It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

For those of us who are alive and well during these times, the COVID years will remain in our memories forever. And we’re not out the woods, yet.

In Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, the author begins by stating that the event he describes occur “in the middle of life’s journey,” by which we surmise he must have been more or less 30 years old, given the life expectancy of that era.

For our children, COVID arrived early in our lives, when we had no frame of reference to compare it with anything else. For some of us, it struck in our prime earning and living years, dealing a perhaps crippling blow to many careers and businesses. For someone like me, in the later years of life, recent events take another meaning.

8 All things are wearisome,
more than one can describe;
the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
nor the ear content with hearing.

9 What has been will be again,
and what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.

10 Is there a case where one can say,
“Look, this is new”?
It has already existed
in the ages before us.

11 There is no remembrance
of those who came before,
and those yet to come will not be remembered
by those who follow after.

Ecclesiastes, 8-11 (NIV)

Yes, I believe that we’ve been here before. Not us, directly, but human beings before us. History endlessly repeats, and knowledge is lost, only to be relearned again, often at great individual and collective cost.