When there are brush fires nearby, or even if it’s just really hot and dry and windy and they’re talking about “Red Flag” weather, there’s an ominous expectation, knowing that there’s danger out there. You’re probably going to be okay, although you may end up going through some real shit if you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, but for the most part you go about your business as usual. You make some preparations and get ready “just in case,” but you still go to work and carry on with life as usual.
This has that same feel – but different. Sometimes a LOT different.
It’s the scale that does it. A brush fire, even one of the really big ones like they had in Northern California a couple years ago, can kill hundreds and destroy thousands or even tens of thousands of homes and businesses. But ultimately, it’s restricted to a relatively local area, maybe a few counties at worst. (The Australian fires earlier this year were obviously an exception to that rule and may be coming our way soon, but one disaster at a time, please!)
With the COVID tsunami approaching our hospitals, already overwhelming them in Italy and Seattle, ominously close in New York and the Bay Area, and now flaring up in Los Angeles, Chicago, DC, St Louis, Kansas City, and Dallas, and the worst case scenario potential for the death toll to be in the millions just here in the US, it’s simultaneously a huge source of anxiety and also numbing. It’s just too much to take in or comprehend at times.
So while we’re fine for the moment, with every cough or tickle in the back of the throat, the thought is there. “Is this how it begins?”
My job is secure (as secure as any can be these days, at least) and I’m actually working my ass off from home, juggling deadlines for both the office and the hangar. It’s a little bit odd working from home, but I have a decent home office setup and do a fair amount of hangar work here to begin with, so it’s not too huge of an adjustment. But then you think about the entire economy and what potentially could fall apart if we have to start grounding airlines for an extended period or the health care system starts to fracture and fail.
In short, staying at home is comfortable, but there’s a growing sense of impending doom. Will all of this disruption to our lives and the economy allow us to dodge the worst of this epidemic? Or did the utter failure of the Trump Regime to take the threat seriously for over two months lead us down a road that we can’t recover from and we’ll just have to fight our way through?
It’s a very odd sort of dichotomy. And not “odd” in a good way.