"Surge within a surge" are the words that keep popping up on the television as I walk by. I don't watch much news these days. It's all about Covid, which means suffering. We leave the TV on with the volume off. You can't hide from the words - a surge within a surge. What does this mean? Did enough people listen to the warnings to avoid overcrowding hospitals?
Too late. I broke my vow and watched some news. Hospitals in Rhode Island can't take more patients. "Stay home in you think you have Covid" it says on one of their websites. There's not enough nurses and doctors and the ones that aren't sick or quarantining are overworked, exhausted, emotionally drained. These are not good times. Some of us live in fear... which is what FDR warned about.
"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
We understand this and rely on it. It's okay to reject fear. We are Americans and we will endure. We always have.
But what was the second part of what FDR said? You probably don't remember. Neither did I. I had to Google it.
"...nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."
Unjustified terror. Right now, it doesn't matter if our fear is justified or not. The enemy isn't nameless, either. It's Covid. There's been 338,977 coronavirus cases in Indiana and 5,456 deaths. Our fear is not unjustified.
For most of 2020, I have not been able to write this blog, take pictures, do short videos, start a podcast. These are things that I would normally be doing. For 2020, I just do the morning show. That's all I have in me. For four hours, I give you all I have that is good and hopeful and a little funny and entertaining. I do serious interviews. But then we're right back to screwing around. It's what I need to be doing. If I'm afraid, what's that mean for you?
It's not an act. I am grateful that I don't have Covid and that no one really close has died. I am grateful that Dave Kusiak is still alive, that I get to wake up and drive to Purdue and talk on the radio and bounce around on tv. I take calls and play HeyJEDS and read texts and talk some more. And then I'm done. I have nothing else to give. I go home and eat breakfast.
I'm up now.. in the middle of the night... like every other night, morning, whatever. I worry about my family, callers, the Region, America. I worry about hatred around us and the bad weather and about Purdue and the Bears and if there's gonna be a high school basketball season. I worry about the leaves in my gutters and the salmon we thawed yesterday but haven't cooked yet.
It is my nature to worry. It's my nature to write this blog, take pictures, do stupid short videos, start a podcast, record a HeyJED, write this blog. I can't do any of this. For months, I was the only person to walk into the Purdue Commercialization Center. I was a singular man on the moon. It was lonely. Today, Sam Michel pointed to a blanket and pillow in the corner.
"Don't you think it's time to take those home?" Sam gathered the pile and took it to my car.
A vaccine is on the way. Alexis and I just listened to the Monday edition of "The Daily" from the New York Times. They did a segment on the vaccine. "Operation Warp Speed" could be sending out doses in a couple weeks. This gives me hope. I want to write to the three or four of you. I may even go back to sleep.
Hope. That's what I'm feeling after all of these months. Hope. A vaccine is on the way. You have to keep the Pfizer vials at 94 degrees below zero. This creates major logistics challenges. I have faith that we'll find a way. We are refitting passenger planes to carry pallets of vaccine packed in dry ice. As soon as the FDA gives the nod, planes are in the air. I have hope, and I want you to have hope. For the first time in nine months, I have hope... not just that we're gonna come out of this... but that I might be able to sleep for a couple hours before talking on the radio. Good night.