A World Less Certain | Human Sacrifice

Yesterday, all our troubles seemed so far away. Who would you sacrifice to go back?

Wouldn’t it be awesome to rev up our engines and lay a patch of smoldering rubber on the road to economic recovery? Everyone busy working and playing again. Hell yeah!

If we do that, though, we will be turning a blind eye to a compelling truth. Our lack of discipline comes at the price of inviting new waves of coronavirus. It also hands a death sentence to tens of thousands more people in the high-risk segment of our population.

A couple of weeks ago, COVID-19 spread briskly through a local Senior Care Center, causing 37 confirmed cases and three deaths. In California, half of all the deaths occur at eldercare homes.

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According to L.A. County statistics, pandemic fatalities are nearly all attributed to two factors:

  • 92% have an underlying health condition
  • Eight out of ten are 65 years and older

What’s At Stake?

The coronavirus targets the elderly and people with heart and lung conditions. Are we willing to sacrifice a portion of our people to return to what we had?

If we agree to moth-ball THEM until a vaccine is available, the public health risk for the pandemic in America is similar to the common seasonal flu. And we can all resume the lifestyle we enjoyed just a few months ago.

Do you think the most vulnerable in our society will agree to spend their final days in isolation? Of course, they will! Who loves our kids (grandchildren) and their children (us) more than they do? And as much as it pains me to say it because I do like my life, I’d give up my personal freedom so my children and their children will prosper – a no-brainer.

Imagine the day you round up the children for a final visit to the nursing home. You watch the hand that wiped your tears away as a child giving your son and daughter one last pinch on the cheek. “Okay, kids,” you tell them, “it’s time to say goodbye to grandma and grandpa.”


They must know that old-school playground rules no longer apply. Perhaps we can bully them into seeing things from our perspective.

It wouldn’t hurt to ask.

Open Letter To Our Elders

Dear generous and kind elders,

Won’t you stand up to be counted during our time of greed, I mean, need? You have lived a good life. Why not make your exit a meaningful gesture for the rest of us? All we ask of you old generation folks is to give us the green light. If you do, we promise to honor your sacrifice by playing a game of Tiddlywinks with your picture next to a scented candle. On New Year’s Day 2021, we promise to kiss your wedding photo at midnight. How does that sound?

We wish to pay our rent, purchase homes, and help our kids with college expenses. Remember the good old days, when you were spry and so super fly? We don’t want government handouts. Like you, we wish to earn our keep – roll up our sleeves and kick ass! We get you, though. The older generations survived WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, and the Cold War. You filled the streets to fight injustice, hell, you guys were around during the first moon landing. Feel us now! We, too, want to bust a move and settle into our new-vinyl groove. We wish to handcraft our world and create an authentic life for us all. Well, maybe not – you all.

Please, I beg you, tell us you’ll step aside so we can thrive! We want to get back to work and hang out in the Arts District and sip our favorite specialty drinks. We have family vacation plans to summer in Hawaii (Black Sand Beach, Kona Coffee, and active volcanos). We bought shares of Disney and Starbucks when the stock market nearly crashed – we stand to make a killing! No pun intended.

All we ask is for you to leap into the mouth of the Big Island volcano and spare us the misery of these difficult times. It’ll take, maybe, two seconds, if that.


The New ‘Me Generation’

Compassion. Freedom. Sacrifice. The words seem blurred at the moment.


Rick Thomas
Author Rick Thomas is the former museum curator and vice-chair of education for the South Pasadena Preservation Foundation. He served on the South Pasadena Natural Resources Commission, helping to maintain a strict policy protecting the city’s great old-growth trees. Using touchstone photographs from his own collection—one of the San Gabriel Valley’s largest accumulations of historical images and artifacts—as well as national, state, and local historical archives, Thomas provides a window to his city’s past and an understanding of why its preservation is so important.