Being a Witness

As we remember and reflect on what happen 19 years ago, September 11, 2001 the United States was attacked by terrorist. I was in my 2nd year of college at UT-Austin, living in the dorms. Adjusting to a new roommate, getting into a routine for a new school year.  The world we lived in back then was different compared to what we are living in today, except that the entire world is now under attack.  Not by terrorist, but a virus, COVID19.  Just like Sept 11, am again a witness to the world changing again.

pool party I attended when I was in college.

Two major events have cause society to change their behavior.  September 11 cause us to be more aware of our surroundings.  If you saw someone or something that look suspicious, report it.  I remember the airlines were halted for a few days before resuming flights.  Increased security and additional screening at airports to assure nothing like this would happen again. Life continue on with a little fear and caution, but we were united.  We stood together, letting our difference go.  Living on campus it took time for thing to return to normal, but eventually college life went on.  Students going to class,  attending parties and social events.

Today, covid19 has been made into a political issue and has divided this country, U.S.A.  Just like Sept 11, we are having to adjust our social behaviors. Now, keeping 6ft apart, social distancing, wearing a mask, and practicing good hygiene: washing hands, covering your month etc. Unlike September 11, COVID19 has force us to limit our social interactions.  Avoid attending large crowd gatherings, schools closed and/or moving to online learning. Am sure this has to be difficult with college students today. That experience every student look forward to, socializing, going to parties, football, the classroom experience. Now having to adjust to sitting in front of a screen and not having the personal interaction with a professor or other classmate.

A time before social distancing.

Strange when you take these two events, the president in office and just compare what was going on at the time. September 11, President Bush was into his first year as president. Of course there was still that debate about recount in Florida if he actually won.  COVID19, Trump is ending his first term and running for a 2nd term.  The debate now is voter fraud and abuse with mail in ballots. Both Republican Presidents, also had space exploration event happened during their their first term in office. Bush the re-entry break-up and burning of space shuttle columbia in February 2003.  Trump, about three to four months into the pandemic, spaceX was successful launch and dock with the space station.  One constant thing that each events have in common is people’s mental well being in dealing with these stressful events.  Living on campus during Sept 11 it was college football that was the escape for a lot of students.  Today with COVID19, that isn’t the case with the messaging, avoid large social gatherings. The fear and risk that you can get this virus at any large gather. Unlike back then, thanks to technology people can talk with a professional using their iphone or tablet.  2001 that wasn’t possible yet nor was the topic of addressing mental issues. Today mental issues is talk about every day.  The importance that people seek help if dealing with depression and are stress out cause of the pandemic.

Take care where ever you may be in the world.

Where was I on September 11, 2001?

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