I have been an aviation enthusiast as far back as I can remember. I even have a photo of me at 2 years old holding an open book about airplanes on my lap.
When I was in high school, I read “Fate is the Hunter” by Ernest K. Gann, written about his experiences in the early days of commercial aviation. Besides containing some engaging stories about aviation long before inertial navigation systems, global positioning systems, the LORAN chain, TACAN and VOR, and even reliable aircraft systems, it led me to one inescapable conclusion - we are at the mercy of something beyond our understanding.
In aviation, as in life in general, you can do everything right - and still die. And you can do everything wrong - and still live.
During my military career, I knew far too many aviators and others who lost their lives due to combat, accidents and flat out mistakes. I had close to a dozen close calls where a foot or two either way would have added me to that list.
Dear friends and readers, life is terminal. Every second we are closer to our final second.
Some may find that totally disturbing and others - like me - may find it oddly comforting. I am only in control of the way I live; not when, where or how I am going to pass on. While I am probably not doing enough to prolong my physical health, I hope I am doing much more to help others less fortunate continue on with theirs.
Enter the latest in the series of corona viruses, COVID-19. I imagine an outsider or an alien observing the state of our society today would think of or coin the word PANIC. Whether it’s confusing presentations from the government, overly technical explanations from some health experts, too many “new” health experts postulating and positing their pet solutions, political posturing from members of both parties, and media outlets that mislead and misinform the public adding fuel to the panic flame, there doesn’t appear to be one voice that says, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
Old words with immediate applicability.
In the words of another sage, Jack Welch, the recently deceased CEO of General Electric, “Fix the problem; not the blame.”
The thing about critics is while they add absolutely nothing to the process, far too many people pay more attention to them than to the voices of reason who are trying to work through these problems. Our leaders have made and are going to make more mistakes as they work through this serious problem.
Did you ever imagine intercontinental travel would be limited or prohibited?
There will soon be more test kits, but there probably won’t be enough to satisfy the whiny complainers and hypochondriacs who demand a hospital test the next time they sneeze. The government cannot simply manufacture more hospital beds, especially ones where true virus patients can be properly isolated.
Some other measures will be implemented, but you can never be prepared for the worst-case scenario because you can’t afford to be prepared for the worst-case scenario.
When the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force really go to war, they don’t argue about who goes first or who’s going to get the glory. They jointly contribute their forces with unique capabilities and weapons to win the battle as fast as they can with the lowest expenditure of resources - most notably the men and women war fighters.
We are at war with a virus. The government, the whole country and especially the heroic medical community are working tirelessly to minimize casualties. Lead, follow or get the hell out of the way. And if you can’t handle that, suck it up cupcake.
And pray as if your son, daughter, spouse, father or mother was stricken and not expected to survive. And don’t stop praying until your last second has ticked off - hopefully far into the future.
Well, that’s the way I see it.