When America rang in 2020, it was with the hopes of a new decade and new beginnings. Few would have imagined that the new year would bring an abrupt end to much of what we take for granted in this country; those who could have imagined what was about to unfold would have been roundly ridiculed as paranoid and in need of professional help. The preceding holiday season had been remarkable only in how unremarkable it seemed, banal in its mechanized festivities, gift-giving, and the family gatherings we always took for granted.
Coronavirus would change all of that. Later in January, China rang in the year of the rat, a symbol of luck to the Chinese people, but an apt symbol of its leaders as we suffer through the consequences of their decisions. This was a damnation that came with forewarning.
It all started when a director at Wuhan Central Hospital in China first received reports of a SARS-like disease weeks before the rest of the world even knew what COVID-19 was.