A Dark Winter May befall on America Once Again

A dark, dreary landscape. Digital art by Edward Kliszus
A dark, dreary landscape. Digital art by Edward Kliszus
As the warm summer days end and the winter solstice approaches, thoughts of holiday gatherings fill my mind. The number of COVID-19 cases is growing larger, and I am alarmed. By December, the U.S. may have an enormous disaster on our hands once again. How do we prepare for the unknown? For months, I have been indoors, still afraid to go to restaurants with indoor dining only and fearful of working out in the gym. In the HBO series Game of Thrones, the motto of the House of Stark is “Winter is coming.” That motto could be an intimidating metaphor to ward off one’s enemies. Could it be fighting words to be vigilant? I want to apply that metaphor to my fight against COVID-19, for the virus is an enemy, and winter is coming. Stark’s words remind me to be vigilant. The CDC reported on September 16 that the number of people who tested positive for COVID was 12.5% in the U.S., with emergency visits just 1.9%. Interestingly enough, the number of cases displayed reflects only how many have been tested and confirmed. It does not include undetected people who may currently have COVID-19 or the new strain, whether asymptomatic or undiagnosed. So, if the virus is the enemy, can I ward it off if I don’t know who has it, and can I remain vigilant? I’ve concluded I can do neither. The enemy is unseen. Conventional wisdom still says face masks and social distancing are the answer. I don’t believe we can stop the enemy with a face mask, nor do I think social distancing is the answer either. Not that I defy wearing a face mask or do not social distance, for it makes sense to err on the side of caution. No earthly person has the answer to how to stop this virus. The influenza virus has been around for eons, causing over 46 pandemics between 862 and 1868 A.D. The last epidemic to devastate the U.S. was in 1918, with approximately 675,000 deaths. The protocol measures we have in place today are the same as back then: mask-wearing, social distancing, etc. COVID-19 deaths have continued to happen in the U.S. over the past few years. As winter approaches, COVID-19, unlike the influenza of 1918, is a coronavirus we still know little about. If you were preparing for war, you would know your enemy. Some experts claim a cure is close, but I believe there isn’t one yet. We must keep fighting this invisible enemy that is trying to destroy us. Winter is coming. War is inevitable. There is little hope. I’m just wondering how I will survive. Readers may also enjoy Art for the Sake of ArtThe Largo from Dvorak’s New World Symphony, Wilfred Owen’s Anthem for Doomed Youth, and Shakespeare at the Harvard Club.

A Dark Winter May befall on America Once Again

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