Keeping Things in Perspective

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(Things in Perspective)

From the Democrats of Hemet-San Jacinto

This pandemic has affected everyone to some degree, some worse than others. I feel sympathy for those that have been unfortunate enough to contract the virus. Perhaps the luckiest of us are those who had the virus but had no symptoms. Who knows, I could be one of those but I might never know.

Testing has been such a disaster. This administration has never gotten ahead in the testing process. We are months away from having enough people tested to help us get control of this virus, to know who should be quarantined and who can safely go back to work, gather with friends, attend public events. The economy is approaching depression levels. Contrary to pie in the sky forecasts of Trump about a quick recovery, virtually all economists see a long slow recovery. Some businesses have already failed and closed their doors for good. Those jobs are lost forever.

While those businesses who invested in online shopping before this pandemic are flourishing, department stores which were already struggling will close forever too with more jobs lost. Over 30 million have filed for unemployment in the last 6 weeks. Many more while not having technically lost their jobs have experienced significantly reduced income. We have all experienced shortages of needed products. Many of us are feeling socially isolated. For all those who are frustrated with today’s social distancing and economic woes, I suggest you look at what your grandparents or perhaps great grandparents endured.

If you had been born in 1907 as my father was, on your 7th birthday World War I started and didn’t end until you would have been 11 years old. Sixteen million people died in that war. That same year the Spanish Flu pandemic started and lasted two years. An estimated 50 million people died from that flu in just two years. When you would have turned 22 and were just getting your adult life started, the Great Depression began. Unemployment was 25% and the world GDP dropped 27%. You would have turned 26 before the depression ended and the recovery after that took years.

When you would have turned 32 years of age World War II began. Before that war was over you would have been 38 and during those approximately 6 years 22 million people died as a direct or indirect result of that war. By the time you reached your 68th birthday, 100,000 Americans died as a result of the Korean and Vietnam wars. Almost all of those born in the early 1900s knew personally soldiers who died in those wars. For those Americans of color, they endured lynchings and segregation. From the time you would have been born until 1953 when Jonas Salk discovered a vaccine, you lived under the threat of polio.

This generation not only endured through all of this but earned the title of “The Greatest Generation.” They rebuilt our country after the depression; they made great sacrifices during WW2. They willingly taxed themselves at many times the today’s tax rate to build our nation. The sacrifices you are being asked to make today pale in comparison. Stop complaining. If you do your part, we will come out of this together.

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