If there’s one thing a military-oriented guy needs, it is more printed T-shirts. I’m kidding. But this was from good friend and my former journalism student, Lee Egstrom, one of those tech entrepreneur wizards driving our digital reality.
T-shirt printing says, “It is my earnest hope that a better world shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of the past.” — Douglas MacArthur.
MacArthur said it in the aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He became Viceroy of Occupation Japan and agent of the former’s enemy’s revived democracy after World War II. Best job he ever did.
Emotional carnage is how 2020 feels from home where I hunkered down several days awaiting my Covid-19 test result, which thankfully, was negative. I got tested owing to a contact trace with a community contact who was exposed to someone who was positive.
I had no symptoms, but the warning markers were no masks worn by the contacts. Owing to age and other conditions, a test was prudent. I try to stay positive about life, but in this case, it was a bit harrowing until I tested negative. It was a long wait that ended with relief. At my age, this kills.
A friend of mine in the hospitality field just experienced a friend who got sick, and concluded, “This thing is no joke.”
Correct, its not a joke, not funny, not a hoax and not fake news. People are so ready to be done with it, but the virus, highly infectious and without vaccine or proven treatment, is not done with us.
A plague casts a psychological pall. In our veterans’ community, even those not taken by Covid-19, will always be remembered because we lost them amid all other losses. On Monday, Vets4Veterans founder Tom Hilzendeger was interred at Riverside National Cemetery, with full honors. Tom would tell us he was no saint, but he passionately did the Lord’s work for veterans and military families. Ditto for Korean War veteran Ed Galindo, who spread pocket-size Constitutions like Gospel, and Jerry Lawrence, the Marine who pioneered hospice work for vets at end-of-life. Gone to glory, all, and badly missed. But it was a blessing to have these unselfish civic volunteers who cared more about others than themselves.
Skeptics ask me, “Do you know anyone who actually has had it or died from it?” My simple answer is, “Yes,” two dead friends and four more hospitalized, one still in the hospital after 14 weeks, three on ventilators.” So far. Don’t give me that hoax hoax.
From Valley Press Reporter Allison Gatlin’s update, “Today, one in every 140 people in the county has been infected with COVID-19 and is capable of transmitting the virus. That figure is up from one in every 400 people a couple weeks ago,” Health Services Director Dr. Christina Ghaly said. “Hospitalizations are on the rise in LA County, transmissions are on the rise and as a result, we all need to be more careful about the steps we are taking to prevent transmission.”
Those steps include wearing masks, keeping distance from others and staying home when possible. The latest models now show a steep upward trajectory of cases and if it keeps up, it will jeopardize the availability of hospital beds in the next four weeks — and ICU beds will likely be full in the near future.
“I know we all want to go back to normal, but we are nowhere near that,” Ghaly said. “If people continue to let themselves believe that reopening means it is safe to not follow these public health guidelines, then today’s data should show how wrong that thought should be.”
Dennis Anderson is a licensed clinical social worker at High Desert Medical Group. An Army veteran who covered the Iraq War for the Valley Press, he works at High Desert Medical Group where he specializes in veterans and community mental health issues.