We’re never going to be over COVID-19. The unvaccinated have spoken loud and clear. They simply care more about themselves than the rest of society, and all of us will now have to deal with the ramifications, far into the future, unfortunately.
We’re going to have to learn to live with it. The vaccines have been out there for a year now and we still can’t seem to convince these folks that taking them is the right thing to do. Frankly, I’m tired of dealing with these people.
I’ve come to this sad realization today, although I’ve thought that’s the case for quite some time. I don’t know what it was that finally made me come to that conclusion. I suppose it’s been a confluence of things since the beginning of the pandemic that finally pushed me over the edge.
But it could be that, in 2016, we elected a man to the office of the presidency who simply didn’t believe in the idea of America. He only cared about himself and was willing to do anything to get reelected — yes, even downplaying a raging pandemic. And he managed, somehow, to attract millions of followers who believe everything he says. That sad fact alone laid the groundwork for the dangerous politicization of the entire pandemic and put us in the perilous place we now find ourselves.
Things could have gone so much differently if Donald Trump had simply fought the virus as hard as he did peddling lies about the election he legally and fairly lost in 2020.
The disgraced former president, by the way, does not get a pass for finally going on the offensive in the last two days, telling people they need to get vaccinated. Is it a welcome development? Of course. But his failings from the beginning of this plague will haunt him forever. How many thousands of deaths are attributable to him may never be known. Too little, too late, as far as I’m concerned.
What his election also showed us, though, was how many gullible and simple-minded folks we have in this country. These people still hang signs proclaiming their dear leader’s greatness and hope he runs in 2024. Never mind, of course, that this is the same person who tried to overthrow a legitimate election and incite a coup on January 6, 2021.
The pandemic, and America’s disastrous handling of it from the beginning, revealed a troubling fissure in our society. The hate and division spurred by out-of-control social media and an unhinged misinformation campaign leave us dangerously close to losing everything previous generations fought and died for.
Look, we have some of the best minds and scientists in the modern world, bar none. But in today’s America, some of these same scientists are looked upon with vile and distrust. Hell, some GOP politicians have called for Dr. Anthony Fauci’s arrest and imprisonment. For what? I wish I could tell you because I have no idea.
The man has devoted his life to saving lives. For that, he receives death threats and comparisons to Dr. Josef Mengele, the Nazi butcher who performed hideous experiments on Jews in concentration camps. It’s disgusting and despicable. But this is precisely the kind of discourse accepted by millions of brain-dead Americans every day now.
It’s pretty bad when you dread going to the grocery store nowadays. Because when I walk through the doors, with signs stating the need to wear a mask, what you see is the worst of selfish Americans. They proudly walk throughout the store without masks — laughing and going about their business like they don’t have a care in the world — daring anyone to say something to them.
I want so desperately to confront these folks. I want to start quoting statistics and tout how safe and effective vaccines are. I want to tell them what a-holes they are, too. That’s not who I am, though. I’m not a confrontational guy and would never do such a thing. If they say something to me, however, and it’s disparaging in any way, that’s another story altogether. I will not back away from an idiot spouting idiotic BS.
And now another variant is upon us — Omicron. Much is still unknown about it other than that it’s way more transmissible than the Delta type that’s been killing people in this country since the summer. However, early data shows it might not be as deadly as Delta so far. We can only hope.
And we do have a new pill just authorized by the FDA from Pfizer that shows a near 90% efficacy in keeping people from severe disease and other treatments that have demonstrated success. Still, though, vaccination is what will get us out of this mess. And until we can convince the anti-vax jerks to get the jab, we’re going to be constantly battling spikes and new variants.
The brainless out there will say, “See, we told you the vaccines are worthless and don’t work!” But what you cannot explain to these people is that this virus is a novel one that we’re still learning about. Yes, we’ve gotten mixed messages. Yes, we’ve also seen guidelines changing continuously. But that’s because the virus is constantly changing as well.
More mutations and variants are indeed in our immediate and distant future. And we have none other than the clueless and gullible to thank for that. Some, undoubtedly, are in ICUs as we speak, begging for a vaccine they should have gotten months ago.
Recently an ad was purchased in the Cleveland Plain Dealer by a group of Northeast Ohio-based hospitals, including the Cleveland Clinic and Summa Health. A single word defines the ad:
The letter is literally begging the folks of that community to get vaccinated. They’re overwhelmed, tired, and stretched to the limit. ICUs are overflowing; morgue trucks are on the way. The vast majority of people in the hospitals are unvaccinated.
When I saw that letter, it hurt. Summa Health is in Akron, Ohio, where I spent the first 42 years of my life, until moving 17 years ago looking for greener — and warmer pastures. But my family and a lot of good friends are still there. It will always be my hometown, no matter what.
But many of those same family members and friends are the ones for whom the ad targets. And many of them are tried and true Trump-loving radicals who refuse to get vaccinated. I dread going back to visit these days because of the ignorance and allegiance many still show for the disgraced 45th president: that and a fear of saying something I might regret.
With only about 55% of Ohio residents fully vaccinated, Christmas 2021 will be a painful one for the Buckeye state. I wish I could talk some sense into them. But it wouldn’t do much good, I suppose. The only time it appears to sink in is when they’re sitting prone and on a bed in the ICU.
It didn’t have to be this way. But in our current environment of misinformation, lies, and a propensity to distrust anything government tries to do, what choice do we have but to learn how to live with COVID-19?
Because of my former home state and others just like them, this is our destiny. I’ve come to that conclusion, and I’m not very happy about it.