We were in solid weather over the Sierra Mountains, with my student pilot practicing instrument maneuvers. The cloud cover extended from 500 feet above the ground to well above our operating altitude. Things were uneventful until they weren’t. We lost our primary and most essential flight instruments, which enable us to fly when we can’t see outside. From uneventful to dire, our lives were on the line. It happened quickly, and it wasn’t because of anything that we had done.
This event happened years ago when I was an Air Force instructor pilot, so why did I think of it just now? I was searching my past experiences to describe my feelings about 2020, and that incident came to mind. Totally different situations but a similar feeling inside.
The first quarter of the new year started uneventful until it was not. We had heard about a mysterious virus from China, but no one initially gave it much thought. By March, Covid-19 had become a national emergency, and the economy had fallen off the cliff. From uneventful to dire, our lives were on the line. It happened quickly, and it wasn’t because of anything that we had done.
This has been an extraordinarily challenging year for so many and in different ways. Millions of people have lost their jobs because of Covid-19, millions more have been infected with the virus, and hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens have given their lives. Who would have imagined such turmoil and turbulence just ten months ago?
The Light Ahead
Yet, there is a sliver of light breaking through the dark clouds. A vaccine is here ahead of time and incredibly effective at controlling the virus. Congress has passed another emergency plan, signed by the President, but it won’t be nearly enough to soothe the pain for many. The President-Elect says he’ll ask for more as a part of his plan when the new team is in place. We know what the old team has accomplished. The new team will now have their chance. We’ll have to see what they can do to get us back on track.
Back in the weather over the mountains, we were prepared to bail out and take our chances over the rugged terrain below. Hard work, extraordinary cooperation, and just plain luck allowed us to save the jet and, more importantly, our lives. With hard work, extraordinary cooperation between our country’s leaders, and just plain luck, 2021 might also be our saving grace.
A QUOTE TO CONSIDER!
“No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again.”