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Welcome From The Chief Editor

Over the past 10 or so months, this pandemic has given birth to many trite, overused, stupid phrases. "In these difficult times" makes me want to throw up. "In these trying times" has the same effect. Same thing for "in these uncertain times." These phrases just grate on my very last, already-irritated, raw nerves.

We've all been through difficult or trying or uncertain times before. And, if you think about it, every difficult, trying or uncertain "time" is unique to the situation it's applied to. Unless you're clairvoyant, every new day is uncertain. You don't know with 100 percent accuracy what each new day is going to bring. Each new day may be difficult or trying, or it may be routine and humdrum, or it may be joyous and triumphant, or it may be happy and exciting. You won't know until the day is done.

These trite phrases are used to convey a VERY false sense of sympathy and empathy. In many ways, it feels very condescending and insincere. Those saying it -- usually as a blanket statement -- know nothing about what I'm experiencing or what I'm going through. They didn't care before all of this, and they won't care after we get past this, either. A lot of the time, it's part of a dumb advertisement, trying to goad us into spending whatever little money we have on their marginal product or service.

Well, a new dumb phrase has emerged. It's "out of an abundance of caution." Queue the fingernails on the chalkboard. It didn't initially dawn on me how ridiculously stupid this phrase is, and how dumb it makes those who utter it appear. That was, until the principal at my son's and daughter's school uttered it to me when he told me that my daughter's entire Pre-K class was being quarantined for two weeks because a staff member in her class had tested positive for coronavirus. Mind you, all the precautions of social distancing and mask wearing were adhered to better than Super Glue. No one else has tested positive from her class. No one else from her class has displayed even a hint of symptoms.

It was then that I realized what the real meaning of "out of an abundance of caution" really means. It really means "I really have no idea of what to do, but feel I must do something, even if it's wrong." Basically, it means to take a shotgun scatter-blast and hope you hit something. And, I don't blame the principal. He is, after all, just a cog on a gear in the machine. He's doing what he's told/programmed to do. The people at the school board are not allowing their "policies" to evolve with the science and evidence of best practice. Their "policies" were made when we were mostly ignorant about the coronavirus pandemic, but they haven't updated them to reflect all of the information we've learned over time.

Yes, the pandemic is very, very real. It is sad and tragic to consider all those that we have lost to this virus. But this isn't the first time humankind has endured a biological assault from Mother Nature.

Just off the top of my head, the Black Plague from the middle ages comes to mind, when we lost between 75 and 200 million people. As a species, we survived that, and it gave birth to the renaissance art period. It lifted many people from serfdom to respected positions within society simply through attrition. It significantly shifted the distribution of wealth among the people.

The 1918 Spanish Influenza pandemic killed more people globally (by some estimates) than all of those who died fighting World War I. Some conservative estimates place the death toll at somewhere between 20 and 50 million, globally. In fact, some scholars attribute the end of WWI coming about because of the pandemic. It became difficult to find enough healthy individuals on both sides of the conflict to continue the fight, while also continuing the support services back at home. We survived that, as well.

The AIDS/HIV pandemic has killed over 36 million people. The 1968 Hong Kong Flu pandemic killed over 1 million people. The Asian Flu pandemic in the late 1950s killed over 2 million people. The list goes on and on and on.

Again, none of this diminishes the losses that society has suffered from this current pandemic. Yes, it's more disruptive than anything else any of us have ever experienced in our lives. And, it certainly doesn't diminish any personal losses that anyone has experienced. But those the virus leaves behind will carry on to face a new threat later on down the road. As history has shown us, it's inevitable. I only hope that we can learn some lessons that will help us deal with the next round. And the next.

Until next month, I bid you peace, happiness, serenity, prosperity ... and continued good health!

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