When thinking about the new reality of the COVID19 virus, a lot of things roll through my brain. I think about the quote that Jeff Goldblum says in Jurassic park about the dinosaurs — “Life will not be contained. Life breaks free. It expands to new territories, crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously.” It is inspiring. Life can’t ever be tamed. It will find its way.
In this deadly outbreak, we want to stop it in its tracks, develop a virus, or a way of containing. Hopefully we will succeed.
I also think of the Poe story,“The Mask of the Red Death”which I read many years ago as a youngster. The basic story line (1843) is that there is a widespread plague that the prince ignores by surrounding himself with his court and by hosting a masquerade ball. Things don’t go well, when one of the guests turns out to be the red death.
And of course, there is the classic scifi novel, The Andromeda Strain, by Michael Crichton which tells the story of a virus from outer space which eventually mutates into a non-lethal strain. It is interesting that both Andromeda Strain and Jurassic Park were written by him.
In my previous posts on this topic, Doubling Numbers, Doubling Numbers – part 2, Doubling Numbers – part 3 I was sounding the alert. It was pretty clear to me from reading the newspaper and putting the math together, that this wasn’t just the flu which many of the news pundits were telling us. It was pretty clear that this was a clear and present danger. Looking back, I find it really awful that so many powerful and amplified by lots of money voices tried very hard to minimize this alert. Why? I am not smart enough to understand their motivations. Maybe there will always be misguided people on both sides of every issue. It is a lesson of our time.
Now that the alarm has sounded and people are listening — what can we expect now? Certainly we can and must prepare for the worst. It is critical that we try to not get infected. The question now is what is going to happen? I know that if I get infected there is a good chance that soon I will be gasping for every breath and praying that I survive and eventually heal and recover. And that soon, I will watch my wife gasp for her every breath, and I will be crying and praying and hoping that she gets through this once again.
What will happen to the world and nation that I was born and grew up in? Certainly, the trust and the certainty is gone now. It will never be the same. We will always have that fear, that another disease will come and strike us down.
Today, we are OK, the disease has not come for us. We are negative.