Mike Zielinski

Mike Zielinski

Alas, this may be a spring like no other.

This time of year normally has an optimistic flavor. Temperatures are getting warmer, we’re getting more daylight, and our flower gardens and lawns are awakening from their winter hibernation.

But few faces are breaking into sunlight this year. Our normal world has been rocked by a superbug that is traveling like a lit fuse, advancing upon us like a prairie fire.

We all want to scramble for the fire exits but there are none when it comes to the coronavirus more specifically named COVID-19 that is overwhelming healthcare resources while we wait months for a vaccine; crippling the economy and global supply lines that could leave us short on critical medicines and vital products; and making us fearful of travel, large crowds and touching our face.

This viral epidemic is pregnant with pandemic potential as the death toll and number of infected people keep popping like poisonous popcorn around the world.

Global anxiety is flowing like a burst artery and with good reason. You know we are smitten by dangerous times when the specter of death creeps into everything we touch.

We fantasize about superheroes in our movies and comic books. That is pure fiction, of course. The reality is mankind is as fragile as Venetian chandeliers when confronting such an ominous threat steeped in stealth.

People over age 70 with underlying health conditions seem most vulnerable.

What does our future hold?

Will schools, businesses, sporting and entertainment events, airlines and most of all cruises be shuttered, rendering us all cloistered and isolated in the presumed safe cocoon of our homes?

But getting our way of life wiped out by a superbug can’t be our fate, can it? We have accomplished so much and overcome so much that I refuse to believe our destiny is to be indefinitely held hostage by COVID-19, cowering like sitting, shuddering ducks in a viral shooting gallery.

Only Nostradamus knows the denouement, but I harbor a hunch that we eventually will stomp on COVID-19 like a cockroach, however long and hard the road may be.

Mike Zielinski, a resident of Berks County, is a columnist, novelist, playwright and screenwriter.

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