Lynn Ashby

Lynn Ashby

Certain dates have come to mean certain events, some good and some not so. Dec. 7 is one such case, as FDR said, “A date that will live in infamy.” He was speaking to the U.S. Congress on the next day, and said “date,” but it has become “day of infamy.” Who cares? Certainly in our lifetime “nine-eleven” will always mean the attack on the World Trade Center that caused the disastrous invasion of Iraq. We celebrate the Fourth of July, which conveniently always seems to land on July 4, and that’s when the Declaration of Independence was signed by the delegates. Well, most of them. We fudge the date a bit because it says on the top of the document: “In Congress, July 4, 1776.” Actually, the document was signed by most of the members on August 2. Other delegates trickled in and Thomas McKean didn’t sign until 1781. Let’s not get too picky about it.  

But now we have a new date to remember: May 11. Back on Jan. 30, President Joe Biden announced that he would end both the national emergency and the public health emergency declarations on May 11, 2023. Let’s have a big mask burning. Get as close to others as you wish. No more vaccinations. The Covid-19 pandemic is over! Sort of. Biden’s announcement came on the very same day that the World Health Organization, or WHO, said it still considered the Covid-19 pandemic to be “a public health emergency of international concern.” Not to get bogged down in statics, but these are human beings we are discussing: According to WHO, as of Jan. 31 worldwide there had been 6,817,478 deaths due to the pandemic. By April 18, the worldwide death toll stood at 6,897,012, a gain, or loss, of another 79,534 people in two and a half months. Since Jan. 31, the U.S. has registered 1,118,800 Covid-19 deaths. That’s 21,554 deaths during that period. Texas went from 90,366 deaths to 92,018 while Harris County counted 11,547 deaths at the end of January. Now the death toll is 11,650, but it’s still early in the day. So maybe Joe’s happy announcement was a little quick on-the-draw. 

A little background. The first human cases of Covid-19 were identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. The first confirmed case in the U. S. came on Jan. 20, 2020 in Washington State, where a man developed symptoms after returning from a trip to Wuhan. (That’s when Dr. Anthony Fauci officially began the pandemic season by tossing out the first needle.) Incidentally, I can’t remember the first time I ever heard of Covid-19, can you? And I always wondered who, or WHO, named the disease? Wonder no more. WHO came up with Covid-19 as an acronym for the coronavirus disease which began in 2019. Unlike the Spanish Flu of 1919 that killed up to 100 million people, Covid-19 makes no reference to any people, places or animals to avoid stigma. We wouldn’t want to chap the Chinese who, experts say, have been of little help in investigating the pandemic’s origins. 

Which brings us to an argument that has come about because of Covid-19. Where did it originate? We know the disease began in Wuhan, but was it accidentally spilled from a lab that was working on the disease or from a meat market that sells dogs, rats and other delectables. Almost everyone has taken sides, talking heads on TV have entered the fray, but I have a question? What possible difference does it make? In our priorities we need to find a cure, we need to prevent another exact or similar outbreak and it makes absolutely no matter which building in Wuhan gave the world the disaster.

But this is so typical of our times. You name a subject and you will find Americans taking angry sides. Usually it’s Republicans versus Democrats, progressives (who used to be called liberals) versus conservatives. You find angry confrontations not only about politics but about guns, transgender children, birth control and school books. Most of these have been around for years. “Eve, did you take your pill today?” Now we are in furious fights over age-old situations. Why now? Want to start a fight in a bar room or a company picnic? “I think Trump won.” Dr. Greg Abbott, having solved all of Texas problems, got into the mask-no mask fight. Poor airline flight attendants were   punched in the face for simply trying to carry out the mask rule. To mandate or not to mandate? Dr. Fauci got crucified for trying to save our lives. At 83 years old, working 54 years at the National Institutes of Health, 38 of them running the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, he’s retiring and I don’t blame him. How many medical scientists need a bodyguard? A lot of these demonstrators and sign wavers have too much time on their hands. Do something useful. Adopt a highway. 

Someone should start a COVID-19 Museum. Glass cases showing the vast number of different masks. Show marks that went on the floors of grocery stores, lobbies and tattoo parlors telling us where to stand 6-feet from our fellow cougher. The museum should show photos of the anti-vaxxers with their posters -- along with their obituaries. These exhibits will be reminders to our grandchildren of what life was like back in 2020 to 2023. But even now that the pandemic is over, our lives have been changed forever. It will take years, or maybe forever, when our wage slaves and cubicle dwellers will go back to a 40-hour work week in the office. A lot of people like to commute to their jobs down the hall and into their laptops. Restaurants and theaters are still suffering from a lack of both workers and customers.  I spotted a newspaper (remember them?) article telling how dry cleaners are hurting. We don’t need clean clothes for the office. Bathrobes can be washed. 

On May 11 it’s hats and horns! COVID-19 is officially over! But get your booster. 

Ashby celebrates at

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.