Day 72. In response to my post of yesterday a good friend sent me the following email on the importance of keeping the pandemic and its impact on our lives in perspective. I am most grateful for his thoughts and share them with you.
“I’m not downplaying the seriousness of the virus or the world we live in today but I also think it helps to think about what our parents and grandparents dealt with through their lives. Maybe it was a bit different because there was no 24 hour news feed, maybe it was a bit different because they didn’t grow up feeling so entitled or maybe it was a bit different because they were just stronger than we are today…………………..
Anyway, thought you might like some perspective on what you would have faced in your life if you had been born in 1900. Stay safe and be well!!”
A reality check –
It’s a mess out there now. Hard to discern between what’s a real threat and what is just simple panic and hysteria. For a small amount of perspective at this moment, imagine you were born in 1900.
On your 14th birthday, World War I starts, and ends on your 18th birthday. 22 million people perish in that war. Later in the year, a Spanish Flu epidemic hits the planet and runs until your 20th birthday. 50 million people die from it in those two years. Yes, 50 million.
On your 29th birthday, the Great Depression begins. Unemployment hits 25%, the World 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 in Europe. But no time to catch your breath. On your 41st birthday, the United States is fully pulled into WWII. Between your 39th and 45th birthday, 75 million people perish in the war.
Smallpox was epidemic until you were in your 40’s, as it killed 300 million people during your lifetime. At 50, the Korean War starts. 5 million perish. From your birth, until you are 55 you dealt with the fear of Polio epidemics every summer. You experienced friends and family contracting polio, becoming paralyzed and/or dying.
At 55 the Vietnam War begins and doesn’t end for 20 years. 4 million people perish in that conflict. During the Cold War, 1945 – 1990, you lived each day with the fear of nuclear annihilation. On your 62nd birthday you have the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tipping point in the Cold War. Life on our planet, as we know it, almost ended. When you turn 75, the Vietnam War finally ends.
Think of everyone on the planet born in 1900. How did they endure all of that? Perspective is an amazing art. Refined and enlightening as time goes on. Let’s try and keep things in perspective. Your parents and/or grandparents were called to endure all of the above – you are called to stay at home and sit on the couch.