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Commentary: Was Nats' World Series win the beginning of the end?

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Is this the decade from hell? I’m beginning to wonder.

Everything was going along smoothly. We had a gradual recovery from the Great Recession of 2008, and by 2019 the United States economy was clicking on all cylinders.

Everything was rosy when 2019 ended. The stock market was up, gas prices were down, and the unemployment rate was at a near-record low.

The Washington Nationals had just won the World Series, which shocked those who predicted that “the Nats will win it all when hell freezes over.”

Well, hell hasn’t frozen over (as far as we know) but about everything else has gone awry. Suddenly, things began to go downhill in a hurry. And the ball of anguish just keeps rolling.

Even as we sang Auld Lang Syne on New Year’s Eve 2019, a new coronavirus was making its way into the United States from China (come to think of it, COVID first appeared around the time Washington won the World Series).

We thought little of this virus at the time, but as we moved into 2020 the situation began to get worse, and by the end of March our country—and much of the world—was in lockdown, with deaths from COVID beginning to mount.

Almost three years later, we are still dealing with this virus, which scientists say will likely be around in 2030.

The 2020s just seem to go from bad to worse. Aside from what some refer to as the biblical pestilence of COVID, oil prices have risen dramatically. Seems like only yesterday we were paying $1.75 for a gallon of gas. Now we are almost at $5 a gallon with some “experts” predicting that by August a gallon of regular gas might cost $6.50.

Diesel prices are forecast to rise to $9 over the summer. Diesel is what truckers use to bring food and other necessities to market, so fuel spikes translate to commodity price rises.

The stock market, which was riding high in 2019, is plummeting as the decade progresses. Twice during the past few weeks the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by more than 1,000 points in a single day. Individual retirement funds are being hit hard, and forecasters expect the downturn in the economy to last at least into next year.

Large-scale fires are consuming forests and neighborhoods in Western states such as California, Colorado, Montana, and New Mexico, while beach homes are washing away on the East Coast. Droughts in California and the Midwest are causing crops to fail and leading to higher food prices.

Employers are desperately seeking workers, but workers who apply for jobs are reporting that they aren’t getting replies from the companies who cry that they are short of help. What’s going on here?

Now there is a shortage of baby formula, which has mothers scared near to death.

Russia has invaded Ukraine, and there is talk that this move may be the beginning of World War III. Meanwhile, mass shootings seem to occur ever more frequently in the United States. Things just keep getting worse.

The situation is so bad that last week Congress held hearings on Unidentified Flying Object sightings. Are we now in danger of being invaded by space aliens?

Even more alarming is the fact that NASA is contemplating colonizing Mars in the next 10 years. Do they know something we don’t?

This is indeed the decade from hell. Since the beginning of 2020, we haven’t been able to get one major problem under control before another rises. It seems we are continually getting pummeled from every direction.

I am surprised that some far right religious group isn’t running around carrying signs proclaiming that “the end is near.” It seems to be getting that bad. If this keeps up, humans may be extinct by the year 2030.

This is not good, folks. Instead of things getting better, they keep getting worse.

And it all began within hours of the Washington Nationals winning the World Series. That’s when COVID struck in China, which led to most of the problems of the 2020s.

Will the decade from hell continue? Maybe not. Washington is back home in the National League East cellar.

Maybe there is still hope. I’m ready for a change.

Donnie Johnston:

djohn40330@aol.com

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