Today’s column is free to all. Please consider becoming a subscriber for at least 3 pieces a week.
We've been at this so long it's hard to remember a world without Covid-19.
It's been well over a year, and any progress that we make is eventually washed away by the stupids. Cases are spiking around the country, and the numbers are looking like they did last winter. A return to masking is imminent, which should be a joy to watch. Every 17 year old kid making minimum wage at the grocery store is gonna be thrilled to be tossed back on the enforcement front lines, dealing with all the confederates who are forced to settle with storming Wegman's in lieu of the poor result when they tried the Capitol. Cue another batch of shrieking Ken and Karen videos taking over your social media feeds. Cue the YouTube University Constitutional Scholars posting homemade ted talks. Cue our collective national IQ oozing like the Blob under that Jersey diner.
It was fun for a while though, right? A remarkably effective vaccine was developed by a remarkable group of driven men and women. It promised a return to relative normalcy. The rollout was hardly flawless, but eventually the kinks got ironed out and these days you can pick up the phone and schedule a vaccination pretty much anywhere they're offered. No lines. No waiting. What science has given us is a modern medical miracle. A cosmic do-over.
We always assume other nations are envious of us. We're usually wrong. But in this case, we're not. In Japan and India and dozens of other nations people are dying from a lack of vaccines, not a reluctance to receive one.
As we got vaccinated.....numbers plummeted. Even the politicians and television talking heads who spread wildfires of bullshit about vaccines secretly ran to their nearest Walgreens like little bitches and got the shot, including Trump himself, who was caught in the ironic position of being desperate to receive the credit for a vaccine he said all along was unnecessary because the entire thing was a "hoax" that would "go away". He was vaccinated in the bowels of the White House, in secret. Perhaps in the same room he ran to when protests erupted in DC and he shit himself and the secret service had to change his diaper.
But so much for all that eh? For a few glorious months we were out and about and sitting at the bar and listening to live music and the ERs were filled with white-trash firecracker casualties like normal....and not desperately sick people requiring ventilators. We roamed freely, and eventually we roamed maskless. All of us felt like Captain America with the shield. I remember one quiet night, sitting outside at a local bar with a few friends I hadn’t seen in a year, breathing in crisp, cool air, watching a glorious sun-set across the rail-road tracks, and just being so grateful for the sacrifices people made to enable us to be there. The big stuff.....concerts and county fairs or whatever.....that could come later. Just being able to gather with a small group of friends seemed miraculous. We lingered on and on. Nobody wanted to leave.
We made it through this thing. Our souls bent, but did not break.
And then that dude in line at Rite-Aid realized that there was nobody behind him, and that was pretty much that. A large swath of America had spoken, and they considered it their God/Trump given right to spread this thing far and wide in the name of FREEDOM. These folks who gorged on hot dogs and chicken nuggets rebelled because they "didn't know what was in it". They posted using their constantly surveilled smart phones that they didn't wish to be "microchipped". They weren't down with being "lab-rats". If they had to die to own the libs, that was the price of ...well.....FREEDOM.
More and more of these same people are begging to be vaccinated as the ventilator is being turned on, only to be told it’s too late.
The rest of the world is looking on in worried fascination.
We're covetous of these people?
There's still no vaccination for children 12 and under. Adults are supposed to protect children. If the adults were all vaccinated, these kids would be infinitely safer come this fall, when they’ll be herded back into classrooms, without masks in a lot of cases due to local republican driven mandates. If the parents of these kids are not vaccinated, it becomes a grisly mathematical equation. In short, we could be in for another year of NFL football played to cardboard cut-outs. And then some. Cue another TP shortage.
Whether you approve of his policies or not, an actual adult now occupies the White House. He's not going to stand on the Truman balcony like Evita and dramatically tear off his mask to show strength. He's gonna do what he swore an oath to do. He's gonna protect the American people. And to do so he may be forced to make some very hard choices. The ones who are re-causing this mess are gonna resist the most. And they are the ones that need protecting the most. Partisan politics stops at digging graves. Or at least it does when adults are in the room.
To summarize. The vaccinated are being asked to wear masks to protect the unvaccinated, who refuse to wear masks.
The biggest threat to America right now is our fellow Americans.
In a bit..