This is one of those historical periods when pundits say, "This is going to get worse before it gets better." And sure enough, things got worse.
For most residents of our troubled globe, the coming days, weeks and months threaten more challenges (a "challenge" used to be called a "problem") than I can remember in my lifetime. This includes several multinational wars.
A war used to be a fearsome but obvious exercise. You first identified your opponent. Then you assembled your weapons (such as men and women willing to work, fight and die for your country or beliefs.) Then you tried to destroy your enemy's forces with every measure at your disposal.
And you got rid of any doubt or uncertainty.
Today those two items are in plentiful supply. Whom do we trust? What do we believe? So many of the today's trumpets blare wavering, nervous or outrageous pronouncements.
But you already know these things. So let's move on to whatever awaits us. And what is that, pray tell? Historic immortality, that's what.
A thousand years from now, the years from 2016 to 2025 may be known as one of history's crossover points, especially for our country's share of it.
Some historians may call it The Trump Era. That would be a simplification. For even if Trump is re-elected a few days from now, it's unlikely he will endure for another full term.
Already, fate's handmaidens are awaiting him. They may include obesity, certifiable madness, impeachment, or the invasion of the Oval Office by a squad of GOP and Pentagon leaders, plus Trump's own family members. On that day, the only message will be "Mr. President, you must step down. Today. Right now."
Even then there's no certainty that Trump would relinquish his office. It's likely that he has a survival plan for every remaining day of his life, whether or not he is re-elected on Nov. 3.
The other building block in this nut-house we're living in is COVID-19. The United States at most levels has bungled our overall response to the virus. Trump's bizarrely casual attitudes and comments about COVID have been blamed for COVID's continued growth and re-growth in most parts of our land.
It seems justifiable to blame much of the continued strength of COVID-19 on our good old American independence, our attitude of "no one is going to tell me to wear a mask and stay at home." So millions of otherwise intelligent citizens disobey the opinions of Dr. Fauci, a renowned virologist, and instead cheer Donald Trump's contempt for science.
Finally, I return to a seldom-mentioned truth about COVID-19: It is not the worst affliction that can strike a human. Most victims recover and resume living. The death rate is but a small percentage of those who contract the virus. And the news reports tell us that trustworthy vaccines may soon be busting out of dozens of research centers around the world, right? Any day now, right? So why worry so much, right?
Wrong. I intend to keep wearing my mask and staying at home with my cat as much as I can. COVID-19 may one day slay me, but I'll try not to make that event happen with my cooperation.
Fellows and girls, I wish you all possible blessings, no matter what your covidian thoughts and practices may be. And let's remember that kindness and decency do not require a vaccine.