The winter of our discontent

Among the worst aspects of this winter that is upon us is that Everett’s schoolchildren and schoolchildren remain learning online at home. Universities’ classroom instruction across the nation has experienced the same fate.

Add to this the extraordinary impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and our nation’s rather slow and painful reaction to it.

Several hundred thousand more deaths from the virus are expected in just the next three or four months, and frankly, vaccines of no vaccines, there appears to be no end in sight for our problems with the virus, with unemployment, with small businesses going under, with major cities experiencing a revolution in where we work, how we work, and creating great questions about the future of many downtowns – and this includes Boston.

Everett has been dramatically affected by the virus and its resulting hassles.

The Encore Hotel and Casino are right now all about dreariness. The hotel is closed. The casino is restricted from generating money – which the city is relying on for our Host City payment – and it is a question mark when everything is going to change, or return to normal, as we like to say.

The city has continued its rather reckless and imprudent spending habits at a time when its income sources are all strained and have become marginally reliable.

Add to this the rather hopelessly deadlocked political life of the nation, the destructive fight of the president to overturn the election, and the questions it has raised about our election process.

Everything seems to have been tossed upside down in 2020. At the beginning of 2021, the upside-down thing has been transcended by our society seemingly taking on the shape of scrambled eggs.

“A house divided cannot stand,” said President Abraham Lincoln before the Civil War, when the nation was deeply split between slave states and non-slave states.

Lincoln was right.

The America we live in today is a divided place. At some point, all the divisions, all the issues, all the things that sep- arate us must be overcome in order to move forward or just to survive.

How this will happen is anyone’s guess right now.

It is hard to know what is coming for us until it arrives. The lesson of history is that we cannot know what history will be until we have lived it.

Life is difficult and complicated for many of us. The middle class is broke and struggling. For the working poor life is becoming a tragedy. The needy waiting for free food in long lines here and everywhere, reveals life is taking on a tragic new twist.

Maybe by September, schools will reopen. Colleges will reopen. Business will get back to normal, or at least to semblance or a new version or normal.

It is sad but true – right now – life in these United States is a bit of a mish mush, with the truth buried under mountains of opinions spread by social media and 24/7 news outlets.

The truth is hard to find.

The truth is found in the cemeteries where the 360,000 COVID-19 dead have been buried.

The politics are bad. The virus has made everything worse.

We need to move forward to a better place, but no one appears to know-how.

2021 is starting off where 2020 left off.

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