Some old maxims seem quite dependable; March coming in like a lion is one such truism, at least today. Central Pennsylvania is under a wind advisory until tomorrow, Tuesday, March 2, 2021 at 10 AM. And, to add to that bluster, there is a chance of snow until 8 PM. Not a lot, of course, but do we really need any?
I’m fairly certain many of us are a bit winter weary by now, and I am even more sure we are all tired of the pandemic estrangement that is close to its first birthday. I remember sitting in the Writing Center at Penn College in early January 2020, reading the news about Wuhan, China and the disease outbreak, and being very thankful (and obviously naive–in hindsight) that we were not required to wear masks like the Chinese citizens. Then, in the latter part of January, the United States announced its first case of the novel (i.e., new) coronavirus in the state of Washington, a man who had traveled from Wuhan. COVID-19 had penetrated American shores.
By mid February, that initial comfort I felt was abating, but the virus still seemed distant. In early March of 2020, I was looking forward to Spring Break, not because I was heading south to a southern haven replete with sun, sand, and surf, but I was getting a break from providing suggested edits to distracted students anxious to escape school and parental oversight. Spring Break arrived, giving us that brief respite. It was soon extended by one week due to the virus. Before March ended, the virus had taken enough of a foothold that Pennsylvania’s Governor Wolf ordered non-essential businesses to close for an unknown amount of time. That was the end of in-person tutoring, and tutors then worked remotely.
March of 2020 did not leave like a lamb. When the lion thundered, it was a resounding rumble, and its roar has not ceased. It quieted to a low grumble briefly, only to return as an even more terrifying bellow. The lion has claimed over 516,000 victims in the United States as of today and is not likely to return to its den any time soon, certainly not by the end of March.
It may be some time before the lamb is safe again.