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It Would Have Been Enough

We’re hopefully coming to the end of the COVID-19 plague and I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but just when you thought it was safe to go outside, get ready for the cicada-palooza, as billions of singing cicadas are expected to emerge from a 17-year nap in the ground to persecute the unlucky human residents in much of the eastern U.S.

These are not your garden variety cicadas and they won’t attack you and are not to be mistaken with their insect brethren locusts, a type of grasshopper that can ravage huge areas of vegetation. Cicadas and locusts belong to the same Insecta class but cicadas are part of the Hemiptera order and locusts are under the Orthoptera order.

We’re awaiting emergence of the rare and special “Brood X” cicada that are not a threat to crops but will drive us mad with their obnoxious serenade droning that will get as loud as a lawnmower or overhead jet while they go about laying their eggs for the next generation. Scientists aren’t sure why their siestas last so long but it may be that the temperature of the ground a foot to 18 inches deep has to be around 64 degrees to give the cicadas the message to rise and shine.

If nothing goes awry in the cicada world, this would mark the 18th documented appearance of the Brood X cicadas that were first reported in 1715 by the Rev. Andreas Sandel in Philadelphia and then again in 1732 by botanist John Bartram in 1732.

COVID-19 easily qualifies as pestilence and cicadas, which, for argument sake, could be considered as Biblical locusts, which come in eighth on the 10 plagues hit parade. That leaves, in order of appearance, blood, lice, wild beasts, skin disease, hail (maybe late winter, record snowstorms qualify), darkness (again, maybe referring to the darkness of the national soul) and last, but not least, slaying of the firstborn.

I have had a nasty rash and that is not so different from lice, it does get dark on a daily basis and I swear I spotted a deadly kind of deer that could be classified as a wild beast, crossing Route 57. So far I see no signs of danger to firstborn.

God sent the plagues to Egypt to destroy the evil pharaoh and his nasty empire that persecuted Jews and anyone else who looked different from the Egyptians and worshiped a different god from the Egyptians. Do I see comparisons to the present?

We are in a modern plague mode which would include the scourges of violent extremists and false idols, extremely bizarre and violent weather patterns, unprecedented flooding, major earthquakes, unusual volcanic eruptions, huge wild fires, the COVID-19 pandemic and its relatives, African Swine Fever, the H1N1 Swine Flu, the H5N1 Bird Flu and the H5N8 Bird Flu.

Our former leader vowed to protect us from his own list of plagues, that included:

1. The plague of aliens. If we are not careful, he explained, we will find ourselves drowning in a sea of gay and transgender people, people of color and people from any of a number of non-white nations.

2. The plague of blood. Early on he warned that Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly had blood coming from her eyes “blood coming out of her wherever” and that disagreeable women might spread the same blood.

3. The plague of rapists, in the faces of hordes of Mexicans invading the fatherland.

4. The plague of lies as shown by the onslaught of fake news and the media liars that refused to acknowledge the “thousands and thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating the 9/11 attacks and the fact that President Obama is a Muslim.

5. The plague of wanton violence and the threat of large scale anarchy largely in the big cities that needed Trump to bring them back to peace.

6. The plague of fading patriotism that could be returned with time-honored forms of torture, like waterboarding, to convince people to be more patriotic.

7. The plague of abortion and Trump’s call to punish women who get abortions.

For my money, I’ll take the Biblical plagues. There is a Hebrew song called ”Dayenu,” that is traditionally sung on Passover after the 10 questions are recited. It means in Hewbrew, “it would have been enough” and these dark days call for us all to sing Dayenu until the sun breaks through.

Was that a thunderbolt I just saw?

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Journalist for 40 years and now a creative writer

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Phil Garber

Phil Garber

Journalist for 40 years and now a creative writer

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