Student’s of history recognize patterns of cause and effect when reviewing a course of events. Being familiar with the stories and actors of the past helps them spot similarities, discrepancies, and precedents. This is more than just the ability to memorize dates. It is the ability to step back with a wider perspective to see connections and correlations where the past is informing the present.
One of my favorite historians, Will Durant, employed a fantastic phrase that encapsulates much of what makes the knowledge of history invaluable for understanding the present.
”The present is the past, rolled up for action…and the past is the present unrolled for understanding.”
Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the first Covid death in the United States. As of this morning, there have been just under half a million since that first one. That’s an average of 1233 deaths per day, but the worst month by far was January. There is a long way to go before the United States records its last Covid death. It is a national failure.
I cannot find a historical precedent for the past year. I can find examples for widespread selfishness. There are certainly periods of widespread ignorance. I cannot find an American year where the two married as they did in 2020.
I think I’m not too far out on a limb to say that Selfishness combined with Ignorance is a careless Killer.
I don’t hold out much hope of either cause being reduced very soon.