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Try looking at past tragedies and hardships

To the editor:

As we watch the evening news and the talking heads present us with the doom and gloom that this virus is causing us in 2020, I’m sure we all feel more than a little concerned. After all we are watching — according to everyone from “entertainment ,” talk show hosts and news anchors — an unprecedented disruption.

We are experiencing (according to the “experts”) a world crisis no one has ever seen. Economies are cratering, jobless rates are skyrocketing, and as of May we have over 50,000 deaths in American alone.

“MORE THAN THE VIETNAM WAR” – OMG!! – NYC Doctors and Health Care workers are near the breaking point “IT’S LIKE ARMAGEDDON” OMG!!!

Not to belittle any of that, or diminish in anyway the very difficult circumstances those on the front line fighting this virus are experiencing. But let’s put this in some context.

Imagine you were born in 1900 anywhere in the U.S.A.

— On your 14th birthday, World War I starts, and on your 18th birthday it ends. A total of 22 million people perish in that war.

— Later that year, the Spanish flu epidemic hits the planet and runs wild until your 20th birthday. A total of 50 million die from it in two years. Yes, that’s right, FIFTY — 5-0 — million.

— On your 29th birthday, the Great Depression begins. Unemployment hits 25 percent here in America and higher worldwide, The World GDP drops 27 percent. The economies of all of Europe are virtually destroyed leading, in large part, to the rise of Fascist dictatorships in Germany and Italy.

— On your 30th birthday, the “Dust Bowl” begins. For the next 10 years the worst drought in recorded in U.S. History destroys an entire region.

– A year later at 31, massive dust storms hundreds of feet high carry the topsoil from Oklahoma to Washington D.C. There is a mass exodus from the plains states of Oklahoma and west Texas. Food becomes scarce. The country nearly collapses.

— When you turn 39, World War II starts. You aren’t even “over the hill” yet – you’re still “young” by today’s standards. And don’t try and catch your breath because:

— On your 41st birthday the U.S.A. is attacked at Pearl Harbor and you’re pulled into WWII. If you’re a male – even at 41 — you will most likely be volunteer to fight. You may even see your sons volunteer and be sent off to war. If you’re a woman you will see, your husbands, brothers and maybe your sons go off to war with a distinct possibly you will not see them for four years. Or maybe never.

— Between your 39th birthday and your 45th birthday, between 70 and 85 million people will perish. Europe and Asia will have great cities totally destroyed. Atrocities thought unimaginable just a few years ago will have taken place.

— At 50, the Korean War starts. Five million will perish. — At 55 the Vietnam War begins and will not end for another 20 years. Four million will perish in that misbegotten conflict

— On your 62nd birthday you will witness the Cuban Missile Crisis and hold your breath as you watch the world coming as close as it ever will to a nuclear holocaust. Life on our planet almost ended

— When you turn 75 the Vietnam Wars ends and America is disgraced. Our politicians have disgraced themselves, Our “trust” in our government will never be the same.

Keep in Mind when you were born in 1900 – there was no — NONE, ZERO — paved highways, radio, TV, electric appliances, indoor plumbing. Personal hygiene was washing your hair once a month and taking a bath once a week. Men grew beards because shaving was just too time consuming and dangerous. As a woman, everything you consider “normal” in personal hygiene standards and sanitation did not exist. Really think about that for a minute.

The average life expectancy of a man was 45 years, Most doctors didn’t graduate from college. They went to medical schools. If you didn’t kill it or grow it yourself, you didn’t eat it. That means you, your spouse or someone in your family killed and gutted some kind of animal every week. There were no “teenagers.” You went to work at 8, 9 or 10 years of age and if you were a boy, most likely you were going to do what your dad was doing for the rest of your life. As a female you were expected to clean, wash cloths, cook and do most domestic chores. Schooling was an option only for a VERY few. If you made it to 20 without being married and having children you were considered a “spinster.”

So, again, no disrespect to those out there dealing with this virus. But instead of holding our heads in our hands and thinking “poor, poor, pitiful me,” think of how tough our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were. Suck it up, quit being a snowflake and let’s beat this thing. And while we try to find a cure, understand that life is full of risks. For those that came before us life was a risk. If we’re young enough and strong enough, let those of us that wish to take that risk.

ROBERT SPAITE,

Columbiana

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