There is a narrative that often appears after "natural" disasters (natural in quotes since some are quite unnatural or have a strong anthropogenic component) that our society needs to change, and that is saying that the disaster was unexpected or came out of nowhere.
An example of this is provided by the tweet below saying that 2020 has been the year of the "unexpected."
2020 has been the year of the unexpected. As we continue to stay safe & healthy, we want you to know resources are available. This week's #SLC News has windstorm recovery updates & next steps, the final countdown to the #2020Census, voting info & more, https://t.co/hzQm2GXDVH.— SLCgov (@SLCgov) September 23, 2020
Although we have suffered a series of challenges, none of these were really unexpected. A short list would include the pandemic, earthquake, fires/smoke, and windstorm. Perhaps I've forgotten something as the year's been a blur.
The coronavirus pandemic isn't the first nor will it be the last. Although the timing and details of a pandemic cannot be predicted precisely, the threat posed by them has been known for some time and the subject of significant research. Some countries have responded well to the coronavirus threat. The United States has not. Why this is the case is not the subject of this post, but let's not treat the coronavirus pandemic as a surprise or a one off because it isn't. We need the be better prepared to take effective action for the next one.
The Magna earthquake awoke or startled many at 7:09 am MDT on March 18, with noticeable aftershocks for weeks thereafter.