I know what you’re thinking. 2021 was going to be a magic beginning and all of the bru-ha-ha of 2020 would fade like a bad dream. Yet here we are in March, celebrating the first anniversary of COVID-19, which is like celebrating the month you learned you had hemorrhoids. Yea!

We’ve turned a year older and I believe a year wiser, but at times, I think I’m surrounded by those who got stuck along the way. I get irritated at those who don’t wear masks in public places. There’s no argument that a mask helps slow the spread of germs and bacteria, so wear one. Also, stores need to mandate it. I know that hard core (idiots) will go somewhere else to shop, but I think their numbers are small. We have to get some tough love going here, and do you know why?

Baseball.

I love baseball and I can’t go to the games if COVID-19 continues to spread. Sure, I tried to fake it as a one-dimensional cardboard figure behind home plate, and believe me, those behind-home-plate seats were awesome, but they figured me out when I tried to order a beer for me and Cardboard Chipper Jones sitting next to me. So, for the sake of baseball, wear the mask.

What about crime related to the Coronavirus?

That depends on whom you ask. Overall, crime numbers are down nationally, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, but they don’t specifically address crime related to the virus.

Obviously, the favorite choice of crime related to the virus would be fraud.   Fraudulent claims and hundreds of websites taunting wonder drugs, vaccines, and antibodies surfaced almost immediately, but the advice now, as it was then, is to check and double-check the websites offering these wonderful things. Look for FDA-approved sites and proceed with extreme skepticism until proven otherwise, like a father on his daughter’s first date, only without the firearm.

Unfortunately, violent crime rose, according to the statistics in the first six months of 2020. Some of that could be related to COVID-19 but most? Probably not. Atlanta’s violent crimes, specifically homicides and aggravated assaults have spiked, but I think the reasons are beyond blaming COVID-19, and more towards traditional reasons, such as drugs, alcohol, dysfunctional families and a dozen other reasons. You still want to defund the police? Look at Portland. It’s like a Mad Max movie. No thanks. Let’s stop all this nonsense about defunding and deal with problems like adults.

What about the vaccine? That is the talk of the town, other than the Kim Kardashian divorce. If you have not tried to get on one of the vaccine lists, keep trying.

Honestly, 2020 was just plain weird. Politics hit an all-time low with political ads striving to see who could punch the furthest below the belt. It was like a bad reality show. I can’t talk about the “social unrest” without giving some heavy personal opinions on the events of this past year, but let’s just say there is a lot of work to be done.

But let’s remember who we are. We are not millennials who feel “getting involved” is tweeting an opinion. We’ve been there.

We were under our desks when the Russians were going to bomb us and we had bicycles with banana seats, butterfly handlebars, no helmets and (gasp) no Spandex. Guys had “Butch Wax” to keep that little wall of hair thing up in the front.

We had proms to which real men wore ruffles so large that a decent breeze would flutter us to death. We drove to school in Chevy Chevelle SS’s with dual-quads and semi-overhead lifters, not to mention the Highjacker Bumper Bunnies. (Look it up, Chad.)

We had hippies and original tie-dye T-shirts made by certified hippies. You think this is bad? We had Charles Manson, Vietnam, and worst of all, we had disco.

So, the moral of the story is this, as bad as it has been this past year, it’s been worse and we’re still here. We’ll make it work somehow.

Steve Rose

Steve Rose is a retired police captain and a contributing writer to Atlanta Senior Life.