I’ve just spent a week in Southern California, seeing family and helping my daughter move into her new apartment. LA traffic seems back to its ugly self and there are people out shopping like the good days–albeit with most people wearing masks somewhat correctly.
I don’t think anyone here spent much time pondering the fact that today is the one-year anniversary of the violent attack on the US Capitol. It’s been on the news, but life here doesn’t seem to be impacted at all.
How different from a year ago when we all sat glued to our TV sets wondering what on Earth was happening. Would invaders harm Congress members or Vice President Pence? Would the election results be certified?
A year later, it seems we’re in a very different place: Our duly-elected president has been installed. Vaccines are readily available to protect people from the worst impacts of the virus. People are traveling and seeing family again.
And yet we are still reacting to the latest virus variant–shutting down events and some schools and businesses. We’re suffering the long-term impacts of dealing with COVID. And we’re as polarized as a country now as we were a year ago–maybe even more so.
It seems like many of the emotions of the past year or so are being suppressed–we’re all putting on a good game face and trying to move forward. But wishing the pandemic was over doesn’t make it go away. Ignoring what happened in Washington a year ago doesn’t stop the anger and violence that’s been manifested since the attack.
A year later, we need to get on with our lives as best as possible while not losing the lessons of the traumatic times we’ve just experienced. As Winston Churchill said, those who don’t learn from history are bound to repeat it.
One pandemic per lifetime is more than enough.
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