Quit Playin: 2020 is a Wrap! “Why Doeth the Heathen Rage?”

By Vincent L. Hall

I’m just like you. 2020 was going to be my year. Changed the vast numbers of my passwords to 2020Vision$$. Everything that needed a name became 2020. But it became apparent to me that 2020 is a wrap. As the cops refrain while affixing that yellow crime tape, “Move along folks, nothing to see here! All our hopes, dreams, new resolutions, and resolves; the old casting out the new, the plotting of a new day has been met with tragedy. It’s a wrap, people. This year and all of the chaos and calamity that came with it deserves the dreaded asterisk. The record book will demand 2020 be omitted or taken separately. So why does this heathen rage? For bible readers, that shameless reference to King David’s second Psalm is not always translated as heathen. It generally refers to a nation. But since we have a heathen running the nation…you get my drift.

The daily COVID-19 report for Dallas County visits my desk before the Dallas Morning News. A few days ago, this publication alerted me to the fatal, tragic, and far too early end of 2020. “As of 11:00 am July 6, 2020, Dallas County Health and Human Services is reporting 1,214 additional positive cases of 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), bringing the total case count in Dallas County to 27,054, including 401 deaths. No new deaths were reported over the past day. An increasing proportion of COVID-19 cases in Dallas County are being diagnosed in young adults between 18 to 39 years of age, such that of all cases reported after June 1st, half have been in this age group. Increasing reports of cases are continuing to be associated with multiple large recreational and social gatherings since the beginning of June, including house parties.” (House parties: Really folks?)

“The age-adjusted rates of confirmed COVID-19 cases in non-hospitalized patients have been highest among Hispanics (667.4 per 100,000), Asians (187.4 per 100,000), and Blacks (136.4 per 100,000). These rates have been higher than Whites (43.8 per 100,000). Over 60% of overall COVID-19 cases to date have been Hispanic. Of cases requiring hospitalization who reported employment, over 80% have been critical infrastructure workers, with a broad range of affected occupational sectors, including healthcare, transportation, food and agriculture, public works, finance, communications, clergy, first responders, and other essential functions.”

No one ever confused me for an intellectual, but privately, I am a raging Philomath. Numbers have consumed me since the day it dawned on me that all cars had different numbers on the plates. Numbers teach better than words for me. Reading the July 6th edition of this epic and ongoing saga was serendipitous. This news and the other gathering of details that deserve my daily monitor made it infinitely clear, 2020 is a wash. Some of you are crushed because the NFL, NBA, MLB, or NHL will not be there when you need it most. While others will feel the sting of job and income loss or educational opportunities that have been shelved or stymied. Either way, the dice landed and the chips were raked in. In the year 2020, everybody crapped out.

So rather than listen to this heathen rage, we must all think logically. Once we send all our kids to school, as this derelict dad suggests, then what? My 20/20 visions detect a breakout which closes a few schools at a time. The infected parents and families must all be tested, along with any and everyone they came in contact with. Over the past three weeks, we have seen the turnaround time for COVID-19 test results go from two days to seven. The issues arise because those tested don’t quarantine until the results return positive. Infections spread exponentially. Why doeth the heathen rage? Hell, I don’t know. But I know that Trump has no more right to direct my daughter Hailee back to school than me dispatching Barron to a local campus. Why does this heathen rage? I don’t know, and frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn! But for all intent and purposes, 2020 is “Gone with the wind!”

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