By Ray Knapp
Dad had a favorite saying. He said it to me often. Especially when I was complaining about my lack of spending money, our old pickup truck being the only vehicle to take a girl out on a date, and a variety of other things. At that time, I was going on 18 and had many complaints. “You should appreciate what you have, as you don’t know how much you would miss it if it were gone.”
He was right. Not six months later, he was gone, and I miss him to this day. That year, my sometimes, and, depending on my money situation, sometimes not, girlfriend, married a person I didn’t even know right out of high school. I showed her. I immediately joined the Navy with a high school pal. We joined under the “Buddy Program,” guaranteed to be with each other for four years. He was held back two weeks for dental work and I saw him only twice during a four-year enlistment. No girl back home to write to and a friend that disappeared made for a lonesome 12 weeks. Besides him, I sure missed many other things during four months of boot camp. Mainly, I missed Mom, my annoying little brother, and just home itself. I was, as they used to call it, “homesick.”
That sure proved Dad’s point, “That you should appreciate what you have, as you don’t know how much you will miss it when it’s gone.” This year, 2020, without belaboring the point too much, his saying rings true for you and me alike.
Did you expect not to go and come as you please this year? If some soothsayer had predicted last year that we would be wearing masks, and bumping elbows to greet one another this year, I think we would have laughed at such foolishness. If he had added that a disease would strike the entire world, we may have not dismissed him so fast.
Well, all that is here, in addition, civil unrest is occurring, not only in America, but also in several other countries around the globe to make things more worrisome. Most people say they haven’t seen anything like it. With the pandemic and everything else going on, I agree. For instance, people can go to the beaches one day and then beaches will close the next day. States, counties, and even municipalities have their own rules about this pandemic, which gets downright confusing. Nail salons, not considered as an essential business today, yet they were yesterday. What else is non-essential?
Bankruptcies of small businesses and some big businesses are certain to happen if things don’t get back to normal soon. In addition, schools opening are a great big question mark! Not everyone can be home schooled – for instance, there are no laboratories for college research at home, nor is every school student privy to a tablet and the internet. Is it even safe to go to school for teachers and students alike, considering the virus and civil unrest?
Scientists are working on a “fast track” to develop a vaccine for a cure, however nothing in that line is certain now. One treatment that appears to help is “acalabrutinib,” a drug used to treat cancer and lymphoma – it lessens its severity, according to reports. Other trials conducted show some promise of being helpful, but no sure-fire cure has arrived on the scene.
We miss the laissez faire of last year – with less worry, more freedoms, and wearing a mask was only for doctors and bandits. However, we did not know how much we would miss those freedoms until they were gone.
Before I get too pessimistic, let me quote you a meme that someone posted on my Facebook page: “We are not in charge, and that is a good thing. God is in charge, and that is also a good thing.”