A few hours ago (and before two yellow jackets decided they were interested in making both my wife and me a midday snack), I shared the picture you see above to this post.
The cool evening breeze has since blown in, and the yellow jackets appear to have settled in somewhere for the night. (Let’s hope it’s far away!) As I sit in the same chair I was in when I took that aforementioned picture, I see six kids — I’m guessing they’re all between 5 and 8 — playing in the playground at the elementary school I can see on the other side of the fence line.
And I’m worried.
One of the local newspapers reported today that Pennsylvania has had roughly 1,500 new positive coronavirus cases over the past 48 hours. A little less than 10% of the total has come from Allegheny County, where I call home. These data come just days after Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned Americans about the need to “hunker down” as fall settles in and winter follows.
The danger of coronavirus remains real, and our nation’s health care system could be overwhelmed in the coming months if a rise in coronavirus cases is joined by flu season.
And (again) I’m worried.
As a country, we’ve already seen more than 200,000 people die from this vicious virus. That number is not going to magically stop with a new month, a new season, or a major political election. As a nation (or at least that part of the nation that takes this virus seriously), the ever-present masks, the social distancing, the decisions to not eat in a restaurant and more are weighing on our psyche.
What we thought in March might be a “temporary normal” seems like a “new normal.” The longer it lasts, the more likely we’ll see increased mental and emotional scars on millions more Americans.
And, because of that, I’m worried.
Those six kids I mentioned? I love hearing their voices. I enjoy watching them scamper around. I remember those carefree days that come with being a kid, and I want that small group I see to have the same. But not one of them is wearing a mask as they playfully push and shove, and laugh within inches of their friends’ faces.
And I’m worried.