A New Memorial Day
Due to the COVID-19

Allow me to explain the reason for this essay during the coronavirus pandemic. My spring semester has ended, which allows me to get prepared for the summer session. While I love teaching, it was difficult to get all the students on the same page last semester. I’m teaching two online classes, and I post due dates for any assignment several times starting weeks before the assignment is due. And yet, I get emails from a handful of students saying that they thought that an assignment wasn’t due until the following week. This is my final announcement at the end of the spring semester. It was my reflections on our time together. It contained comments, ideas, and warnings. This is the last half of the first paragraph:

Interestingly, the two morphed together from my point of view. You and I can learn from this confluence of history and the present. For example, we need to plan ahead. We can’t blow off dates and rules as if they don’t count in class and/or in life. We need to do things like getting assignments in on time, and we need to obey social distancing rules. Taking short cuts, on assignments and/or on not being careful in public and not wearing a mask, will cost you.

However, my mini vacation of a couple of weeks is allowing me to work on the Travel section of my website. I have had to go through hundreds of photos and videos and select the best. Then I email Ti Ti in Myanmar about which travel folders are ready for her to write captions under the photos. Two years ago, she did the same thing when I returned from my second trip to visit my family. Then Ti Ti sends them off to Sandy in Sweden. I know that it seems like a miniature version of the UN.

While I am not looking at my vast reservoir of photos, I have had some home repairs to deal with before they got worse. I had a leaking dishwasher, a bad battery for my sump-pump, my lawnmower had some issues, my Internet provider had to fix some new equipment that had some techie glitches that needed to be addressed. I also had some electrical and plumbing issues. Fortunately, all have been addressed, and all are fully functional.

In these couple of weeks, I also refinanced my home so that I could save some money. I hate paperwork, especially documents at a closing. I parked in front of the title company. Then I called them. One of the staff came out gave me a huge packet of documents. There she stood at the approved social distance of six foot telling me what I needed to sign or initial. That process of signing paperwork took fifteen minutes. After the person from the title company explained the second set of papers, I said that it would take an hour of her going over the documents and explaining them. Therefore, I would merely sign or initial them without having her explaining the documents to me.

The day before my refinancing closing, I went to Ginger’s vet. One of the veterinarian assistants came out, I gave her a typed sheet of paper with problems that Ginger was having. She smiled and said, “You really are organized.” We both laughed, and she took Ginger into the clinic. A couple minutes later, Dr. Dianna called me on my cellphone, and we discussed Ginger’s treatment plan.

Last Thursday dawned, it was a nice day for Ginger and me to circumnavigate the lake. Then I had breakfast and went to my home office to begin my daily routine. I checked my mail and discovered an email from The New York Times about the coronavirus.


If the U.S. had begun enacting social distancing just a week earlier in March, about 36,000 lives could have been saved, disease modeling suggests.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 9:08 PM EST

By Lazaro Gamio·Source: “Differential Effects of Intervention Timing on COVID-19 Spread in the United States,” by Sen Pei, Sasikiran Kandula and Jeffrey Shaman, Columbia University

By Weiyi Cai·Source: “Differential Effects of Intervention Timing on COVID-19 Spread in the United States,” by Sen Pei, Sasikiran Kandula and Jeffrey Shaman, Columbia University

Wow! I hadn’t noticed it the night before since it was sent to my school’s email address. I just happened to check my emails in the morning, even though the school is still on spring break. Essentially, the column was about the cost of American lives due to not acting on social distancing during the pandemic. It compared the death rates of Americans on May 3 and what they estimated it would have been had Americans started a week earlier with social distancing. The death toll on May 3 was 65,307. The report came from a Columbia University research team. They estimated that had Americans acted seven days earlier the death toll could have been 29,410. Essentially, 55% of Americans would still be alive had we gotten into social distancing a week sooner.

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting about the coronavirus response with Gov. Phil Murphy, D-N.J., in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, April 30, 2020, in Washington. Associated Press https://www.motherjones.com/coronavirus-updates/

Had we acted two weeks earlier, we wouldn’t have lost around 54,000 Americans of the 65,000. Trump wanted to continue his rallies in early March. The Times said that on March 9, Trump said that flu was far more deadly that COVID-19. Donald the Dumb tweeted, “At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!”

The problem is that COVID-19 had reached the American intelligence officials in late November. Trump claims that the intelligence officials “did NOT bring up the CoronaVirus subject matter until late into January…they only spoke of the Virus in a very non-threatening, or matter of fact, manner.”

Had Trump thought about it, he would have acted three months prior to May 3 when 65,000 Americans had died. When this essay appears on my webpage, 100,000 Americans died due to COVID-19.

To defend his inaction, Trump blames Obama with the swine flu outbreak. In early March, Trump claimed “actually nothing was done for a long period of time” by Obama during the swine flu. The CDC said that the swine flu would be a major problem on April 24, 2009. On April 26, Obama declared a public health emergency due to the swine flu. According to the CDC, the first confirmed person with swine flu in America was diagnosed on April 15, 2009. On April 26, 2009, Obama issued a public health emergency. The following photo is of Obama with his White House staff discussing the swine flu two weeks after the first case was diagnosed. The meeting was held on May 1, 2009, which was two weeks after the first confirmed case of the swine flu.

The swine flu pandemic

Trump claims that he is our wartime president. Maybe so. However, our commander was asleep for much of the war. On this Memorial Day, we honor those who have fallen in the various wars of our country. In this war, Trump, the Commander in Chief, is responsible for the deaths of a large number of Americans. Estimates of the final death toll of the coronavirus will reach a quarter of a million.