Living inside a revolution

FEBRUARY 20: The Grace Food Pantry Everett line on a winter morning. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

This pandemic has taken 500, 000 lives and made millions sick.

In one year, the world, our world has changed.

The nation forced to close down for a while. All public schools and universities closed down. Bars and major sporting events with large crowds ceased. Crowds of every kind evaporated. All our great cities became ghost towns with thou- sands of small businesses going out of business overnight. Then came a partial reopening followed by a giant spike in COVID-19 cases across the land and here in Everett.

For a long time, masks weren’t required, science wasn’t paid attention to, and what was bad got worse.

Then came Thanksgiving and Christmas and the deaths soared and the infections increased to 200,000 a day.

Our great cities remain ghost towns. Our universities and public schools still haven’t come back to normal.

The virus is in decline but its grip on our way of life is suffocating. All of us have changed how we live, how we work, how we play, how we travel and on and on.

Nothing about our lives is the same as it was 11 months ago. The prospect for the next six months is more of the same only not as bad with the vaccination of American public now getting underway.

Bottom line, we are in the middle of a social revolution powered by the virus’ effect on our society.

Will our cities come back? Will our way of life return? Will restaurants ever reopen and draw crowds as they did before the pandemic? Will shopping centers stop dying? Will schools fully reopen? Will skyscrapers in our cities ever be filled again with thousands and thousands of employees all working close to one another, going out to lunch at ten thousand small restaurants? Will GIG workers be able to survive economically?

How greatly is our economy and way of life going to change beyond what has already happened?

What will the new normal be?

It is impossible to know answers to any of these questions because the revolution is underway. We are in the middle of it.

We won’t know it’s over until we have moved on – and this could take quite a long time.

Who could have imagined our way of life so dramatically altered?

What a thing.

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