Sometimes I guess humanity just needs a cold, wet slap in the face to realize that we are all on this planet together. The latest slap in the face is called coronavirus - something none of us heard about two months ago. Money nor status will make this virus go away.
Governments around the world are struggling to fight this disease that evidently came from some wild critter sold in a live animal market in China. Who would have guessed that all this trial and tribulation could have come from some animal that looks like an armadillo?
It seems too bizarre to be real, but it has happened.
My earliest experience with a deadly or crippling disease came with the polio epidemic of the 1950s. Until a vaccine was developed, hospitals were crowded with people suffering from a disease that there was no cure for at the time.
I remember swimming pools being closed, theaters and other public gathering places being closed and some schools even closed with the threat. The lawn in front of a large hospital in Sioux City was covered by beds and patients with white sheets covering them.
Others were confined inside the hospital to what was called the "iron lung." I remember riding by that hospital on our way to sell our cream and eggs in downtown Sioux City and witnessing all those who were suffering from polio. To a kid, it was a scary time.
I also remember what a relief it was to hear that a vaccine had been developed to fight this disease. My first vaccination was done inside our school. We traveled to another area school for our second shot. The third vaccine treatment came in the form of a sugar cube that carried the vaccine.
In almost no time polio declined and eventually was gone from the landscape. It left many crippled humans in its wake and many died. Those who experienced that time know what a vaccine can do.
This current pestilence will also end. You can bet that testing is being done as this column is being written to develop a vaccine for this disease. The question is, how long that will take?
Until that happens humans will be forced to learn to live a little different lifestyle. Already sporting events have been canceled, theaters are empty, some churches are cancelling services, conventions have been canceled or postponed. In Minnesota, even the ever popular Northwest Sportshow has been canceled.
It's a real mess. Laid off employees are struggling to find child care for their kids and to replace lost income. No one likes it, but it is what it is.
About the only bright spot I can see is that all of a sudden we humans have been forced to admit that all of us are all in the same boat. No one is immune. It doesn't matter if you're breathing Italian air or Australian air or Chinese air or United States air. The bug has found its way into all of it.
We have been slapped in the face by a thing that we can't see and it doesn't matter your political, religious or personal leanings or the color of your skin. We're all in the same boat. We might take some comfort in knowing that.
The end of this virus will come. The lights will come on again inside theaters and sports arenas and it will again be no trouble to purchase toilet paper or hand sanitizer. We will be OK.
Until then, please pay attention.
See you next time. Okay?