One Dirty Word


“COVID” has become a shorthand word for what is causing ALL of today’s problems – and thus is preventing us from recognizing those problems and addressing them appropriately and directly.

I have been sensing this for some time and a sudden trip this week to see my older sister in Atlanta provided ample supporting evidence.

Getting from Bangor to Atlanta and back in three days is no ‘piece of cake’ under the best of circumstances. One’s only choice is Delta, which monopolizes the route – and boy, do they abuse that monopoly!

It takes the better part of a day each way. My wife and are both 90 so we opted to splurge and go first class. In round numbers it cost us together $4000.

And it was the trip from HELL! It was worth it to see my sister, and I would do it again despite what I know now. But I can’t help thinking that, 16 months in, COVID isn’t really to blame for the suffering we endured in Delta’s hands.

My seat in first class did NOT work at all – it could not be moved in any direction, so I spent the duration of that leg in the upright position, much to the detriment of my back – and my mood.  The crew was very nice BUT helpless.

That is when we began to hear “COVID” this and “COVID” that. “COVID” somehow precluded Delta from repairing my seat before selling it to me. “COVID” was at fault when we were left stranded at the gate, because the airline is short-handed after laying off people who, given a year to reflect on the experience of working for Delta, are electing to not come back in droves.

COVID was plenty bad enough before it came the bogeyman behind all manner of human failings.

Now, it is THE excuse for shrugging off the other real problems that are plaguing us at the same time.

The lesson in all this is that if one hasn’t figured out how to make a company run in the COVID world, perhaps they have no business being in business at all.  We cannot ignore COVID, but neither can we ignore the other, everyday problems that still exist.

Perhaps this illuminates the underlying problem of a society that increasingly cannot stand itself?


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