Friday, September 11, 2020

Oregonian's Observations About the West Coast Wildfires and the Challenges to Our Nation

Pandemic Diary
Day 179

Dear Diary,

A worried nation, and world, is watching the ominous orange skies stretching from Washington to California in a scene out of some dystopian future.

Raging wildfires are breaking records as the devastating toll on lives and homes is beginning to emerge. The smoke is literally blocking out the sun in parts of Oregon and California.

Here in Medford, we are having a reprieve from the fast-moving fires as the winds have died down and nearby fires are being suppressed as I write this.

I want to think that there will be no more fires nearby, or in the rest of the state, but facts tell me to expect more. We're just coming into fire season. The same for California and Washington.

California is being hit the hardest with the worst fires to ever be recorded there. Each one of just four of the outbreaks have already destroyed more acreage than ever before. The state is on fire.

Oregon is setting records for historic wildfires that have already burned over 900,000 square miles. 

The city of Phoenix, next to to Medford is no more. It's smoldering ashes. 

Authorities are saying one of the wildfires north of us is the largest ever recorded in the state. Marion County officials confirmed that two bodies have been discovered in a car along Oregon 22.

My middle son lost everything he owned when all three storage facilities he was renting in Phoenix were incinerated. A complete loss. 

His personal memories were burned up along with an outside restaurant - a hot dog stand with tables, chairs, all the cooking utensils, and supplies he'd just purchased for ten thousand dollars.

I could tell more stories locally that are even more heartbreaking just to think about. I won't. There's just too many. I wonder how long it will take for our community to recover from this disaster?

If there was ever a time to feel overwhelmed...this is it. Our country is facing the worst pandemic in 100 years. The main street economy is collapsing while Wall Street somehow thrives.

Wildfires are raging across the country, not just the West Coast. We have a president whose corruption is causing hundreds of thousands of deaths from COVID-19 with no end in sight.

If that's not enough, in eight weeks the fate of this nation will be decided at polling places and by more mail-in votes than anytime in history. 

Now add Trump discrediting mail-in voting and his minion Postmaster DeJoy's scheme to slow down the postal service to allow Trump to contest the results if they take too long coming in.

Fortunately, I'm not overwhelmed. I'm just too stubborn to be, and have been a survivor all of my life. There's always tomorrow.

Quote for the Day: "The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it." -Moliere

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