Sunday, May 8
We seem to be in the middle of another tidal wave of disasters. The jaw-droppingly bad happenings come so thick and fast that you can’t absorb one before another hits. If you thought the Russian invasion of Ukraine was bad, just wait—here comes the U.S. Supreme Court to drop its own bunker-buster on women and the prospect of a rational society!
After a recent conversation in which I tried just to list a few events, I realized my recollection of all that has befallen us in the past two-and-a-half years was slipping: Which came first— Trump’s pro-hydroxychloroquine spiel or the killing of George Floyd?
To put it all in order, I spent some time compiling a timeline of jaw-droppers, beginning with the January, 2020 Chicago police murder of Tyree Davis and the outbreak of COVID-19 in Wuhan—and ending with the leak of the Supreme Court’s draft reversal of the 1973 ruling in Roe vs. Wade. Along the way, there were some interesting juxtapositions. Consider:
During the first eight months of 2020, U.S. police murdered 164 Black youths. Meanwhile, a pandemic emerged that racked up 2 million recorded deaths worldwide; Donald Trump was acquitted in his first (!) impeachment trial thanks to solid Republican votes; mass shootings took place in Milwaukee, Washington, D.C., and Bay St. Louis, Mississippi; a volcano erupted in Taal, Philippines that forced 225,000 people to evacuate; Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was convicted of rape and sexual abuse; wildfires burned millions of acres from California to Washington State; and Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, soon to be replaced by Catholic fundamentalist Amy Coney Barrett.
Might as well curse God and die, did you say?
In January of 2021, as Congress was about to certify the results of the national election that made Joe Biden president, a Trump riot in the Capitol sought to gum up the electoral works. Orange Man regularly declared the election results a fraud, having tried to get several states to reverse their electoral votes. Five people died in the D.C. riot–but shortly thereafter the Senate declined to find Trump guilty of “insurrection.”
All the same, by August, 90% of seniors had received COVID vaccinations—despite rampant denialism and flagrant resistance even to mask-wearing, particularly in certain “red” states.
But it was no time for rejoicing. New COVID variants continued to appear. And shortly after the turn of the year 2022, Russia began an all-out invasion of Ukraine. Then came the Supreme Court bombshell.
War, pestilence, death, and famine—the last of these soon to be upon much of the world thanks to the Ukraine/Russia disruption of agriculture and trade. The Four Horsemen ride on.
Dinner: shakshuka with feta cheese and a green salad.
Entertainment: Jazz-lounge melodrama The Man I Love (1946) with Ida Lupino.
HERE IS MY COMPLETE LIST:
Jan 4, 2020 Chicago police shoot and kill 25-year-old Tyree Davis, the first of 164 Blacks to be slain by cops in the first eight months of the year.
January 8 In a random, ambush-style shooting in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, two people are killed, two wounded.
January 9 Coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan China
January 12 A volcano erupts at Taal, Philippines, with a 500-meter-tall lava fountain spreading heavy ash across the landscape, 225,000 people evacuating, and Manila air traffic halted.
January 21 1st U.S. Covid case reported; Wuhan quarantine (on 23rd).
February 5 In impeachment trial, Senate acquits Trump.
February 23 Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old jogger, is pursued through suburban Georgia by three whites in pickups who surround and murder him.
February 24 Harvey Weinstein convicted of rape, sexual abuse.
February 26 Five people are shot dead by a former employee at a Molson Coors plant in Milwaukee. The gunman then commits suicide.
March 9 Stock market crashes due to pandemic.
March 13 Louisville, KY, police shoot and kill 26-year-old Breonna Taylor after entering her home “searching for illegal drugs.”
March 13 US health emergency declared by Trump; billions in funding unlocked.
March 19 California issues mandatory stay-at-home order.
April 8 Trump promotes malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as Covid cure.
May 21 U.S. and AstraZeneca to speed vaccine development.
May 25 George Floyd, 46, killed by Minneapolis police who kneel on his neck, arresting him over a counterfeit $20 bill. Floyd is filmed repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe.” Nationwide Black Lives Matter protests follow his death, and hundreds of buildings including the Minneapolis police station are burned. There’s a nightly curfew in New York City. Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is arrested and charged with murder and manslaughter.
May 28 US COVID-19 deaths pass 100,000.
June 10 Confirmed cases of COVID-19 at 2 million globally.
June 12 Rayshard Brooks, 27, killed by Atlanta police who find him asleep in a drive-through lane at a Wendy’s restaurant.
June Seattle police and BLM protesters in a week of standoffs.
July Portland, OR, protests escalate. Disguised federal agents participate in crackdown.
August 9 In a block-party shooting in Washington, D.C., A 17- year-old boy is killed and 21 others injured.
August 18 Democrats nominate Biden for President.
August Wildfires burn millions of acres from California to Washington State. Hurricane Henri threatens East Coast.
August 11 Trump administration reportedly agrees to pay $1.5 billion to Moderna for 100 million doses of its vaccine candidate; COVID becomes 3rd leading cause of U.S. deaths behind heart disease and cancer.
August 23 Jacob Blake, 29, shot in back by Kenosha, WI, police. Mass protests ensue, during which White militant Kyle Rittenhouse, armed with an assault rifle, kills two people.
September Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies, Trump nominates Court of Appeals judge Amy Coney Barrett as replacement; Hurricane Ida flooding in NYC
October 2 Trump (hospitalized) and wife test positive for COVID.
October 19 Global cases of coronavirus top 40 million.
October 26 Philadelphia police shoot and kill Walter Wallace, 27.
November 18 A 44,000-person trial shows that the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine is 95% effective.
December First US vaccinations against Covid; Congress passes $2.3 trillion Covid-19 relief bill that includes $600 checks for all; at year’s end 2.8 million in US have been vaccinated.
January 6, 2021 Trump tries to block election certification by Congress. During riot by Trump supporters in Washington, D.C., four people die of medical emergencies; Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt fatally shot by police officer inside Capitol building
January 13 Trump impeached for second time over “incitement of insurrection.” 57 senators vote “guilty,” less than the two-thirds majority needed to convict, and 43 senators vote “not guilty,” resulting in Trump being acquitted of the impeachment charges on February 13.
March 11 President Biden signs $1.9 trillion economic relief bill.
March Delta variant of Covid arrives in US and quickly becomes dominant variant.
March 18 A gunman kills eight people at three Atlanta spas, including six Asian women.
March 22 A gunman kills 10 inside a Boulder, Colorado grocery.
April 11 Policeman shoots and kills Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, MN.
April 15 A gunman kills eight people in a FedEx warehouse in Indianapolis.
August, 2021 70% of US citizens have at least one vaccination, including 90% of seniors; CDC recommends 3rd or “booster” shot for immunocompromised.
September 9 Biden announces all companies with over 100 employees must mandate COVID-19 vaccinations.
November Satellite imagery shows a buildup of Russian troops on the Ukraine border, stoking fears of a possible invasion. Over the previous six years, Russia has seized Crimea from Ukraine and pro-Russian separatist militants have taken control of the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine.
November 19 At homicide trial, Kyle Rittenhouse is found not guilty of all charges.
November 25 Omicron variant emerges in South Africa.
November 30 A shooter kills four at a suburban Detroit high school, the deadliest school shooting of the year.
December 2 First U.S. case of Omicron variant
December 14 U.S. death toll stands at around 800,000 compared with 300,000 of previous December.
January 7, 2022 Arbery killers the McMichaels and Bryan are sentenced to life imprisonment.
February 24 In the largest military operation since World War II, Russia invades Ukraine with as many as 200,000 troops. Kharkiv, Kyiv and other cities are bombed. Western nations impose major sanctions on Russia, block oil and gas exports.
April 26 The CDC lists COVID “variants of concern,” including Omicron B.1.1.529, BA.1, BA.1.1, BA.2, BA.3, BA.4 and BA.5
May 3 Leak of U.S. Supreme Court draft ruling overturning abortion-rights landmark case Roe vs. Wade. A reversal, which could come in late June, would overturn a near 50- year precedent.