As a humanist and space enthusiast, my emotions are split over today’s headlines. America has solved the problem of being reliant on Russia for the transportation of their space cargo, but they still haven’t figured out how to increase the odds of customers being able to walk out of a Walmart alive.
On the afternoon of August 3, 2019, 20 people walked into an El Paseo Walmart and were shot. The shooting has been described as the deadliest attack on Latinos in modern American history. Patrick Crusius, a 21-year-old also from Texas, was arrested soon after the shooting and later charged with capital murder. The FBI claim evidence confirmed the shooter is a white supremacist, anti-immigrant, and declared the incident a hate crime and domestic terrorism.
2019 was a big year for mass shootings. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there were more than 370 mass shootings in the US in 2019, with mass shooting defined as any incident in which four or more people, not including the shooter, were shot but not necessarily killed. That’s an average of about eight mass shootings a week.
We seem to be in an age where the world takes two steps forward, and on another front, travels five steps back. Round and round it goes. How wonderful it is when a group of minds is focused on a scientific endeavor. Reshaping the space industry in one move–the successful splashdown yesterday in the Gulf of Mexico! WOW! It should feel like a great victory for us all. Yet there is a shadow hanging over it. It is not unlike a child sitting behind the steering wheel of the family car pretending to drive, and the parent scolds, “You’re not old enough for this yet.”
PERSONAL PANDEMIC UPDATE
On the home front, starting in August I’m returning to the office for 20 hours a week. After working from home for SIX MONTHS I am quietly entering back into a semi-regular work week. Whatcom County is expected to go to Phase 3 of the Washington State reopening plan this month. If you think the lockdown was tough, get ready for the bridge era of returning to work before the vaccine!
Managing foot traffic and cleaning stations throughout a 3 story building is a challenge. It took our reopening team 3-4 months to put together a detailed plan. There will be new etiquettes for people working or entering a compartmentalized office building. There are so many new areas to consider that go beyond the typical janitorial maintenance, such as air quality and airflow, surface protection, body temperature reading stations, instructions of what to do if a positive COVID individual is reported, etc. This is a different challenge than what restaurants or grocery stores are dealing with. Honestly, it’s exhausting to think about.
Well, If Space X can go into orbit and return two astronauts safely, then I guess we can do this! *takes a deep breath* Here we go…
Have a good day-