Thursday, May 20, 2021

Large-scale world problems

Marty joked today on facebook that they should not remind people of the things from one year ago. I got a good one, though, that I want to save.

Sandra Dodd, May 20, 2020
Shared with Public

I didn't write this. It's going around. I will say that my grandparents were all born around 1900. I will comment at the bottom.

For a small amount of perspective at this moment, imagine you were born in 1900. When you are 14, World War I starts, and ends on your 18th birthday with 22 million people killed. Later in the year, a Spanish Flu epidemic hits the planet and runs until you are 20. Fifty million people die from it in those two years. Yes, 50 million. When you're 29, the Great Depression begins. Unemployment hits 25%, global GDP drops 27%. That runs until you are 33. The country nearly collapses along with the world economy. When you turn 39, World War II starts. You aren’t even over the hill yet. When you're 41, the United States is fully pulled into WWII. Between your 39th and 45th birthday, 75 million people perish in the war and the Holocaust kills six million. At 52, the Korean War starts and five million perish. At 64 the Vietnam War begins, and it doesn’t end for many years. Four million people die in that conflict. Approaching your 62nd birthday you have the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tipping point in the Cold War. Life on our planet, as we know it, could well have ended. Great leaders prevented that from happening. As you turn 75, the Vietnam War finally ends. Think of everyone on the planet born in 1900. How do you survive all of that? A kid in 1985 didn’t think their 85 year old grandparent understood how hard school was. Yet those grandparents (and now great grandparents) survived through everything listed above.

Perspective is an amazing art. Let’s try and keep things in perspective. Let’s be smart, help each other out, and we will get through all of this. In the history of the world, there has never been a storm that lasted. This too, shall pass. Copied from another post. Feel free to share (I did ).

______End of that quote_____________

I've had these thoughts a lot, though. As a baby boomer, I missed the worst of the 20th century, but I lived with and around people who were still scarred by it, fearful, or in mourning.

I was lucky to know all of my grandparents.

The first to die went around the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis (Lynn Adams). During Vietnam War protests, my mom's mom (Annie Mae Hathcock). When inflation was irritating even younger people, in the 1970s, my grandfather was living with my cousin, Nada, in El Guique (Vester Hathcock), and the fourth of them, Gladys Adams, died in 1989, when George Bush Senior was president and most things were stable and calm.

The odds were small, of someone living through all those listed wars, the dust bowl (these folks all lived mostly in NW Texas and some for a while in southern New Mexico), rheumatic fever (my mom's little fingers were both crippled early; it didn't show much), scarlet fever (one of their sons died as a teen, of that), polio (one of their sons, a light case)... There were stillborn children on one side, and a baby who died on day 1 on the other.

I will repeat this, from the lifted, borrowed writing above:

Perspective is an amazing art. Let’s try and keep things in perspective. Let’s be smart, help each other out, and we will get through all of this.
Some people's sons are on military assignments even now. If yours are not, be sensitive, and try to be grateful.

______________________________ end of 2020 writing ____________________

A year has passed. Not an easy year, but no one in our family died of Covid. Our friend Kate Holford (Marie Heuser) died 14 months ago, and her funeral will be in a few days, in Denver, because finally people are allowed to gather for such things, to some extent.

Because Keith and I got Covid vaccines, Marty and Ashlee felt safe enough to bring Ivan and Wynona to our house, in late April. I had seen Wynona twice before, in person, not up so close, though. She can walk, and Ivan's talking lots. I missed a year of their lives, but Facebook shed light on things, and Ashlee had Wynona Monday posts; those were great.

It has been a very difficult year, and the problems continue. Even without death, there's trauma. Friendships and families have broken over issues related to covid. Some people used to sanitize their groceries before bringing them into the house. People were afraid of mail order a year ago. Now there are other things that seem safe, or dangerous, and will be found not to be so much, in a year, or five, or twenty.

People are pretending to know everything, and making declarations with bravado, but looking back at problems in my youth, and in the decades before I was born, I know that much of what is claimed now will be disclaimed later.

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