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There is no doubt about it; times are tough. Yes, we have been through much greater turmoil than this, in the recent past, but nothing that has lasted so long, changed our everyday routines, took such a big bite out of the economy, and devastated our health as much. The one saving grace is, this too will pass. When you are sitting on your deck (alone), contemplating the disorder of your surroundings, perhaps think back in time to the turn of the century. As hard-hitting as things are today, imagine how your life would have been if you were born in the year 1900. Initially, you would have been relatively happy, at least up until you were 14, as that was when World War I began. Four years later, on your 18th birthday it would have ended, with a total of 22 million people killed. Later that same year, the Spanish Flu broke out and lasted until you were 20, with a total of 50 million deaths worldwide (1% of the population at the time, but 500 million people, or 25% of the population were infected). You would have managed to almost get through your remaining 20s unscathed, but in 1929 the great depression hit, soaring unemployment to 25% (it is currently around 12%). That lasted until you were 33, when the world was on the brink of financial collapse, as the global economy was on the verge of being wiped out. A mere six years went by and World War II broke out. Between your 39th and 45th birthday the world was at war and nearly 75 million people died, with another 6 million perishing in the holocaust. After 7 years of a somewhat peaceful existence, at the age of 52, the Korean War started and took 5 million lives. You finally saw retirement on the horizon, but at age 62 you were faced with the Cuban Missile Crisis, entering the world into a new age of anxious worry about being blown up. Two years later, when you turned 64, the Vietnam War started, taking another 4 million lives. Finally, when you turned 75 the war in Southeast Asia would have ended and you were finally at peace. This is when your grandkids look at you, and think you have no idea how difficult their lives are because the internet went down or they only have 2,000 followers on Tik Tok. One thing you can take away from all of this is, in every part of history, where a storm has brewed, it has also passed and life has gone on. Stay safe and be kind to your neighbours, for this too shall pass. Jonathan van Bilsen is a television host, award winning photographer, published author, columnist and keynote speaker. Watch his show, ‘Jonathan van Bilsen’s photosNtravel’, on Rogers TV, the Standard Website or YouTube.

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