The Happiest Day

There is a plague in China. The New York Times reports: Fear of Virus Ruins the ‘Happiest Day’ for Millions of Chinese. In Wuhan, the city at the center of the epidemic, Lunar New Year celebrations were subdued while residents worried about sick family members and life under lockdown.

“Today should be the Chinese people’s happiest day,” Chen Yanming, 47, said here in Wuhan, the riverside city of 11 million in central China where the outbreak began. “But this sickness has destroyed that feeling. It came suddenly and unexpectedly. We should have been better prepared.”

Americans should know this is a sign, a portend, of things to come. If we could remember the future half as well as we forget the past. But today no one knows what is coming.

Today the first case of COVID-19 is reported in California. A man in Orange County tests positive for the novel coronavirus — also known as COVID-19 — according to the county health care agency, becoming the first confirmed case in the state. He had recently traveled to Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the infectious disease outbreak. This brings the number of confirmed cases in the United States to three.

Signs of things to come. Portends of the future. It is right in front of us but we cannot see it.