Let’s CTRL + ALT + DELETE 2020, shall we?
The history class that’ll take up the whole semester for the next generation
If I wasn’t alive to see it, I would swear that someone was making up all of 2020. But it was the motorcycle-riding monkey — who got off the motorcycle to kidnap a child — that made me finally decide we need to CTRL + ALT + DELETE the whole year. We need a refresh. Who taught the monkey to ride a motorcycle? Better yet, who convinced the monkey to snatch innocent children? And why am I seeing this story before I could digest that there is such a thing as murder hornets — who kill 50 people each year? The orange-toned guy in the White House can say whatever he wants about people being stir crazy at home. I’m hanging out inside. I don’t trust him anyway. Before I could break one New Year’s resolution for 2020, he’d already tried to start a war with Iran.
I’m not sure the next generation will take us seriously. 2020 sounds like an oddball historical fiction book. In January, Sydney, Australia experienced its highest temperature on record, along with Canberra. Triple-digit temperatures baked the region, on top of 27 million acres of Australia being burned in one of the country’s worst fire seasons on record. Meanwhile I watched the news like a hawk, concerned that one of my longest clients (who lives in Australia) on Upwork went missing after a year and a half straight of consistent work.
Luckily I got a response from him. He happened to be out of town on a business trip in another country. I was relieved that he was not in Asia, where his LinkedIn account said his company originates from. We already know that Asia had its own set of problems, and 34-year-old Li Wenliang did everything in his power to warn his colleagues about an unknown virus that was sweeping Wuhan. We now know this as the worldwide outbreak that has infected 3.4 million people worldwide and a little under 240K deaths: coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Unlike many, I work from home so it took awhile to hit me the way it hit those who work in Corporate America. Watching people jog down the street with face masks on and seeing retail representatives scramble to disinfect pin cards after each purchase is like watching a really good horror movie that I would never want to audition for. However, this movie is based on a true story and happening in real time.
Quite frankly, by the time the University of California Berkeley’s SETI@home project decided it would go into hibernation from its work on alien sightings, I was too distracted to care. I did take note of that news around the end of March. But I was too disturbed by the news of election judges consistently in danger during election season — myself included — before I opted out of being an Election Judge on March 16. Ten wallet-sized alcohol wipes for an entire election shift in the third largest city in America just wasn’t going to cut it for me. And unfortunately, one Chicago judge suffered the ultimate price and was infected with COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the actor in the White House shunned postal employees, staged his own protest against mail-in votes and absentee votes, and is still randomly saying heat and summer will make COVID-19 disappear. (It’s as if he doesn’t know where Tom Hanks was when he was infected. Yep, it was burning hot Australia.) Well, that was before his recent advice to ingest disinfectant as a cure for COVID-19.
Starting this week, governors will be making state-to-state decisions regarding whether to keep social isolation going or open up more retail stores and restaurants. Then the last thing I ever expected to happen happened. While non-essential workers are getting acclimated to their new work environment, and front-line workers are still pounding the pavement trying to rescue everybody, Americans now have to be on the lookout for 2-inch long murder hornets. I’m a former Girl Scout. I blew this “bug news” off as nonsense at first.
But an Asian Giant Hornet who can sting through most beekeeper suits, delivers nearly seven times the amount of venom as a honey bee and will sting multiple times got my full attention — and fear. With worldwide trade already on rocky circumstances courtesy of COVID-19, now local farmers are in trouble too. ABC confirms that farmers depend on honey bees to pollinate northwest crops such as apples, blueberries and cherries. That’ll certainly shake up our essential grocery shopping if the murder hornets increase.
With the threat from giant hornets, “beekeepers may be reluctant to bring their hives here,” Island County Extension scientist Tim Lawrence told ABC. Washington State University said it isn’t known how or when the hornets arrived in North America. These hornets used to be found in forests and low mountains of eastern and southeast Asia. But apparently the “murder hornets” (a nickname given to Asian Giant Hornets by Japanese people) decided they wanted to travel more. Are U.S. bees and wasps a more appealing menu?
It’s barely May. When the next generation opens their history books, there will more than likely have to be a dedicated semester to 2020 alone. It’s going to sound like one of the most bizarre fiction novels ever, and I hope I’m alive to read it. I don’t need bragging rights for this one. I could’ve done without any of this news altogether. So I’d like to consider pressing CTRL + ALT + DELETE on the whole year. We need to start again. This first version is the shittiest rough draft to ever make it to the light of day.
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