Pearl Harbor Day – Can We Muster the World War Two Strength to Combat the Third Wave?

by on December 7, 2020 · 5 comments

in Health, Ocean Beach, San Diego

In this Dec. 7, 1941 file photo, the destroyer USS Shaw explodes after being hit by bombs during the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. (AP File Photo)

Today – December 7th – is Pearl Harbor Day – it was 79 years ago today that the US fleet was attacked in Hawaii – an attack which pushed the country into World War II. It’s difficult for us to even remember the day; there’s hardly any veterans of the day still alive, there was absolutely no mention of Pearl Harbor in today’s San Diego Union-Tribune.

But the day is symbolic of a time when our nation mobilized to combat a common enemy. Our forebears had the courage and strength during the war years to give all, to make many sacrifices at a time when it was needed.

Today, we’ve faced with another common enemy – the coronavirus. Our city and state are in lock-down. Our people have been fighting it now for a long 9 months, and without any national leadership – unlike 79 years ago – a conduct by the president that borders on criminal – 282,000 of our fellow Americans have died in this type of combat, nearly 20,000 just here in California.

Yet, some of our fellow Americans refuse to practice or follow rules of conduct that can defeat the new enemy. In fact, they hold demonstrations about losing their liberties for having to wear masks and not being able to go out as they used to during the pre-pandemic days. Some businesspeople and county sheriffs refuse to enforce the rules.

Which all makes me wonder: can we today muster the strength and courage and patience of those who lived during World War Two?

Born three years after the end of the war, I obviously missed it. But my parents didn’t and I heard plenty of stories of life in San Diego during the first half of the 1940s. While my Army-green-fatigued father fought in the Pacific, my mother and much of her family lived here in town.

There were the black-outs. Everyone had to pull their window shades down at night, out of fear of an enemy bombing or shelling attack (which never came). There were the stay-at-home orders at night. People had to stay in and not go out at night. You couldn’t just drive your vehicle around during the evening hours (gas was also very limited and was rationed).

There was the food-rationing, and heating oil shortages and other necessities of living (I heard they also rationed toilet paper), the ration tickets, the community-wide collections of metals and other materials for the war effort.

People made plenty of sacrifices. Obviously, doing without the foods and things that everyone was used to were big sacrifices. And more. My father was away for years – not on a 6-month rotation – so my folks didn’t get to see each other for long periods of times. There were emotional sacrifices; my parents actually split up temporarily during those years.

I lost an uncle who I never met to the war; a Marine – he was wounded and then captured at the Battle of Corregidor, not too long after Pearl Harbor, and actually died in a “friendly-fire” incident (the Japanese ship he was on was torpedoed by an American sub).  Our COVID deaths don’t match the 405,000 Americans killed by the war – not yet.

But, I never heard any stories of people staging protest demonstrations against having to draw their shades at night, or not having enough petrol or claiming the enemy wasn’t real (there were anti-draft protests, however).

Never heard about anyone burning their shades in bon fires at the beach. Never heard about church members meeting at night in defiance of the stay-at-home orders and prohibitions of night-time activities. Never heard stories of people down at the beach or walking OB’s streets at night demonstrating against the loss of their rights.

Never heard about anyone picketing government or threatening government workers because they wanted the war to be over sooner.

Today, the parallels are uncanny.

Wearing masks and practicing other ways to slow the spread of the virus are like drawing the shades. If you don’t do those things, you’re unpatriotic, you’re against the world. You don’t care about your fellow Americans making deeper sacrifices, like working on the front lines. Dying in the trenches.

I’m probably preaching to the choir, here. But, we’re in dangerous times, and we can use helpful analogies.

We’re now in combat with the Third Wave. Can we muster that World War Two strength – and indeed, patience – and fight this virus together? Do we have the perseverance of those who lived during that war to enable the country and the planet to get on top of this thing that has ravaged us all for too long?

Somehow, we must. We must pull it together and we must pull together.



{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan December 9, 2020 at 5:17 pm

Absolute nonsense to be putting any blame on Trump/Republican for the results and hysteria regarding Covid. Covid is overblown,… and it’s individual responsibility, with each person, which matters with any disease, practically and normally speaking.
The only danger is by the hysteria makers: Democrat/Leftist type feeble minds (honest perspective). Cautious? In their own way, but, not so soundly. But, I’m enjoying less traffic on the free ways,… and life is good :)


Frank Gormlie December 10, 2020 at 11:43 am

Dan, you’re absolutely righto! World War II should have been an individual responsibility also. It should have been up to each individual American to fight the Nazis and Japanese imperialists if they wanted to, gosh darn it! And it was those leftists Democrats (FDR & Co.) who pushed the fake narrative that it was a war – oh, those feeble-minded socialist dems! It was all a conspiracy to make the USSR the top world power.


Geoff Page December 9, 2020 at 9:02 pm

Absolutely correct to be “putting any blame on Trump/Republican for the results and hysteria regarding Covid.” The LOSER’s refusal to acknowledge the pandemic was criminal.

I keep hearing that this is an overblown crisis. The one thing that really strikes that argument is the ICU capacity. No one can argue with the fact that the ICUs in California are packed. What caused that and when has that ever happened in California? If the folks who think this is a big hoax could explain the ICU crisis as something else, they would, but they can’t.


triggerfinger December 10, 2020 at 3:35 pm

I think it has been exaggerated, and also minimized. I think both extremes are in response to each other. The president has been criminal in misleading, no… LYING about this and far too many are happy to lap it up and parrot his claims. He later claimed he didn’t want people to panic. Luckily CNN and others have been criminal in selling panic and very biased information about this pandemic. Factual reporting and education has once again taken a backseat to sensationalism and propaganda. It’s a crying shame there isn’t more appetite for something in between – the truth and all it’s nuances.

The chart in this article is also misleading. Testing is at record highs, so case counts can’t be compared to what they were when testing was 1% or 10% of what it is now. And don’t get me started on the cumulative case counts… (most of which have recovered and yet are never removed from the count.) What they should be reporting instead, is the Covid death rate which is about half the peak in March. And hospitalizations that are about on par with March. Yes those are likely to increase further, since the spread is increasing, even when accounting for increased testing. And people over 65 in poor health and in nursing homes still account for the vast majority of bad outcomes. And despite all this we all seem to spend more time obsessing about others’ mask wearing habits rather than our own health–The USA is the most obese country in the world! I hope people take advantage of this free time to exercise something other than their mouths and keyboards.


Frank Gormlie December 10, 2020 at 4:32 pm

OMG! There you go again. Complaining about the deceptive charts and all the misinformation about testing and testing rates going way up. I’m hoping part of this is tongue in cheek – as many of your comment rants are – but to doubt science at this point is … well, pretty fucking unbelievable.


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