The month of March in the year 2020 will always have a prominent place in my personal history. I recall listening to the prognosticators on cable news in January of 2020 as they predicted an imminent global cataclysmic event. The news reported that this new virus that had shut down daily life in Wuhan, China, was heading to a country, town, and neighborhood near you! I was personally skeptical, because I had heard this type of prediction before. We were warned in the past about the apocalyptic danger of swine flu, SARS, and ebola, which turned out to be no more than contained regional phenomena.
But my experience on March 13, 2020, made it clear that COVID-19 was real and different. I was in Los Angeles preparing to fly back home to Detroit, and everyone at the restaurant where I ate looked petrified. People watched as the news reported cities declaring shelter-in-place orders, and the Los Angeles International Airport was nearly empty. Upon arriving home, I learned that my own state had ordered us to shelter in place, schools closed, businesses closed, and, like many others, I found myself confined to my home with my family for months. Life had changed forever, and I was not prepared.
Pandemics are very interesting phenomena, and they are not new to humanity. The 1918 Spanish flu pandemic was even deadlier than COVID-19, and the disruptions to daily life were equally or more significant. As we prepare for this new, post-COVID reality, wouldn’t it be wise to learn from the past so that we can plan for a brighter future? Read more