2020 has been a rollercoaster of drama. Obviously, the pandemic itself has developed enough stress for everyone. Then as a nation we debated our response. Soon after we were trying to decide the efficacy of masks. States became “blue states” and “red states” pitted against each other based on their individual responses. Judgement cast on both sides.
We then rounded the bend into significant racial conflict unlike anything the country had seen in many decades. In Chicago, we are used to this type of discourse and protesting. We were placed in the middle of this, just like so many “blue states” and “blue cities” across the country – regardless of what responses were seen elsewhere.
More financial relief was not coming to individuals and small businesses. People were turning against each other about being “open” or “closed”. Mask mandates in public places created “Karen” and “Ken”. It is summer now, and the virus is now raging through “red states” that had originally not experienced a surge. “Blue states” sneered, “I told you so” while “red states” argued, “99.9% of people recover!”
And then it was time to send kids back to school. Were we sending our kids to a den of death? Would they be scarred for life learning at home? Teachers left the profession, and as more became sick, staffing issues became problematic for many districts. No longer were kids at home “just because of the virus”, but because they couldn’t find enough adults to meet district needs.
Let’s not forget the election! As we wait on the results to be certified, we are still split in regards to the winner. Insults and angry threats are hurled from both sides. The current administration doesn’t seem to be doing much but killing people (either through premature troop withdraws, executions, or the virus) and fighting an election that has now been recount so many times that the act of the recount itself has become farcical.
It was Thanksgiving, it is unemployment insurance, it is small business loans, and now it will be vaccines. As the two sides of every damn issue battle it out, it is almost becoming comical. My husband and I play a game of “what will be the next big thing”, and it is abundantly clear that the “anti-vaccine movement” is having its day in the sun. It has been a long time since Jenny McCarthy splashed on the scene with her “don’t get vaccinated” message that has been retracted by her and most medical professionals who were involved at the time.
So once again, we sit at the crossroads of amazing developments in science juxtaposed with people who find their information on social media and YouTube. I find it interesting that the fundamentalists, the anti-vaccine movement, and the QAnon conspiracy have all converged with Republicans to create what is currently the Republican Party. On the flip side, “I am the Democratic Party” Joe Biden, BLM, and the progressive movement are debating cabinet member selection. Seeing how factions have grouped together is fascinating, and demonstrates how considerably fractured we are as a nation.
Personally, I am pro-vaccine. I will need to discuss with my rheumatologist the pros and cons of the Covid vaccine. I also need to take into consideration that I already had the virus, and the result that adding the vaccine might have in my recovery. I am not terribly concerned – I am certain there are millions of people ahead of me to vaccinate, and there should be! My husband, who works in a hospital, is already receiving vaccine information. Currently, they are not required for work.
And the debates rage on….