What do 2,403, 2,977 and 2800 have in common besides just being numbers in the 2000's? The 2403 is the number of people killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The attack on New York, the Pentagon and the Pennsylvania plane on September 11, 2001 killed 2,977 in one day. The other number, 2800, is the average daily count of Americans dying daily as of last week! We remember Pearl Harbor every December 7 as the "day that will live in infamy" as President Roosevelt stated at the time. We honor all the Americans killed on 9/11 every year by repeating their names and tolling bells at the exact time the first plane hit the World Towers in New York City. How will we remember this Pandemic? There are estimates that 450,000 Americans will perish from the COVID-19 virus before the vaccines can become effective and let's hope they do.
I don't know about you but in May and June this year I don't think I knew anyone who had contracted the virus. No longer true, even in my own family. My daughter has had it and my grandson who lives with us. They were fairly mild cases lasting about a week to 10 days with the major symptom loss of taste. Nevertheless, Dick and I quarantined and stayed out of our home during that whole time. Now daily I hear of a friend who has contracted the virus and sadly know some who have died from it. I would guess that is generally the same with all of you at this point.
I have read a good bit about the Spanish flu of 1918, actually the H1N1 virus, while I am quarantined and of course it was such a different time with no instant communication as we have now. People would have symptoms and die almost instantly and it was highly communicable. People did wear masks like we are doing but still 675,000 Americans died and over an estimated 50 million people worldwide, one-third of the world's population! Apparently herd immunity finally stopped that pandemic. We are fortunate, hopefully, that due to Operation Warp Speed, we will have a vaccine that is safe and effective in very short order. And yes, I will take it.
While I certainly don't want to diminish the lives lost in Pearl Harbor or 9/11, we are losing that many Americans a day now and still some people are not taking it seriously. We see it everday with the people who won't wear mask for political purposes. I see it in my own home with a granddaughter who is continuing to visit her friends, spend the night out etc. Her attitude is basically, "if I get it, it's not going to kill me and then I don't have to worry about it again." She won't but her grandfather and I will. Let's just hope and pray that our scientific researchers who have developed the vaccine know what' they are doing and we have an end to this pandemic soon. And 100 years from now will our descendents remember it every year or will it be just a footnote in history like the 1918 Spanish flu is?