I’ll never forget the sequence of events that occurred in mid-March 2020. On Friday, March 13th, I was living in San Francisco and went out for dinner with 3 friends in the Mission District. One of them started talking about how she was working as the personal assistant to a virologist and that he was preparing for a cataclysmic change in our society next week. Huh? Here we were, enjoying a nice meal under normal circumstances, no different than all of the others I had enjoyed all of my life and everything was about to change? Surely, my friend must be exaggerating for dramatic effect?!
As the news over that weekend evolved, things appeared to be getting more dire. Then on the Monday, Mayor London Breed issued this pronouncement:
Effective at midnight, San Francisco will require people to stay home except for essential needs.
Necessary government functions & essential stores will remain open.
These steps are based on the advice of public health experts to slow the spread of #COVID19.
— London Breed (@LondonBreed) March 16, 2020
^^^ For extra fun, open the comments and search for the word “allowed”.
London Breed’s declaration was the first domino, of many, to fall. It started a cascading devolution into insanity for arguably the next two years. Even today, we are still feeling the after effects of what happened back then. Some of us have moved on but so much damage has been done. Some people are still walking around with masks & gloves on. Trust in public health has completely evaporated amongst everyone with a reasonably skeptical perception. Those in power who lied back then, and then continued to over & over, have, for the most part, refused to admit they did anything wrong and are mostly still in power.
The world has definitely changed … and not in a good way.