Alonzo Weston

By 2020, books were supposed to be dead, cars would be able to go months without refueling and we’d have anti-gravity belts.

Those are some of the things soothsayers, fortune-tellers, card readers and the like have predicted would take place by this year.

None predicted the Chiefs would win their second Super Bowl around this time or we’d begin the decade in a global pandemic.

Heck, some even thought we’d be on Mars by now, according to a recent USA Today article entitled “20 Predictions for 2020: Here’s What People Said Would Happen By This Year.”

Could anyone ever predict we’d be in self-isolation, wearing masks and not allowed to go to beaches or sporting events this year?

Of course, some of the things futurists like Ray Kurzweil predicted would take place by this year have already transpired. We do have invisible computers, self-driving cars and smart devices.

In 1999, Bill Gates predicted we’d have personal devices that would “connect and sync all of your devices in a smart way, whether they are at home or in the office, and allow them to exchange data.” Think Alexa.

In 1996, the Harvard School of Public Health and the World Health Organization predicted that by 2020, the world’s top two causes of global disease would be heart disease and clinical depression.

In 2017, the most recent year the data set was published, the five leading causes of the global burden of disease were neonatal disorders, heart disease, stroke, lower respiratory infections and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

No one could have predicted the recent COVID-19 virus that’s affecting millions globally and nationally. But we did anticipate some such thing happening with the creation of a pandemic response team.

However, no one could have anticipated we’d have a president who would dismantle such an effort and not have the foresight to see it would be needed.

Wearing a mask in public and social-distancing measures are being politicized as ploys instead of sound safety measures endorsed by many medical experts.

Where we go from here is anyone’s guess, but if we continue to not heed the advice of experts we may not go much farther.

You can’t play politics with people’s health at stake and say the virus is “harmless” and will go away on it’s own when people are dying from it daily.

And if you de-fund some testing centers that doesn’t mean the numbers are down, it means that fewer people are being tested.

We can’t predict the future with much accuracy in regards to this virus or anything else. What I can say is that we can have a better outcome by listening to experts instead listening to some of our so-called leaders. Now is not time to hold rallies or beach parties. Now is a time to be wise and safe if we want to predict a better future for ourselves.

Alonzo Weston can be reached at alonzo.weston@newspressnow.com. Follow him on Twitter: @SJNPWeston.