The Rhyme Of A Time: The Poem Of 23

It’s the 23s all around.

23rd month for our pandemic of 2020-2022. 23rd month for your ancestors’ pandemic of 1918-1920.

Today I begin my early-morning scan of “the news.” The very phrase is scary these days. I’m never quite sure if it’s my version of the carnival barker, the town crier, or various chicken bones and frog toes arranged in a particular pattern. Whatever it is today, I plunge forward into…the news.

Then, something catches my eye. Is it a fact, a quasi-fact, a fact faked? Walk slowly, Dan. Hit the flashlight button on your phone.

A report from Johns Hopkins. OK, fair enough. I continue walking, eyes open. After clicking the link and sending God-knows-what invisible codes to the Chinese or Walmart or the people in dark glasses at an undisclosed location, I read that the Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise has published an article showing little to no positive effect of lockdowns during the current pandemic. The study also pointed to substantial negative effects of lockdowns as public policy.

Interesting. 23rd month.

Hold on, Dan. Something is tapping on your shoulder. The tapping is my sense of my “ministry”, as I call it, of connecting the past to people’s todays and tomorrows.

I do my own research into the 1918-1920 pandemic. Tap, tap, tap. Yep. There it is.

In the 22rd month of your ancestors’ pandemic one of the leading American public health experts, Dr. William Evans, president of the American Public Health Association, publishes an article about a select committee’s findings on the effect of school closing during their pandemic, now ready to enter its 23rd month.

The committee concluded that school closings hadn’t produced any measurable benefit during the pandemic. The committee’s conclusion was meant to help guide Americans if a next wave of the pandemic occurred, which, in fact, it was, though in a much smaller and less lethal form than before. They were, in their 23rd month, traveling quickly down a river of time from pandemic-to-epidemic-to-seasonal/problem. This was before anyone had coined the term “normalcy.” That would need another five months and the launching of a political election campaign. Republican presidential nominee contender, Warren Harding, would utter the word in a campaign speech in the summer. That single word may be legitimately said to have gotten the man elected POTUS later in the fall.

The 23rd month.  

Honest questions arising about the value and effectiveness of major actions taken in Wave One and Wave Two.

Candid responses to those questions.

Another month in the offing.

The past rhymes with itself, rhymes with the present in making new poems, and rhymes with the future in imagining new matches in words, images, and ideas.

Be well. All the best, Dan