First I want to preface this post by saying that this is not trading related, but a general reflection. AND — my apologies ahead of time for those who are atheists. I do not wish to ram religion down anyone’s throat. But to me the above events help place into context the merger of the individual story and collective narrative.
This is a difficult time for all of us. When celebrations, warm weather, and the need for basic social interaction, a Maslovian need of every human being, comes to the fore, it is natural that we want to break free of our constraints, and of the horrendous phrase “social distancing.” That being said, our natural urges to be liberated from house arrest have led to a darkened path for some, and a riskier path for others.
This weekend, America strived to free herself form the shackles of pandemic quarantine. Emotion gave way to reason in many.
In addition, it has been noted that the drinking rate has dramatically increased in the last 8 weeks, with alcoholic beverage sales up 55%. Highway patrol are afraid to stop drivers for fear of catching COVID. What results, is a massive increase in unpoliced drunk driving. Alcohol related vehicular deaths are up 100%.
In the Bible, Daniel is a citizen who is jailed and then literally “fed to the lions” for praying to God instead of to the leader of Babylon, Darius the Mede. What transpires, is that the lions lick his feet and act as housecats. When the king, who is his friend, comes in anguish, Daniel replies – God sent an angel to close the jaws of the lions because he was found to be blameless, staying loyal to God.
This week and weekend were some of the worst 10 days of my life – I came down with a fever, with worry of being infected with COVID, but ultimately testing negative, complicated by needing antibiotics for a separate infection, and then getting severe gout to the point of missing work and being unable to walk, until taking steroids, weakening my immune system further.
This weekend, my wife wanted to go to our home in Virginia, over 400 miles from my current abode near my work. I had mixed feelings, and in fact wanted to stay home. She insisted, and we took the trek down. Prior to leaving I prayed to God to keep us safe, in our coming travels.
What happened next was shocking. We saw a car speed by us from the left at likely over 80-100 mph. The driver lost control, swerved right, then left, and then slammed perpendicularly into the concrete barrier, with a huge explosion of sparks, neutering his forward momentum. His vehicle then rolled towards us as we drive over 60 mph, and my wife swerved to avoid him, successfully.
Having survived this, the very next evening another car tried to enter our lane at 70 mph, nearly striking us, when again my wife swerved and avoided the car. If trucks had been in the lane on the right in either case we easily could have been killed, or even if we simply lost control, either of us could be killed.
Later in the evening we witnessed the aftermath of another accident, with one car with minor damage but 2 other cars, totaled, with moaning injured passengers in one, god knows how badly, and one car with what appeared to be at least one dead individual. EMT and police were right behind us, but still the results of what could have been shocked and saddened me to my core.
In the end I see overlapping sorrow. The police officers who fail to stop drivers due to fear of the plague we call coronavirus, the huge number of suffering people who have increased or returned to drinking, and are now driving, endangering those all around them, and the dead, infected with coronavirus, or dead victims (or perpetrators/victims of alcohol?) from the resulting psychological carnage.
In the Lion’s Den Daniel prayed to God. He had faith, to believe that God would help him in the most dire straits and not to be eaten by the lions. That ultimately is what happens and our ultimate outcome is not up to us. And so we can liberate ourselves of the dread of uncertainty and go forth more confidently but humbled who is directing all the cast of characters below.