What Will Success Look Like?

It’s been said elsewhere but I’ll put my own thoughts out on the topic for the two and a half people who read this site – if all of this economic and social upheaval around COVID-19 is successful, there will be tens and hundreds of thousands of people howling about, “Nothing happened! It was all a complete waste of time, a hoax, completely overblown!”

Those people will, of course, be 100% wrong and totally full of shit.

These are the same people who will still tell you about how the Y2K concerns were a waste of time, a hoax, and completely overblown. Because the banks didn’t crash, the electrical grid didn’t collapse, planes didn’t fall out of the sky, and countless machines that our day-in, day-out society rely on minute by minute didn’t fail in ways both subtle and spectacular. Life went on, and whatever effects there were seemed minor and trivial.

Yes. The banks, electricity, planes, and machines didn’t fail.

You. Are. Welcome.

They didn’t fail because hundreds of thousands of people (including me at the company I was working at then) spent millions of hours in advance of December 31, 1999 hunting down places where the systems and machines would have failed and we fixed them in advance. We saw well in advance that the freight train (analogy time? simile? metaphor? whatever!) that was society was barreling at the speed of light at the bridge that had been washed out over the deadly gorge filled with crocodiles and piranhas and the flaming wreckage of previous civilizations and before we got there we built a brand new superhighway bridge (a nice one, like that big white one in Boston that we keep going over when we shouldn’t be, but that’s another story) over that yawning chasm.

Ok, that paragraph sort of went off the rails but it’s been a really long weekend and I’m exhausted and it’s really late and I like it so I’m going to let it stand. You get the idea.

Y2K wasn’t a disaster because folks saw the humongous disaster coming and put in a massive effort for years in advance to make it be a hiccup instead of a catastrophe.

If the COVID-19 pandemic is more or less behind us (which, to be clear, in a best case scenario, will still involve tens of thousands of dead in just the US and possibly millions dead worldwide) in two months or six months or twelve months it will be because we took these drastic measures and spent trillions of dollars on the economic recovery, NOT because it was an overblown hoax.

If anyone tells you different, feel free to take it as proof that they have a single digit IQ, are members of the GOP/Trump cult, or both, and they’re not worth having anywhere near your life. And don’t bother to ask them about Y2K – I think we can safely predict where they’ll fall on that question.

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