helicopter pilot was not qualified to fly in fog or at night – a tragic similarity to the death of JFK Jr in 1999 along with his wife and her sister.
In an unknown city in China called Wuhan, a virus started to mutate around this time, and it was at first reported as mostly a minor news story. Slowly the news of this new Corona virus grew until it reached the United States on February 29th when someone died near Seattle. Even after this, Corona virus was considered a minor news story, mainly because the world thought that the WHO (World Health Organization) would have everything under control. We all believed; our scientific breakthroughs would make the world far better prepared for something like this than 1918 when the last major World Pandemic occurred. Unfortunately, the WHO could do nothing to prevent this disease or stop its rapid spreading around the world.
Most shocking to the world was how fast this new virus spread, shutting down, country after country and causing mass unemployment in the United States, along with a stock market disaster even worse than 1929. The United States has been over the past year, the most inept in preventing the spread of this disease for many reasons, but mostly because there are just too many people who just do not want to follow the rules of social distancing and wearing a mask. The mistakes from those in charge have been many, including initially telling us a year ago that masks do not help, and then doubling back to say that yes, masks do help. This kind of mistake added to the mistrust of too many thousands who thought that those in charge just did not know what they were doing.
The hundreds of protests around this country starting last May led to too many people who were in huge crowds, rightfully angry about the horrendous incidents that started with George Floyd but forgetting that there was a virus killing thousands of people that had to be respected. They did not keep a safe distance and far too many did not wear a mask. Too many did not listen when they were told to stay out of crowds and not to travel during the passing Holidays. The news for a solid year has been all about overwhelming death, night after night. As depressing as it has been unbelievable. Like nothing the world has ever seen before. At its worst over 4000 people a day were dying in the United States. When 500,000 deaths were reached, we realized that this is more people than died in World War I, II and the Vietnam War combined. In recent weeks the numbers have improved, and we do have 3 vaccines, but we also have at least 3 new variants of this disease. Most recently the numbers have been leveling off, rather than going down further. We can now only hope that we have seen the worst of this, and because of the vaccines the end may be in sight.
So now what? Could something this shocking and horrendous ever happen again? Will the WHO improve to be an organization that does a far better job rooting out and preventing another world Pandemic? There is now no more important an organization in the world that the WHO, because we have lived through one year of non-stop misery. Every country in the world cannot afford anything close to this bad again, considering the extreme financial and human loss. The world now knows what can end humanity, so any amount of research and money to prevent another Pandemic is worth it.
One good thing did happen during this horrible year. Working from home is now the norm for most companies and should be in the future. This will end bad commutes for many millions of people around the world, reducing the world-wide carbon footprint of commuting. It will reduce stress and car accidents. Thanks to the miracle of the internet, enabling high speed videos to communicate, people can stay in their own homes and be more productive. Its too bad it took a Pandemic to make the world realize what it already should have known for a long time.