Until? Good question. I’m glad I asked it. If I ask each of you the top three things you wished were over, my guess is there would be a variety of answers, some the same as mine. Here are my three: the pandemic, the use of lies and distortions of reality to gain or retain power and the denial of human role in our warming earth.
Now that I write this, I see the second is impacting the other two. If only the Republican party would stop warring and start governing for the health, safety and security of our country.
Yup, I’ve concluded they are this early century moment’s primary impediment to the survival of people and democracy. Why else promote the politicization of public health and life saving vaccine? Why encourage people to mistrust their own doctors and to exercise their right of self-determination by not taking the vaccine?
Why encourage the spawning of ignorance that only results in spawning new, more virulent coronaviruses?
Viruses, chain-link fences and magnetic bodies The gas station I use installed a new machine which insisted my credit card was a debit card. I sought the wise help of the attendant who give the machine some sort of attitude adjustment and proceeded to fill the gas tank.
The attendant was wearing a mask and said his employer required he masked since he was not vaccinated. He wanted to tell me about his decision, saying he had done considerable research. The fact he was most proud of was his understanding that the mask holes were like the openings of a chain-linked fence to the microscopic virus.
He could have said like the open grid of a fish net and been just as right. One of the more important early discoveries of the transmission of the COVID19 virus is that it required respiratory droplets from an infected human to effectively transport it into human entry points.
As well-meaning as the attendant might have been, he had an incomplete understanding of the behavior of this and most other viruses.
His and the more bazaar protestations around the vaccine are thwarting the ability to end the pandemic. Think of the physician who testified before Ohio state legislators that COVID vaccine creates a magnetic field in humans so that at any moment we could have our soup spoon stuck on our forehead.
… Pardon me for a few seconds, I am having a hilarious moment imagining people pulling themselves off of someone’s keys, a shopping cart or car or getting stuck on each other at a crowded wine-tasting event. …
Appealing to ignorance, anger
Tragically, we don’t have much to laugh about when it comes to the pandemic.
Something as deadly as the COVID19 virus and lifesaving as the vaccines are marketed by the Republicans as the dark intention of the Democrats to force government domination on the country’s people.
I tuned into a Hannity show on FOX, anchored that day by someone else who focused the first long segment of the show on Biden’s statement responding to a question about vaccine misinformation on Facebook that Facebook was “killing people.”
By the end of the segment, the anchor and panel turned the statement into a call for complete subjugation of people’s civil rights. No mention was made of the pressing issue of misinformation causing people not to take the vaccine.
It’s astonishing in a time that infection and deaths are increasing that FOX anchors are literally telling their listeners not to trust science, public health and government when it comes to COVID and the vaccine. Although some news now reports a couple anchors have lightened up on their rebuke of the vaccines including admitting they and their families have taken the vaccine.
Part of their recalcitrance is a strong motivation to sabotage any initiative put forth by President Biden. Why else cheer that the country fell 3 percent short of Biden’s goal to have 70 percent of eligible adults have at least one dose of a vaccine by July 4? Why else cheer growing deaths and long-haul COVID in younger people?
Reasons to be frightened
Also frightening to me is the willingness of Trump, McConnell and Republican leaders to use violence to get their way. Not getting their way in the presidential election was the inspiration for Jan. 6. Republicans have refused to examine the event and prevent further violence against the government. They are asking their followers (and everyone else) to put their hands in front of their eyes like children do when they think that if they can’t see the monster, the monster isn’t there.
Instead, their House leaders are pointing their fingers of blame at the Speaker of the House who refused two Republican members selected — known to dismiss any investigation into cause and prevention of Jan. 6 — for the select committee to do the same. Their attempts to coverup the violence of that day is the not-so-subtle implication the Speaker is the reason the Capitol was not protected.
Once again, they appeal to anger and ignorance while they ignore the threats of death from violence and evolving COVID variants. They want us to vote for their brand of authoritarian government that keeps people mistrustful and in the dark.
More frightening to me in the future – if there is enough time in the future to course correct global warming that is under the control of humans — is the absolute existential threat of global warming through fires, flood, severe weather, droughts, famine and, yes, more pandemics to the survival of the human species. Republicans no doubt see that last statement as elitist, alarmist and an annoying ploy to put money into alternate forms of energy.
I did hear that a small group of Republicans formed to focus on climate change strategies to “show that Republicans do care (about the issue).
I say welcome, just as I welcome Republicans willing to admit they had a vaccination and especially those who highly recommend being vaccinated because it is for the common good. Let’s hope there are more on both these issues.
Although, I’m not certain better late than never may not be enough.