The War that will end War.

I Didn’t Sign Up For This.
A Covid-19 Blog
Chapter 10
The War That Will End War.

Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.

H. G. Wells (1866-1946)

Will the war between humanity and Covid-19 be the war that will end war? Or will it only be the end of life as we once knew it?

The First World War, 1914-1918 is often refered to as the war to end all wars, a phrase often attributed to President Woodrow Wilson. Hindsight strikes again.

The English writer, H. G. Wells, wrote the articles that became a book with a similar title in 1914. But he wasn’t thinking about a virus. Like many, he believed mankind would destroy itself with atomic bombs. 

In another one of his books, The World Set Free (1913) atomic bombs cause a devastating war, and its survivors create a unified world government to avoid future wars.

Until a few months ago, a century and seven years later, I’ll admit I often wondered if this would be what destroyed our world.

Wrong again. 

We’re not being taken down by other human beings this time, but by a tiny piece of RNA. Or trillions of them. And not just some of us. All of us. The entire human race across the globe.

None of us can know with complete certainty how this pandemic will conclude, or how it will change our lives. 

We hope for the best and use our imaginations to dream about tomorrow. And try to live through each day as it comes, in this strange new reality we call life with Covid-19.

It’s altered so many aspects of our daily lives, our society and our economy.

Don’t you miss just going to the store when you feel like it? Getting together with friends? Going to movies, or out to eat? Hugging people you love?

I do.

As each day brings rising death tolls and unimaginable pain and suffering across the globe, I cling to the things that remain the same in my life, few they may be. Like listening to audiobooks in my car on my way to work. I bought a new one yesterday, by Amy Dickinson, the famous author of the “Ask Amy” column in newspapers across our country. She is a bestselling author, and panelist on ‘Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.’

Her second memoir is titled, Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Coming Home. I can’t wait to listen to it as soon as I’m done listening to C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia.

Recently, Ms. Dickinson posted a tweet on (@AskingAmy) saying she missed going to movies, singing in the choir, seeing her pals in person, and many other things.

I agreed with her, adding that I missed being able to hug my adult children, and my grandchildren, and I missed not having to take my temperature when I went to work at the group home for people with disabilities I work at. 

I really miss the days when I didn’t get up in the morning and feel my forehead, and think, Whew, starting another day with a normal temperature. That’s a relief.

I could have added I miss being able to walk around without a face mask, gloves and googles on, too. We work twelve to fourteen hour shifts and it gets old after … I don’t know, the first five minutes. By the end of this week, I will have clocked up 144 hours for the two-week work period. No, that’s not a typo. One-hundred-forty-four hours. In two weeks. I’m exhausted, yes, but there aren’t enough of us working and like so many others, I’m doing what I can.

I’m sure there are plenty of doctors and nurses out there who would be thrilled to only work 144 hours right now. I salute them.

Amy Dickinson’s comments on Twitter made me reflect on our uncertain and suffering world right now. Then I began thinking how much going through this together might change our world. 

In the history of mankind, we’ve gone through pandemics that reached to every corner of the globe. But we’ve never been as “connected” globally as we are in 2020. The internet really has changed our lives.

Is it possible we might realize, once we get through this war against an unseen enemy, that we are all human beings?  

That good people are good people no matter what their skin-color, sexual orientation, race, or beliefs? 

Maybe we’ll finally understand there’s too much at stake to waste our time fighting with each other. 

Will Covid-19 become the war to end war?

We can only hope.

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