Everyone seemed to have an impression that after the votes were counted at the end of the presidential election we would have a winner and a loser. We did.
After going through multiple times of counting and judgments from various courts, the picture should have been clear. However, some people had their eyes so clouded that no matter how clear the picture, they could not see it that way. This drama has been playing out for over a month. Washington may be a small city, but it controls the heartbeat of the nation and is the nerve center of the U.S. government. People everywhere are eager to see the end result, the drama of who won and who lost — even if it is quite obvious — to end in a positive note, and wisdom and commitment to win over emotion and greed.
COVID-19 put a damper on our collective spirit by so far killing more than 348,000 and making seriously ill around 20 million throughout the country. Frederick became one of the hot spots of the coronavirus in Maryland. Hope for many was dashed in many different ways as we were told it is not safe to be in a crowd or with relatives for holidays whom we see occasionally, or travel out of state for a few days.
Wearing a mask, maintaining a safe distance, and not seeing each other for a while made sense because those actions protected us from getting or spreading the virus. The experts advised this, and we took their advice seriously. We had to work together and aggressively against this killer virus. While many of us obeyed common sense, some others threw a monkey wrench by objecting to all of the above. These actions prevented them from expressing their free will and infringed on their First Amendment rights. Until now, those who worried about their Second Amendment rights being trampled by the government by taking away their guns found one more thing to complain about: the mask.
Thankfully, to cut the argument short, Governor Larry Hogan said, “Wear the damn mask.”
During the ongoing pandemic, everything seems to be different. Kids are being taught at home online; folks are doing their office work at home in bathrobes; people from FedEx, Amazon and UPS, along with postal workers, have been ringing everybody’s doorbell as nobody goes shopping. Department stores and supermarkets are still doing well. The Common Market, Frederick’s venerable cooperative, opened its second store on 7th Street and Fairview Avenue, in what use to be the Safeway.
In a way, Christmas was heartbreaking. The morning of Christmas carried the awful news from Nashville, Tennessee, about a bombing. Fortunately, no one was killed, other than the bomber himself. But scores of people had to leave their homes, and 41 properties were damaged.
Many grandparents could not show up as Santa to their grandchildren. “Merry Christmas” had to be conveyed over the phone. Gifts had to be opened on Zoom. On New Year’s Eve, a drizzle now and then throughout the day made the desire sluggish to welcome a new year. 2020 was bad — bringing discontent and death — whereas the need is for peace and prosperity during 2021.
Come to think of prosperity, China, for many, poses a big problem. With a population of 1.3 billion, it is about four times larger than that of the U.S. Nothing to worry about. All being equal, China may create a few bombs or gadgets to impress the world, but both are about the same size. China’s lack of resources would continue to put it behind the U.S. China is a challenge for itself.
Frederick has a Sister City relationship with Schifferstadt, Germany. We could establish a few sister cities in China as well. It is not sure whether or not Chinese authorities would accept our brand of personal freedom, but they can sure use our model for producing fruits, vegetables, milk, soy beans and wheat.
The world has become a family. We supposedly got COVID-19 from China. Now we have a vaccine, and we will overcome the pandemic. In 2021, once again, our pork, beef and grain will feed the world, including the Chinese.
Anadi Naik writes from Frederick. His latest book of fiction is “ Blown Away.”