Tag Archives: pandemic

Dictatorship? Hardly!

When did requiring children to be vaccinated become a symptom of a dictatorial regime?

Oh, wait! It’s the tenor of this contentious time when everything becomes challenged … even for no good reason!

I am an old man in my early 70s. I recall vividly getting vaccinated every year before the start of school. I would sit in the school nurse’s office and get my shots for whatever was on the table at the time: measles, whooping cough, TB, you name it. Mom and Dad never bitched about my sisters and me needing to get shots.

We just did it, started school and went about doing whatever it was we were doing when we were kids.

Now, though, our children are threatened by a potentially fatal virus. It’s killing Americans each day. The COVID-19 virus is still a part of our lives and, sadly, part of many Americans’ deaths.

However, the push to get our children vaccinated, along with their elders, is running into resistance from those who are yapping and yammering about government “overreach,” about how the feds are dictating how we must conduct our affairs.

“It’s my choice to get vaccinated,” we hear from some of the dipsh**s out there. Yeah, it’s their choice, but only when it doesn’t threaten others’ lives. When they refuse to get vaccinated, they threaten everyone else around them.

CNN anchor John King spoke eloquently the other day about the unknown and unseen threats posed by those who refuse to take precautions to protect themselves against the killer virus. They expose themselves and potentially others to mortal threats. That ain’t right!

So, let’s all stop the carping and griping about a “government overreach” that is nothing of the sort.

The numbers don’t lie. Those who are vaccinated against the COVID virus are much more secure than those who refuse.


Stand tall, John King

CNN anchor John King has revealed a secret he kept hidden for 13 years.

The veteran broadcaster/journalist suffers from multiple sclerosis. He made the admission on the air this week and became an instant spokesman for those of us who are concerned about the disinformation that continues to be spread about the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said he wanted to let it be known publicly about his MS because his immune system is compromised. He thanked his CNN colleagues for seeking the COVID vaccines and is now pleading with Americans within earshot of his voice to do the same.

He said this morning that one does not know whether the stranger sitting on any side of you is vaccinated, or whether they have the virus that could kill them … or you! Thus, it becomes imperative to get vaccinated and to take all measures necessary to protect one’s self and others.

John King is my new hero. May he continue to spread his message far and wide.


If only he could rise above the bitterness

There are times when one can wish that even the most venal and vile politicians among us can rise to some level of dignity and decorum.

The death of noted statesmen, such as Colin Powell, easily qualifies as a motive to rise above pettiness and petulance. Powell, the nation’s first black secretary of state, died Monday of COVID complications.

Four of the five living former presidents managed to offer heartfelt salutes and tributes to the former general, as did the current president, Joe Biden.

Then came this bit of bullsh** from the 45th president of the United States. Donald Trump issued a brief statement that reads:

“Wonderful to see Colin Powell, who made big mistakes on Iraq and famously, so-called weapons of mass destruction, be treated in death so beautifully by the Fake News Media. Hope that happens to me someday. He was a classic RINO, if even that, always being the first to attack other Republicans. He made plenty of mistakes, but anyway, may he rest in peace!”

There. Isn’t that just the kind of cheap shot, the trash, the rhetorical crap we have come to expect from Trump? Yes. It is.

To think that the King of RINO World would exhibit the chutzpah to call Colin Powell a Republican In Name Only speaks to the utter worthlessness of Donald Trump as a political public figure.

I would say “shame on Trump” … except that he has no shame.


Is our grumpiness terminal?

The thought just occurred to me.

Could it be that we have entered a period of terminal grumpiness, that our dissatisfaction with government is a carryover that cannot be shaken loose no matter how well our politicians are functioning in the moment?

I see that President Biden’s job approval rating stands at just a bit north of 43%. It’s about 9 points less than his disapproval rating.

Voters’ opinion of Congress is worse than that. We are feeling testy toward the speaker of the House, the minority leader of the House, both party leaders in the Senate.

What’s going on? We well might be turning the corner on the pandemic; we’re still adding jobs to an economy battered by the disease, albeit at a too-slow rate; joblessness is down. Yes, we have immigration issues that need to be resolved. Our lawmakers cannot get our nation’s budgeting process figured out.

But damn! I just get this nagging notion that public opinion polling suggests a restiveness that might be carrying over from years past, or from months past.

I don’t see data that examines what is driving Americans’ distrust in government. I hear plenty of anecdotal stuff stemming from the previous administration’s tenure, about how the ex-POTUS was constantly railing against the “deep state” and those who collected all that power. Voters bought into a lot of what he was saying. I wasn’t one of them. My faith in government remains quite strong as does my belief that government can — and eventually will — right itself.

I don’t want there to be a state of terminal anger. There are too many good things waiting to occur. At least that’s my hope.


Abbott has lost his mind

Greg Abbott has lost his ever-lovin’ mind.

He is off his rocker. His butter has slipped off its noodles. He’s gone ’round the proverbial bend.

The Texas governor has decided that no entity — private or public — should require vaccine mandates for employees or for the public.

Weird, huh? Well, I think it is.

Gov. Abbott once more is wielding his heavy hand, telling locals they can take no extraordinary measures to protect the public from a killer virus.

“In yet another instance of federal government overreach, the Biden Administration is now bullying many private entities into imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates, causing workforce disruptions that threaten Texas’s continued recovery from the COVID-19 disaster,” Abbott said in his executive order.

“Causing workforce disruptions?” Seriously, governor?

The Biden administration is trying to save lives, for God’s sake! Abbott, meanwhile, is seeking to cozy up to those who are resisting the government’s efforts to protect them against a virus that is still killing us.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott bans any COVID-19 vaccine mandates | The Texas Tribune

I grew weary long ago of Greg Abbott’s insistence that he knows better than local government officials on how their communities should cope with this crisis. Yet he persists. Meanwhile, school districts issue mandates of their own, such as Dallas’s decision to require masks for students and faculty members.

Gov. Abbott appears to have adopted Donald John Trump’s view that “I, alone” can fight the COVID virus.



A reckoning is on its way

It’s impossible to predict that such an event will occur, but one can certainly hope that it does … which is what I am going to do.

I am going to hope that a day of reckoning will come to those who continue to resist mandates to (a) wear masks (b) maintain social distancing and (c) receive inoculations against a killer virus.

Local governments across this great land are requiring people to protect themselves — and others! — against the virus that has killed more than 700,000 Americans; the number is sure to increase.

I cannot determine how the reckoning will occur or what form it will take. I just have this hope in my ticker that it comes to those who continue to insist that government “has no business” dictating how people can protect themselves.

Which, of course, is nonsense.

The government is able to tell us to wear seat belts when we travel in motor vehicles; it can tell us to put out cigarettes when we enter indoor public place; it can set speed limits on our public rights-of-way; it can require we have auto insurance when we drive.

Do I go on?

You get my point.

The COVID-19 virus is a killer. It needs to be stopped. Government has a role to play in ensuring we protect ourselves and our loved ones. And, oh yes, even perfect strangers.

Let’s quit the politicking on this matter.


‘Public health’: all-inclusive

Let’s visit the term “public health” for a moment.

The way I understand the term, it refers to the health and well-being of an entire community, a city, state, nation. That means everyone, as in the public!

Thus, when a government entity issues an order that seeks to protect the public’s health, I harbor no reticence about following that order. It means that those who represent us are trying to protect us. As in you and me.

I keep hearing this mantra about “personal choice” regarding whether we should be required to wear masks outside of our home. The woman formerly known as Bruce Jenner spoke to that issue this morning on “The View.” Jenner said it is her “choice” to wear a mask, or to maintain social distance, or to get a vaccine against the COVID-19 virus.

Umm. No. It isn’t just an individual’s choice. Not when the illness that the individual might contract affects others around them. Thus, the public’s health becomes paramount in this discussion.

President Biden is issuing orders left and right to businesses, to those who work for the federal government and others. He wants them to mask up. He requires them to get vaccinated against a virus that is still killing Americans daily.

I am going to stand with those who want to protect me against a virus that could kill me. Is it any sweat off my back to mask up? Hell no! It isn’t!

As for the vaccine. I intend to line up as soon as possible to get the booster the feds have approved.


Time for good COVID thoughts

It is time to send some good COVID thoughts around the world.

I keep hearing bits and pieces of good news regarding the killer virus.

Hospitalization rates are falling. Same for death rates. Vaccine distribution is ramping up. Federal drug regulators have approved Pfizer’s vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.

Are we turning the corner yet again on this virus?

I trust you remember a time about six months ago when a new president took office, declared war against the virus and then promised to be “independent” of the killer by the Fourth of July, aka Independence Day. You get the symmetry, right?

Well, it didn’t happen. Variants kept popping up. The delta variant has proven to be the most troublesome.

Now, though, we’re getting dribs and drabs of good news.

Again! Once more!

Is this the actual beginning of the end to the virus that has killed nearly 700,000 Americans?

Please let it be so.


Vaccination rates need to ramp up!

The stories we keep hearing — all of them verified by medical records — of unvaccinated Americans dying of COVID complications are beginning to drive me utterly insane.

Additionally, we keep hearing from local public health officials from coast to coast to coast that the vast majority of COVID-related hospitalizations involve those who haven’t been vaccinated against the killer virus.

What part of “common denominator” do the numbskulls among us not understand?

The unvaccinated Americans who for whatever reason — many of them idiotic — are not getting protection against the virus simply stun me into silence. I have nothing to say to them or about them.

I heard a story that was reported today about a young man, 24 years of age, who died of COVID complications. The network had recorded him saying he had resisted taking the vaccine because he bought into the idiocy that the pandemic was made up, that it was a “conspiracy” concocted for reasons no one can comprehend.

Then he got sick. He told the TV interviewer he wished he had taken the vaccine earlier. He was convinced it would save his life.

The young man died over the weekend. He leaves a wife and a young son.

Thus, I am left with this conflict of emotions: Do I feel sad that a young man died? Or do I just blow it off, just as he did when he refused to get inoculated?

Pfizer is getting closer to having its booster dose approved by the feds. When that moment arrives, my wife and I will be among the first to get in line and receive it. We got our second shots in February. We have been fortunate so far. We mask up. We practice “social distancing” when it’s possible. We don’t go anywhere out to eat. We stay home as much as we can.

I am fighting hard to keep my sanity, though, while we hear these stories similar to the one I just described. That might be more difficult than the struggle to remain clear of the COVID virus.


Is this a ‘super spreader’?

My thoughts as I watch a pretty good college football game this afternoon are turning away from the game itself.

It’s a contest between the universities of Florida and Alabama. They’re playing the game in Gainesville, Fla..

The stadium is packed with fans. The CBS TV network cameras routinely scan the crowd to show us images of cheering fans. Why, they’re just happy as the dickens watching the game.

However … and I consider this a pretty big deal: I am not seeing any masks on faces of young folks packed shoulder to shoulder. I don’t know what the stadium seats; I am guessing it’s something north of 80 grand.

Oh, wait! This is Florida, right? The state is governed by a no mask-mandate “hero,” Republican Ron DeSantis, who’s been threatening President Biden with all kinds of reaction if the feds keep insisting that states do what they must, which is to protect the people who live there.

I want to add that Florida — along with Texas, where I live — is among the states most vulnerable at the moment to the delta variant of the COVID virus that has sickened so many millions of Americans. Oh, and it’s killed more than 600,000 of us, too!

A part of me is glad to see some semblance of “normal” returning to our lives. A bigger part of me worries about events such as college football games played in stands packed with individuals, many of whom haven’t been vaccinated against the killer virus.

I do not intend to pick on Florida exclusively, although it is tempting, given the way DeSantis has conducted himself by denying local governments the option of taking extra measures to protect their constituents against the pandemic.

Sports venues across the land are filling up these days with fans. They whoop, holler and scream their delight, often right into the faces of the individual sitting next to them.

Didn’t some medical experts tell us that one can get sick by exposing oneself to the virus in that fashion?

Hmm. I think this the “new normal” for sports fans seeking to watch a football game: thinking of the consequences of those who might be doing what they must to guard against a potentially fatal affliction.