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GOING VIRAL – THE EDITORIAL

Greetings sports fans and welcome to another thrilling adventure in journalism I love to call my very own, Vegas Valley Sports Beat. That spunky little sports column that has been the home of truth justice and the American way since always. The last time I rode my Harley-Davidson motorcycle down the Las Vegas Strip it was a Friday night and everybody in the world was there. It was a beautiful thing to see. Yesterday I rode my bike down the Strip and it looked like a war zone. The streets are all blocked off and under construction and there were police cars sitting at the corner of every block from just beyond the Stratosphere to FlamingO Road.

Today’s column has no real subject save for the people of Las Vegas and America themselves. So many people are amazed at the strength of spirit and unity that the American people, in general, have shown in this time of crisis and dire need. So many people are stepping up and paying their own blessings forward while many others give of themselves in their own need and they do it with a cheerful heart. It really does do one’s heart good even when you already know that such goodness exists in every person. Especially then actually when you think that energy could just as easily have been used for evil. With great power comes a great light bill.

You can be for real the toughest tough guy and the biggest baddest big bad guy ever but tell your soul the truth right here and now. What would your heart say to you if you knew your carelessness had given your Nana the virus and it killed her along with half the patients in her nursing home? Or whoever that one person everyone holds closest to their heart might be, what if you killed them that way? What if your Spring Break Ho-Down in Havasu transmitted the coronavirus to your Great-Grandparents? And then it spread through your entire family tree, attacked your downhomies, frat buddies, and their families as well? That is the power even one infected person carries on their shoulders. That is the very same weight we all must carry whether we have been exposed to it or not is to think and act as though you already have it and are keeping it to yourself.

The changes we are seeing in ourselves and in society as a whole are because, whether you choose to believe it or not, we are all the children of God. Every individual is a part of the creator, part of the creation, part of the fabric that binds the universe, and an indelible part of one another. No matter how or what you choose to identify yourself by or as, no matter what your creed, color, religion, or system of beliefs are, there is simply no denying that we all arose from the same dust and we shall all return to it the same. As equals in death. Many people have had to stare their own mortality in the face and they saw death but hey, that’s part of your birth certificate is the expiration date.

There is all the more reason then for us to see ourselves as equals in the here and now, or so I believe, and to try to understand just how dependent we are upon one another for our survival as a species and that means right down to the individual. No matter what our station in life, upon the people whom most take for granted some even sneer at or abuse like the pizza delivery boy could hold the key to your survival when you are under quarantine. I’ll bet that punk kid looks like an angel now that he’s carrying a hot pizza pie to your door and you are stuck inside with 5 screaming brats and a spouse who might be plotting your demise by the end of their next week in isolation.

Even if you are there isolated and alone it is always good to see a friendly face bearing pizza. And no that is not a pizza delivery boy/acne joke, more of a fortuitous bonus pun really.  He has put his own life on the line so that you and others might live. So have the truck drivers, grocery clerks, stockboys, bank tellers, firefighters, police officers, and countless numbers of unknown volunteers that have committed acts of random human-kindness without seeking publicity of any kind.

People are staying at home for the sake of others as well as themselves. We are washing our hands more diligently and being more aware of how social interaction can lead to death in this world. It’s neither of God nor the devil because a virus is neither living nor dead it does not care it does not read it does not think it does not see anything in terms of gender or race. Ideologies bounce right off of it because it has no heart it has no soul it has no agenda. it just is what it is and it always will be.

So where does that leave us? I for one most certainly have to wonder.

We the people are the hosts to this novel coronavirus and it can move amongst us with more ease than any virus that has ever come before it. I have been saying it all along but now it is confirmed by the CDC and the World Health Organization that the Coronavirus can travel as far as 13 ft through the air and still be viable. The virus can live on your shoes, on your dog, cat, bird, book, building, bus, bedding, you name it, for up to 72 hours. We know that a host can be hosting a veritable cornucopia of coronavirus cells and not display symptoms for as long as 14 days. Meaning that every person they contact directly or indirectly would be at risk and every person they contacted directly or indirectly thereafter and so on ad infinitum. Millions of people would have died and there is no doubt about it had not We the people responded as we did to combat the spread of contagion. I’m sure I’m not the only person who saw the movie Outbreak or read The Stand by Stephen King which is also a fabulous movie by the way.
Authors like Michael Crichton have been warning us about the real danger of a global outbreak of the Ebola virus, Contagion, and the chilling message of the Andromeda Strain can certainly be applied to any homegrown virus here on Earth. They are highly adaptable if nothing else and even if they or not sentient in the manner of human beings they do have a very sophisticated sense of self-preservation and they can mutate.

One of those mutated strains that live in our oceans now is a flesh-eating bacteria that can take your limbs or life. You might be fine at the beach and not encounter the bacterium but all it takes is for one of those bugs to enter a host through a simple scratch and the host could be toast.

But I digress.

The point is that we have been told these things for many years. We have seen these movies and we have read these books to one degree or another. I have always had a special interest in virology anyway so I have read all of those books and seen all of those movies. I do know what an outbreak of Ebola could mean if it were in the same form as this novel Coronavirus. Even worse would be if the Marburg virus were to ever mutate into such a state is this. Respectively it would mean the end of 94 to 98% of human life on the planet or wherever it is spread to whomever it is spread. The last I heard there has been an outbreak of Ebola in The Congo since long before this coronavirus hit the block. The report that I read stated that Ebola had spread into the population of a city of 2 million people and was not fully contained. Oddly enough the scant reports I was seeing dried up all of a sudden and became scarce. That sounds like another failure on the part of the World Health Organization.  Sounds a little bit too familiar, doesn’t it?

Technically speaking Coronavirus is a total lightweight in the world of lethal viruses but even a lightweight packs a knockout punch and the COVID-19 is no exception to the rule. The actions of the American people and those of the people all around the world have been so astounding and so moving, and they have saved so many lives. Why so many died is certainly a question to be looked into at some point in time but it should not detract from the fact that no dark cloud is without its silver lining. Truly this pandemic is a dark cloud hanging above us all but the silver lining part somehow makes it seem all worthwhile. That’s how I see it anyway.

Thank you to all of the millions and millions of amazing people all over the world and especially to those who have so selflessly put themselves on the line to keep America Alive and Kicking. Especially our healthcare workers who have been stretched to their limits and have shown they are too resilient to be broken that easily. When the dust settles, and it will, we’re all going to come out of our respective corners and we’re going to come out fighting because that is what Human Beings do. They answer the bell until the fight is won or they die fighting so that others might live. We will still be fighting for our lives against this invisible killer even after the grand-reopening of America 2.0 but we will be fighting for one another and nothing can ever vanquish such a true love as that. Stay well my friends, stay strong, and stay home just for the health of it. Let us stand as a people united and let none fall alone or divided. Surely this too shall pass but history will never forgive us if we waste this wonderful opportunity to reclaim our own humanity and go beyond it.

You are the light of the world, keep shining.