Duck and Cover

When I hear people claiming we’re in crisis and civilization – if not all humanity – is about to go to hell and the world is going to end and yada yada yada… I can’t help but laugh. I cannot take them seriously. Compared to what we have lived with, COVID and climate change and modern China and Russia are small potatoes.

This is what I grew up with:

Yup. Even in rural northern Michigan in the 60s we had duck and cover drills. A Strategic Air Command base about 50 straight line miles away. Nuclear war was an ever-present possibility.

Imagine that the President has just announced on national television to the nation that the end of our world by thermonuclear war is a distinct possibility in the immediate future. Imagine you are 7 and your parents just turned ashen grey upon hearing this.

Consider the implications of teaching children that civilization might end at any moment and they have to be prepared at any minute to protect themselves against a horrific death. Yet, except for a few of the more extreme survivalist types, we simply carried on without high levels of anxiety. Today’s global stressors seem, at least to me, trivial in comparison.

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