Tuesday, March 17, 2020

When We Knew It Was Bad/Serious

Years from now, I will look back on these days and wonder when I first realized how serious it all was?  I'm purposefully leaving the it as undefined, but today I'm thinking new virus, worst stock market loss since 1987, and other possible woes.

Will it be in terms of numbers?  Will I think back to this Covid 19 dashboard?  This time yesterday, the US # of cases was 3,441 (approx); right now, it's 4,661.  Will I think in terms of stock market numbers?  Will I think about the people losing their jobs?

Maybe I first realized the severity of the crisis when Disney announced plans to close Disney World and Disney Land.  Disney World doesn't even close for hurricanes.  Maybe it was as state governor after state governor made decisions that the federal government should have been out in front of, providing leadership and guidance.  I could say the same about school officials, local officials, parents.

Or maybe I'll remember these days as the last days that civilians were allowed in hospitals without an illness.  Maybe I'll marvel at the fact that I still went to spin classes in the hospital wellness center in the middle of a pandemic.

Last week, I had to enter through the ER entrance for the first time for my 5:45 morning spin class.  The guard who was supposed to ask me screening questions waved me through.  This morning, the door was locked, but the guard helped me open it.  As I walked down the hallway, I saw chairs and folding screens all the way down the hallway, a makeshift isolation intake area.  I wondered if they were just getting prepared or if they already needed the overflow.

Or maybe it was when certain events were canceled.  Last night when I read that the city of Hollywood had closed the beach and the broadwalk beside it, I felt a bit of a chill.  Last night I also found out that my pastor was planning to cancel in-person worship and that my Create in Me retreat would be canceled.  Those decisions felt like a bit of a surprise.

I wasn't surprised by shortages or hoarding, although I am surprised that it's toilet paper that the nation is hoarding.  Are we not hoarding wine for hard times ahead?  There's not a scrap of toilet paper to be found, but I've found other supplies, like beans and rice.

But even the hoarding wasn't when I knew it might be worse than we'd been told.  People hoard all sorts of things, even in non-crisis situations.

It was when I heard President Trump take a serious tone yesterday and discourage groups of more than 10.  That's when I knew it might be much worse than we'd been led to believe.  And I already knew it was pretty bad.

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