The Summer of 2020 is history
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way…”
By JOSH RESNEK
The above quote was written by Charles Dickens 1859.
How appropriate an expression it seems today … for all of us … paying close attention to the trials and tribulations of this time we are living through.
The summer of 2020 has come and gone. Just like that. Like the snap of a finger.
It wasn’t the best summer of our lives.
It wasn’t the worst.
Many would agree, it came close to being the worst. It isn’t every summer that we are bogged down in a deadly mess like the COVID-19 virus during a time of worldwide pandemic.
Nor is it every summer we are told by our national leaders that everything is great, just great, and getting better, when nearly 200,000 men, women, children, first responders, doctors and nurses and people from every walk of life have died this summer during a time of “darkness” and despair.
Let’s face it, no one knows the way out of this mess we are in.
We are all clutching for straws.
The mighty and the rich get mightier and richer.
The poor get poorer and sicker.
Us common folks living and working, being born and dying in Everett, either stick our heads into the sand or grow increasingly upset at what we intuitively know in our hearts.
What is that?
Something is way off about our society today, right now, at this moment in our national history.
This isn’t just about President Trump beloved by millions and hated by millions.
He didn’t get us to where we are today.
We have been heading here, to this place of inertia and disbelief for a long, long time.
Will Joe Biden take us to the Promised Land? Very unlikely.
Again, the summer has come and gone.
Another summer of our lives has vanished into the dustbin of vanished summers.
We only get so many summers in our lives on this earth.
Many of those who we loved and cherished left us this summer.
Many more got sick.
Travel came to a near end this summer.
Vacations didn’t materialize because so many of us were concerned that we could get sick and we could die.
Or we got concerned that our parents and our grandparents could get sick and die.
In certain parts of the country millions took little to no heed about the virus.
Those people closed blind eyes to the pandemic and to calls for social distancing and better hygiene to stop the spread of the virus.
They saluted their freedom to get sick and to spread the virus to others.
That’s quite a thing to think about by itself.
But the summer had its moments for millions across the nation.
Many people fell in love.
Many people fell out of love.
The virus brought many families closer.
Never has a virus caused so many families to remain so far apart.
Some companies made great fortunes and hired more employees.
Many more companies let their employees go and disappeared because their businesses were ruined by the virus.
So many restaurants and small businesses have disappeared.
So many smaller businesses have struggled and fought to survive.
The government stepped up to the plate this summer.
More than $3 trillion was distributed in one way or another to the people who needed it, to businesses, to the unemployed, to support the economy, which was in peril.
The economy remains in peril.
Millions, tens of millions were unemployed throughout the summer.
The government has stopped passing out money.
The month of August during this summer of our despair the Congress and the Senate took vacations!
That’s a very nice touch for our lawmakers and tells us what they are made of.
The government money is now gone. The unemployment checks have stopped.
Those on the fringe of society are paralyzed with fear.
Another handout is necessary – but it didn’t get done during the summer of 2020.
Political division was too important to maintain – more important than the legitimate needs of the people the politicians are supposed to be protecting and serving.
Sports became a shadow of what they used to be during the summer of 2020.
Sporting events without crowds are like ice cream cones served without the ice cream.
This was the summer we will recall for quite some time as the moment the singing stopped for our kids.
Our kids needed to be protected.
They continue to need protection…from the virus. This was, above all, the summer of the virus.
Many of us were driven inside our small pieces of the world – our backyards, our living rooms, our patios, our automobiles, wearing face masks, worrying just a bit at the markets we shop at for our food.
This was the summer we went inward, when we looked a bit more carefully at our lives, at what we have.
Many came to understand how lucky we are. How lucky we’ve been. How great a place this nation is despite all the political bickering and lunacy that pervades all around us.
The summer of 2020 is history.
We are moving on to what Dickens called the “winter of our despair.”
This was a learning summer for all of us about what exactly is important in our lives.
We need to beat this virus and get back to normal. The new normal doesn’t do it.
Thank God the summer of 2020 is over and done with.