2020 will go down in history as the year when everything was messed up. The pandemic was just the start. Now it’s just one thing after another, a dog pile of miserableness with no end in sight.
On a personal level it’s been less than pleasant. Being quarantined wasn’t so bad at first. I’ve worked from home for years, so I was already acclimated. But now everyone else works from home as well. Things have become crowded and noisy.
What else? Oh, I fell off a ladder in the garage and broke my wrist. Our dog died. A musically inclined grandson was diagnosed with hearing loss. We were hit with a huge car repair bill. A friend took his own life.
There’s more. My father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Mom broke her leg. She’s confined to a wheelchair now, because she knocked down her addled husband with her scooter.
The last time I saw the Old Man, he failed to recognize me. The steadfast Latter-day Saint, former missionary and temple worker was in bed. When I leaned over to see if he was asleep, he opened his eyes and demanded, “Who the [flip] are you?”
There was the earthquake and innumerable aftershocks. Tornados in the south. Wildfires almost completely destroyed Australia. Europe was in lockdown, then it wasn’t, and parts of it closed again.
And now here comes the next possible plague. Giant Japanese hornets, aka “murder hornets” have invaded the U.S. Not only is the sting of a murder hornet painful to humans, but the biggest concern is their proclivity for massacring entire honeybee hives.
No bees. Less food. If a famine sets in, it won’t matter how much money you make. You’ll still die. On the bright side, you’ll have less body fat and require a smaller coffin.
Rumors abound that COVID-19 is mutating. No one knows if the next wave will be deadly, but with the way things are going, what are the odds?
Suppose it becomes a “were-virus?” You know, a virus that causes prodigious hair growth, elongated incisors, a reddening of the eyes, and shortness of temper? Can you even imaging being stuck in a house with a family member with the were-virus?
I can. My wife starts to get like this whenever I go near a ladder now.
The mutated virus may attack the brain and alter political leanings. Dem-virus or Rep-virus? What’s the worst version?
Zombies? We already have them. They’re more commonly referred to by their scientific name Dumbtexters, aka “dumb[@$$%] who drive while texting.”
The list goes on and on. The economy has tanked. Unemployment has skyrocketed. The sports season is ruined. I have to dress up like a bank robber just to get prescription meds.
With all that’s going on, it’s easy to anticipate another calamity — and be right about it. But screaming won’t help.
While I think about how horrible the world is right now, and consider the possibility that a previously unknown volcano will erupt in my neighborhood, I sit on the back patio and push my 6-year-old granddaughter on her swing.
The cherry trees are in bloom, and the sound of passing traffic has thinned. The robins pull worms, and the vegetables we planted are beginning to emerge. My granddaughter laughs and yells “Higher!”
The first step in things getting better is to believe that they’ll eventually get there. In the meantime, try to focus on the things that remain good.
Robert Kirby is The Salt Lake Tribune’s humor columnist. Follow Kirby on Facebook.