We are in the midst (and we hope, not the beginning) of a history-making coronavirus pandemic that could well change America forever, in ways not yet apparent. Will distance learning become the new normal? America work from home? Sporting events in front of the cameras only? Has the simple handshake gone the way of the spittoon?
In my youth, we thought we would never see as much change as our grandparents, who were 18 years old when the Wrights took flight. Now I realize my generation has seen as much history as they. We admire the scenery of a chosen street in Prague using Google Earth and peered down from the moon. We have put a birth date on the universe’s origin and mapped out genomes, the building blocks of life. We had our own wars but different, against stateless terrorists.
Pardon, therefore, this Old Settler if he recounts a little history of his own. It is of the quotidian kind but so was The World of Yesterday, a Jewish kid growing up in pre-WW1 Vienna. (We’ll concede Stefan Zweig has greater literary merit.) But in many ways, so much remains the same.