Half a million people have died of COVID-19 in the United States as of this week.

Though a count of The New York Times database had not reached that figure, but it will reach it. And according to that database, “Denver County is at a very high risk level.” Just what I wanted to hear! Still, the database noted that cases, deaths and hospitalizations in Denver County were way down. 

When a president orders five days with the American flag at half staff, it is a somber time to be in this country.

In a story in the Times recently, there were these paragraphs:

“… (the) U.S. virus toll is higher than that of any other country. More Americans have died from Covid-19 than did on the battlefields of World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War combined. Mr. Biden is calling for lowering federal flags to half-staff for the next five days.
“Despite the horrific death toll, there is hopeful news: New virus cases and deaths have slowed drastically, and the pace of vaccine distribution has picked up. The number of Americans hospitalized for Covid-19 is at its lowest since early November.”

And yesterday, President Biden, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and the Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, were standing in front of the White House, with a giant black swag over a major door, kicking back into the Victorian era. Five hundred candles marched up the stairs and across the balcony. It was about as solemn as it could be. (That photograph was shot by Doug Mills for The New York Times.)

This morning, I was looking back at early March postings on the blog in 2020. In February, there was material about pit bulls and Red Rocks’ new stage cover and other items that were sort of normal. 

But then: COVID-19 was everywhere. And March 2020 was the longest month, as if it had at least 80 days. The high point in Denver was when the mayor basically told us to all go home, while closing liquor stores. Now that might have been an insurrection, but two hours later, when liquor stores would be open, all was calm again.

During that month, there were so many comparisons of the COVID-19 with the Spanish Flu pandemic almost a century ago; some 675,000 people in America died of the flu. Of course, there were issues with masks back then, too – the anti-maskers seem to show up everywhere – and there were not the kind of medical breakthroughs that we have now. 

And as we turn a corner into March 2021, it is reminding me that things were so up and down 12 months ago. The previous administration seemed, yes, dithery, while scientists and doctors were trying to help us understand what we needed to do. Watching the former president’s press conferences – a circus barker, indeed – at times was an eye-opener. Drink bleach? Laugh? Cry? Or just be afraid that some people would try that as some sort of cleansing medicine.

In March 2021, we have been seasoned, and old pros at this (sort of). We have been used to wearing masks, social distancing, carefully dealing with shops and restaurants that have been on a rickety roller coaster. I hope these small businesses survive, since 2020 was devastating, as people lost jobs and other terrible events. 

Of course, 2021 hasn’t been a walk in the park so far, although we have two vaccines that are effective. Several of my friends can’t get a call or a text back after signing up on several medical centers to get a shot. There needs to be more vaccines coming to Colorado, but, of course, in winter, weather can be a roadblock.

That New Yorker cover showing the previous president with a mask over his eyes….. I can still look at it, and think, three times is the charm. And it was. He is now elsewhere, but who knows what will happen in the future.

Below are links to the snapshot of what is going on in terms of deaths, illness, and other spin-offs from what started a year ago in 2020. If only things had been more clear back then, but leadership needs a leader. 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-fauci/fauci-says-u-s-political-divisions-contributed-to-500000-dead-from-covid-19-idUSKBN2AM2O9?il=0

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2021/02/22/biden-honors-500-000-americans-whove-died-covid/4540914001/

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