Booms, Dust, and Pathogens by
(194 Stories)

Loading Share Buttons...

/ Stories

Still wearing masks but for a different reason

It started with a boom. A series of catastrophes surgically planned, as airplanes, small compared to skyscrapers, plow into and destroy buildings, lives, and our sense of security. First responders risk their lives as lungs burn from dusty debris.

It started with a boom ... it continues with a global pandemic ...

It continues with a global pandemic, its origin unknown and possibly random, exacerbated by our selfishness and lack of caring for the each other and the earth. Our bodies ravaged by viral invasion, stealthily transmitted by a cough, sneeze, or breath. Front-line workers risk their lives to save ours.

The infection of hate is the most dreadful consequence of these 20 years.

//RetroFlash 100 words

Profile photo of Marian Marian
I have recently retired from a marketing and technical writing and editing career and am thoroughly enjoying writing for myself and others.

Characterizations: moving, well written


  1. Laurie Levy says:

    Perfectly stated, Marian. The infection of hate and the pandemic that is killing over 650,000 of us is the sad bookend to 9/11.

  2. John Shutkin says:

    Beautifully and so succinctly put, Marian. “The infection of hate” is the perfect metaphor for what we are (barely) living through.

  3. Suzy says:

    Very profound, Mare. Masks then and masks now, for different reasons. Yes, the infection of hate is the worst part, and I worry that there is no cure for that.

  4. Marian, a dreadful story beautifully and movingly told in only 100 words.

  5. Betsy Pfau says:

    In 100 words, you sum it up so well. The masks worn by first responders did not keep them safe. So many wound up with various forms of life-threatening diseases.

    If worn properly and uniformly, our masks WILL keep us safe, but people have been the subject of misinformation campaigns and think it is about their individual “rights and liberty” as opposed to their own health and that of the community. You are correct. There does not seem to be a cure for this infection of hate or misinformation that drives it.

  6. Khati Hendry says:

    A perfect description of a sort of blowback. The past resonates in the present and future, and it is important to pay attention and learn, if we are to have any hope of a healthier tomorrow.

  7. All of us are so articulate and wise. This is a good thing.

    As a historian (if I qualify) I look at modern times as a progression of 40-year cycles. For example, from 1900 to 1940 we experienced runaway industrialization and capital growth, a world war, a speculative crash, a depression, and the first steps toward fulfilling a social contract between our government and its people. From 1940 to 1980, we experienced a world war, an economic and social-service boom, hegemony and the failure of an anti-ideology that led us into the first endless war. From 1980 to 2020, we experienced another pendulum swing, this time away from government for the people and toward an awareness of the fragility of our environment. Halfway through its arc, the pendulum passed 2001 and a failed attempt at establishing hegemony in a new American century characterized by two endless wars. Now, that swing has come to an end. The powers that shaped the past four decades are dying with their old white men. We may not see it yet, but this next swing of the pendulum seems full of promise for heightened awareness of our place on the planet, a population growing tired of the desperate waning complaints of a failed ruling class, and a broad acknowledge of a change of direction brought about by the pendulum swing. Just sayin’…

    • Marian says:

      Wow, Charles, I hadn’t considered those 40-year cycle. Let’s hope that this swing of the pendulum has more positives than negatives. All I keep thinking of is the Yeats line about the beast “slouching toward Bethlehem to be born,” but that was referencing the year 2000.

    • Dave Ventre says:

      An animal may be at its most dangerous when it is wounded and dying. The power structure of white males reminds me of a hyena about to gnaw off its own foot to get out of the trap that age, time and demographic shift have set for it.

Leave a Reply