Just a thought… There is no better teacher than history in determining the future. There are answers worth billions of dollars in a thirty-dollar history book. [Charles T. Munger]
“Out of the mouths of babes,” they say, and it’s been no more evident in our home than the conversations we’ve had with a sharp seven-year-old (aren’t they all, now?) about Covid.
The first talk came when we were asking about Colin’s classmates and who he likes this year. He couldn’t really say, so we narrowed it down this way, asking, “If you were to have a birthday party after Covid, who would you invite?”
While that did succeed in helping him to figure out whom he would choose, it also opened up a whole different field of questions afterwards, like, “So, when am I having my party?”
We had to explain to him what “hypothetical” means. We forget sometimes when talking with such bright little beings that abstract ideas like “what if” can sometimes go over their heads. So yeah, no – there wasn’t going to be a party anytime soon.
Then, the other day as we were driving home from a visit with, and meal delivery to, our 96-year-old friend Mira, Colin piped up from his booster seat behind us: “Hey Grrrrrama….”
“Yes,” I responded, loving the way he stretches out the Rs.
“I know! Why don’t you go on your phone and ask Google when Covid is going to be over.”
I put my chin to my chest and sighed. To him, to all children I suppose, it’s just that simple. If a grown-up doesn’t have the answer, we ask Google.
So Rob said, “Oh, honey, we’re sorry – but Google doesn’t know that. No one does.”
And I added, “As soon as everyone gets their shots and wears their masks – that’s when we hope Covid goes away.”
These kids are doing their part – many awaiting vaccines and all of them wearing masks at school all day – and look at the example that some adults are setting. People in stores not wearing their masks (which Rob witnessed the other day while out for groceries); others just waiting on those of us who are responsible to get our shots so they can rest safe in their mental inferiority (knowing better than actual scientists, of course) and let us take care of them.
Interestingly, in Brazil, the senate is calling for President Bolsonaro to be charged with crimes against humanity, including murder and genocide, for the way he mishandled Covid and leaned into the BS herd immunity school of misinformation. If only the senate in the US had the cojones to point those charges towards the former guy. But nothing sticks to Teflon Don so why even bother?
Back here in Canada, particularly BC, we’re in a real state of confusion over federal vs provincial Covid vax cards, ID and the like. BC went ahead with the QR codes while Ottawa was distracted with an election. Now that we’re ahead of the fed, they’re trying to marry both systems so people who want to travel internationally – like me, please! – can get in and out without a whole lot of headaches added to the already cumbersome limitations.
No matter our age, it is confusing. We can’t ask Siri or Alexa, or just Google the answer to a question we all want the answer to. And while we still see around us the stubborn stances of those who get their science from Q-Anon or whatever bad actors are posting fake information on Facebook, I do have the perspective of our sweet Mira to keep me grounded.
After all, she was actually confined in Nazi work camps in her teens. She knows what fascism is, firsthand. She has witnessed atrocities that most of us can never imagine and some don’t even believe happened because they never cracked open a book; they just saw or heard on the internet that “we have questions.” Mira knows what real hardship is. The question she asks is, “What is wrong with these people?” And I don’t have an answer for that, either.
Be well, stay safe and sane and I’ll be back with you on Thursday.