Aa few days ago earth had a “near miss” with an asteroid when FO32 passed within 2,000,000 kilometers of us. At about 500 meters wide FO32 would have made quite a mess if it had crashed into earth at a speed of 15 miles a second, instead of passing harmlessly by.
Well, no harm done as we “dodged the bullet” and it won’t pass by us again until 2058. By then I’ll likely be long gone or 103 years old and if I am not, I won’t be aware of much anyway. I guess my kids and grandkids can worry about that one.
A direct hit? If you find yourself wondering what a direct hit by a 500 meter piece of rock whizzing along at 15 miles per second, you aren’t alone. Don’t forget that a big reason we, the billions and billions of people on earth, are here at all is probably because of that asteroid that struck earth and wiped out all those nasty, toothy dinosaurs millions of years ago.
This short, if slightly irreverent, piece suggests what it might be like when, and they do say “when”, the earth is next struck.
Or, more importantly, is there anything that we might do to stop it from wiping us out? I would like to think that if a catastrophe of this magnitude was in the offing, we would unite in finding a way to work together and save all of mankind.
If the worldwide reaction to the risk that Covid-19 is any indication, we are just F*&%#$ if the worst happens.
As a result of the pandemic, we haven’t been able to enjoy our local yacht club since we returned to the US nearly a year ago. As our membership begins to be vaccinated, and with the hope of making the club safe for visiting again, the board recently issued a directive that they were setting aside a room in the clubhouse for those who have been vaccinated. They thought that their plan was reasonable and would allow those who decided to follow the CDC recommendations of being vaccinated to enjoy the club and let others, who took a different position on the subject, do so as well, but in a different area. Simple right?
Wrong! Within hours of that announcement, pandemonium erupted with some members threatening to resign “give me my money back!” and even a few calls from lawyers saying that wasn’t legal.
So much for a simple fix to keep everyone happy. The tempest made me think of this scene from the movie “Oh Brother Where Art Thou”, a hysterical take, by the Cohen Brother’s, of “Homer’s Odyssey”. I this video clip, think of George Clooney, up in the hay loft, as the board and the guys holding the torches, well, they were the ones that took a “dissenting view”.All of this controversy about how to handle the virus in the US and elsewhere in the world, is making me think about what cruising in the Caribbean will be like next winter. At this point, we have no idea if proof of vaccination will be required for entry in each country or if that, in addition to a PCR test to prove that you are “clean”, will be required.
If you have been vaccinated, will that offer an opportunity to move to other islands without quarantine? A required period of quarantine to move from island to island that will have a huge impact on cruising in the islands and I expect that many will opt to skip the season altogether.
So, what will cruising in the Caribbean be like next fall? I think, and I will admit that I am speculating at this point on this, that it might look something like the following.
There is a good chance that the French islands, Guadeloupe, St Martin and Martinique may follow whatever restrictions are in place for travel within the EU, perhaps requiring “covid passports” for free travel. The non-French islands, known as CARICOM, from Trinidad north to The Bahamas, tend to work together so as long as vaccination rates are high, easy travel might work out for those who can show that they are vaccinated and “safe”.
Recently, Gaston Brown, prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, petitioned the US Government on behalf of CARICOM to get vaccines to their residents. It will be interesting to see how that goes.
One way or the other, there is little question that the Caribbean will be open for business next winter as the vast bulk of their economies rely on tourism, but the question is how restrictive arrival and travel between islands will be.
With regards to the Salty Dawg Rally to the Caribbean, we are encouraging our members to follow the advice of the CDC and get vaccinated but there is currently no requirement to do so in order to participate in the Rally.
It’s interesting to see how so many people here in the US are beginning to feel that things are back to normal as more and more vaccinations are available. Last week the Governor of Texas said “Texas is 100% open for business”. With only a fraction of the population currently vaccinated and virus variants moving into every part of the US, experts don’t agree that anything like “open” is reasonable quite yet and fear that risky behavior will lead to yet another spike in infections.
So, here we are, enjoying the freedom we have here in the US to say, “vaccination, no vaccination, I ain’t afraid a no virus” and something like 25% unwilling to, “take the jab”, it seems that, once again, the vocal minority can, can decide for the majority about what can and cannot be accomplished.
So much for “all for one, and one for all”. In the US, sadly, it’s “all about me”.
What does our handling of COVID say about how we will do in the event of a Zombie apocalypse or a deadly meteor strike? Not good I fear in the good old United States of America, where we are united in perhaps only one thing, that “I”ll do what I want, when I want”.
I expect that there are plenty that, in the event of a Zombie attack would say “Heck, them zombies, they only hurt people that can’t take care of themselves. Me, I’m safe. To get to me and mine, they’ll have to get past my trusty Smith & Wesson.”
Or, perhaps a little less subtly.
And, if all else fails, and to close the loop…Yup, we have always been a nation of “do-it-yourselfers.”
Zombie apocalypse, meteor strike? We’d better not face one any time soon. If we do, it probably won’t turn out well.
Brenda and me? We got the jab but we’re still not quite ready to face the Zombie horde., here in town or anywhere else for that matter.