November 2, 2020?
Photo: Science Photo Library – ANDRZEJ /Getty Images
Increasingly, when I consider the fact that we are a mere two months and change away from one of (if not the) most pivotal and precarious elections in the nation’s history, I must pause what I am doing to accommodate heavy breathing; small shrill screams; and sitting down in the shower. The stakes are precipitous and the memories of Election Night 2016 eerily fresh. Bludgeon me, I whisper to The Universe in these moments. Do whatever you have to do, just don’t make me watch the returns again.
Please know, an asteroid careening into Earth the day before the 2020 election is not what I had in mind, and I am sorry. I was thinking something more along the lines of a long conveniently timed sleep, or being jammed into the fish tube and jettisoned into 2021/oblivion. But according to CNN, a possible impact event is what we are getting instead. The odds of collision are slim, but still.
Asteroid 2018VP1 measures about 6.5 feet across, and was discovered in 2018. According to the Center for Near Earth Objects Studies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, it will come close to Earth on November 2. NASA has calculated the likelihood of a strike at about 0.41 percent, and does not believe that 2018VP1 will bring about the end of days. Nonetheless, we must consider the evidence.
A brief overview of some bad omens we’ve seen in recent months: a plague of murderous insects; actual, infectious plagues (assorted); apocalyptic weather events such as monster hail, flash flooding, and “firenados“; a black river of molten sludge coursing through Arizona; rodents rising from the sewers to reclaim our cities; the moon actively distancing herself from us, for reasons I think are obvious. Granted, the planet already got a pass on a much larger space rock that zoomed by in April, but an asteroid ending for 2020? At this point, it feels a little on-the-nose.