Kevin Snyder


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Between the Lines April 2021 Newsletter

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One Year Ago Today 

Today as I write this, it is March 11, 2021, and it is one year exactly since the pandemic was declared as such. I find it hard to focus my thoughts on much else, so that is what I will write about. Do you remember where you were on March 11, 2020? I do.

By the time you read this, we should have a decent idea on when the pandemic will make it into our rear-view mirror. I hope and pray that the optimism of this moment is not dashed by some cruel twist of fate. We have been through too much. As I type this, I have some numbers displayed on the other computer screen. The first number is 527,726. The second number is 24,439. Those are the number of people in the United States and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania respectively who have been lost to Covid-19, since one year ago today.

That is more fatalities than America has suffered in all its armed conflicts since the end of World War I. A hundred years of wartime fatalities eclipsed since one year ago today.

The motorcycling community has taken its lumps along with every other facet of our society. In Pennsylvania, virtually every motorcycling event for 2020 was cancelled. No L&L. The Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program is a wreck. A.B.A.T.E. of PA Meetings (chapter, district, and state) have been some combination of spotty and virtual. The things we do for charitable causes have been sharply curtailed. In our little slice of the world, a lot has not happened since one year ago today. Yet our problems as motorcyclists pale in comparison to burdens other parts of our society are bearing, and we need to keep that in mind.

One year ago today, Peggy and I checked into the Atlantic Ocean Palm Inn on Daytona Beach. What began as some flu-like bug from somewhere in China was not yet the monster it was going to become. The Bike Week crowd was a little off, but it was our first Daytona Bike Week so we weren’t in a position to judge. Eight days later when we arrived back home there was no more doubt.

Peggy and I are among the fortunate ones. Our Covid story is mild compared to so many others. No one in our close family has contracted it yet. We’re both retired, so we didn’t have to worry about losing our jobs and we don’t run businesses that were in danger of bankruptcy. We haven’t lost our health care. We don’t have school age children whose learning has been disrupted, and we haven’t been visiting a loved one in a nursing home electronically. We are fortunate, but we know many people who can not make that claim.

And so tonight, as I write this, my mind keeps returning to the numbers in the second paragraph of this article. Knowing what they represent, I struggle to even look them without getting a lump in my throat.

We are (I believe and pray) approaching the exit of this long dark tunnel. The vaccinations appear to be working and are ramping up rapidly. As long as we can adapt quicker than the virus, we will win. As time goes by, more and more elements of what we considered to be a normal life will return. Who knew that “routine” could be so precious? Who know that “routine” would stop one year ago today?

On Father’s Day Weekend, A.B.A.T.E. of PA will be proud to host the 44th Annual State Party at Hazen. Peggy and I will be working at the gate and will welcome each of you who comes. It is our hope that this Hazen will give us good reason to be thankful. Even Hazen mud will be worth celebrating if it is in the company of brothers and sisters.

But we will take moments out during the weekend to remember those who cannot be with us anymore, who were taken from us. And we will celebrate them as well, and we hope you will too.