Is This Our Worst Year Ever?

Merry Christmas to all my faithful blog followers!  This has been a tough year for many.  Social distancing began in March and is still going on.  There has been sickness and death, businesses struggling to continue, families in crisis as they are quarantined from others.  Many families are not together this holiday.  My oldest son has set up a Zoom call for our family.  We are in Arizona, two are in California, and three are in Missouri.

As I think about how tough this year is, it causes me to wonder if this is something new.  There is a verse in the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible that says, “There is nothing is new under the sun.”  The whole verse actually says, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”  Yes, so true.  Been there, done that.  My dad used to quote that verse, and then he would quote another verse from Lamentations, which says, “The mercies of the Lord are new every morning.”  The actual quote of Lamentations 3:22-23 states, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

There is so much on the news and on social media that 2020 has been the worst year ever.  Really?  Has this really been the worst year ever, or just our worst year ever?

If nothing new under the sun is true, I think if we look at history, we will see pain and suffering through the ages.  I think we are spoiled.  There has been no great catastrophes in our lifetime compared to the past, so we just think how horrible this year has been.

What about during World War 2?  We were fighting a war in Europe and in the Pacific.  My dad had 6 brothers.  Four of them were old enough to be drafted in this war.  In other families, all their sons were serving.  Don’t you think those families were fearful?  Not everyone made it home alive.  People who were here in the United States feared the war would come across our boarders.  They would black out the lights in their homes at night in case there would be an air raid at night.  According to one article I read, deaths in World War 2 of the military and civilians worldwide caused by the war was between 3% and 3.7% of the world’s population at that time.  Wow!

My dad on left with Army buddies.

How about during the Spanish Flu pandemic?  First of all our American soldiers were at war.  That’s fearful enough.  Then they came home.  There was a huge parade in Philadelphia.  Someone or many someones had this Spanish Flu virus, and it spread like wildfire.  I did some online research.  The death rate for the Spanish Flu worldwide was at 2% of the world’s population.  

I then went to the World Health Organization’s site to find their numbers for the Corona Virus in 2020.  We now have 7.6 billion people in the world—way higher than the 500 million back in 1918.  The percentage of deaths from Covid-19 is less than 2/10%.  That’s not even near ½% or 1% which would be half of what happened during the Spanish Flu pandemic.

Wow again!  These numbers have shocked me.  I had not done this research before.  I just listened to the news and got scared.  Yes, this is an awful virus.  I will not deny that.  It’s scary if you and your loved ones get it, but the death rate is nothing to speak of compared to the Spanish Flu.

We have better medicine today.  We have research that cannot even compare to what was there in 1918.  That is the good news.  The bad news is we have a 24-hour news cycle.  It needs more shocking news to keep the viewers watching—and what could be more shocking than to think that your life is in mortal danger?  Our numbers may be lower because of all the caution we are taking.

Please understand, I am not trying to say we need to get out there and be reckless.  This virus is very contagious.  In perspective, it is no more dangerous than war, or other pandemics.  This is not the worse year ever.  It is just our worse year.  Like the past wars, like the past pandemics, we will get through this—we will recover.  Don’t you wonder how people thought during WW2 or the Spanish Flu pandemic?  The Spanish Flu took more people between the ages of 20-40.  These are our grandparents and great-grandparents.  That you are here today is a testament to the survivability we had during those terrible times.

Continue to be careful.  Wear your mask.  Wash your hands.  But . . . don’t panic.  Don’t be fearful.  We should be no more fearful of this pandemic than we would be of being in a car accident, having a heart attack, getting cancer, or the many means that can cause our demise.  

“There is nothing new under the sun” . . . but “the mercies of the Lord are new every morning.”


  1. I think the Black Death during the Middle Ages may have been the worst pandemic of all. Those poor folks must have thought that the world was coming to an end. Now, I think we expect science and medicine to get on top of such outbreaks before they wreak the havoc that COVID has wrought. We don’t expect to be confronted with such things (AIDS notwithstanding). And we’re a bit spoiled. Most of us weren’t around for the Spanish Flu that hit in 1918 and didn’t realize its severity.
    I am doing everything I can to avoid being infected because (1) I don’t want to get sick and risk the long-term consequences and (2) I don’t want to disrupt or endanger the lives of my family should I need care. I’m sequestered and will stay sequestered for a long, long time. I hope that’s enough to keep me protected.


    1. Lois, as an editor, I should have consulted you before publishing this blog. I didn’t know I’d I should us the word “worst” which I always say, but after looking it up, I felt like I’m had to use the word “worse.” What say ye?


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