“An Anniversary of Sadness”
A look back at my life in the pandemic, as we today remember what we have gone thru, in my house, your house, the state, the nation, the world.
A year ago this day I had just returned from a 4-day trip to the Florida Keys. I was aware of what was happening in China, and knew of the concerns something might spread.
I came home with a headache, and was worried maybe something was happening. No one at that time had developed Covid tests, and I sat and waited. It was jet lag and a minor head cold, gone two days later.
But within a week this became a full blown epidemic. My days were divided between sports in the spring, .and watching CNN-MSNBC almost none stop, as this worsened, day by day, hour by hour.
And as the virus wiped out the senior facility in Seattle first, and then paralyzed the small town of New Rochelle, New York, I became enraged when President Trump, the man with no moral compass, kept telling us ‘it’s only 15 people-by next week it will be none, we have this under control.’
I decided at that point, to landlock myself and my wife. We limited leaving home for only essential trips to the shopping market. No friends came to visit. My fitness center shutdown. What work I was doing for KUSI-TV and for TSN-Radio in Canada, became an experience in Zoom broadcasting
Stuck at home, thank God I had a project, writing on my website daily. Thank the man for putting me onto Zoom, to stay in touch with my sons in Oregon and in the Grand Canyon.
No going to restaurants, no going to church, no bars, no mall shopping trips. No travel either. And no sports games to pay attention to.
For 38-years, I took part in a big family reunion every July 4th in upstate New York. We cancelled that, not wanting to put any of the 75-family members who would come at risk. Thank you zoom, we did a July 4th gathering, with 38-family members from 18-venues, including family members from London, Shanghai and Montreal. it was the first time I had smiled in moths.
All my planning for trips abroad were shutdown. I have so many unused plane tickets, bought in advance, still in my desk. It’s been 14-months since I have seen my kids.
The emotional trauma of being confined has been so hard, and when I think of the emotional wear and tear, I grab myself and say you have not lost a family member, you have not lost your job or your house. So many have suffered so badly.
I always believed in the science. I never believed in what was coming out of the White House. I never thought America could find a vaccine within a 9-month window. I grew up in the polio crisis as a baby. It took 2-years for Jonas Salk to find a vaccine.
The vaccine is arriving en masse. 1-son has yet to get it in Oregon, where he is a priest. The other son just got it, he is a helicopter pilot, and a lst responder. I was scared for him. He has been flying doctors and nurses and supplies onto the Hopi-Navajo reservations in Arizona-New Mexico. He has flown vaccines into those communities. He has had to transport Covid patients to hospitals in big cities. He got sick, luckily it was not covid.
I pray daily for the health of a huge extended family I have back East. I pray for friends who are very ill. I am so respectful of the people who work in hospitals, emergency room workers who told me they went to work ‘scared’ everyday. And of course the doctors, the nurses and others. The emotional toll to see so many die infront of them must be harrowing.
The NBA lost a season, reopened in a bubble, and played on. The NHL shutdown, reopened for the playoffs in a 2-city hub setup, having to bring players back from the US-Canada and Europe. The Lakers and the Tampa Bay Lightning raised the trophies when they finally played.
We lost March Madness, with the Aztecs (30-2) season ending without SDSU knowing whether they could be a Final 4-crew.
Baseball shutdown in spring, started in summer, got 60-games in and saw the Dodgers win the World Series because the virus exploded again.
College football was fractured. They played full seasons in the South, partial seasons in the Midwest, and limited seasons in the Pac 12 and Mountain West. Clemson beat Alabama but that game and all the bowl games seemed meaningless.
The events we love were cancelled. The Masters, the Indy 500, the Olympics, Wimbledon, the Kentucky Derby and more.
Sports lost in excess of 20B in revenues. The leagues spent millions to Covid test its athletes daily. It is amazing they got thru the global crisis. Just think, aside from the Marlins-Cardinals mess, what happened in the NFL with the Titans-Broncos-Ravens-Browns, pro sports paid their way to protect the product, their players.
If only our leadership in the White House had planned better, masked up, done a better job, maybe the damage would not have been this devastating. Denial and stupidity led to this horrid body bag count.
You sit back and reflect on the horrors of the death numbers, the unemployment totals, Wall Street’s numbers, empty food shelves, panic over where to get tests and a struggle to get a vaccine shot in a complicated computer system..
And to have to sit there and see the night that George Floyd was killed, the riots, the lootings, the fires made me ill. To listen to the White House leadership be more concerned about getting re-elected than caring about the pandemic enraged me. And then the fraud election accusations, capped off by the disgrace at the Capitol.
I don’t know if I signed up for all this, this 24-7/365 days experience. We are all scarred in one way or another.
A year from hell. A year we were all victimized. A year I wish we could wipe from our heart and the record books.
But we cannot, just like we cannot forget 1917’s flu outbreak…Wall Street of 1929…Pearl Harbor….9/11…..March 2020….or January 6th.
I am sure you have been touched on many levels by what you experienced. We in America celebrate anniversaries, but not in this case, this year just completed..
The longest year of our lives. An Anniversary of sadness.