Recapping a Year of Covid19 in 2021
I haven't written much in the last few years but maybe its time to start again. For the past year and a half the world has had to deal with Covid19 or Corona Virus. Millions of people have died, economies have been devastated, families have been decimated. In this country the initial Government response, under the Trump administration was simply to deny it. It started with cruise ships being held off shore and not allowed to discharge passengers. Then it hit large metropolitan cities like New York and Los Angeles, Boston and Chicago. We went into a national lockdown and hundreds died. Hospitals were overwhelmed, bodies were being stored in refrigerated trucks. We didn't have enough ventilators or masks for the nurses and doctors and believe it or not, people started hoarding toilet paper which disappeared from all the grocery shelves.
Geralyn and I were in Key West at the time, spending the winter on CallieB. In March 2020 we decided to leave early as we did not know what restrictions the base was going to impose on our movements. Already boats were restricted from leaving the marina and returning, all new arrivals were cancelled and no new applications were being accepted. Bars and restaurants were having to close early and soon they would all have to shut down. So we left and drove back to Indianapolis. It was a pretty easy trip and gas was suddenly cheap as already states were going into lockdown and very few were driving and the highways suddenly became nearly empty. You were only supposed to leave your home for necessities such as groceries and supplies. All restaurants and bars were closed, as well as hair salons and gyms. School children were sent home and studies became virtual. I had never heard of Zoom but suddenly it became a lifeline to visit with friends and relatives. "Can you see me now?" became the most common phrase of the day. Everyone started ordering masks that matched their lifestyle or color combinations and yes politics.
In politics denial by the Trump administration soon switched to blame and Trump tried to label it the China Virus. In the meantime a huge effort to create a vaccine was undertaken and funded, and yes the Trump administration did push this. Credit where credit is deserved. Unfortunately politics were in season. It was election year and Trump needed his base which happened to be comprised of religions zealots, ultra libertarians', nationalists and Nazis want-a-bees. All suspicious of Big Government and Big Brother. So, where large gatherings had been discouraged and is some places outlawed, Trump proceeded to hold huge rallies, all maskless and reminiscent of Nazis rallies of the 30s when Hitler was coming into power in Germany. Liberty and Freedom from the mask were now the slogan of the right. Then in November 2020 Trump's world was upended by the election of Joe Biden. A fact that he could not comprehend and hence became The Big Lie that the election was somehow stolen from him. Conspiracy theories abounded such as somehow the voting machines, in only swing states that Trump lost, were corrupted by hackers in Italy or space lasers operated by Jews. Ballots were being printed in China and surreptitiously snuck into the counting rooms in the middle of the night. Suits were brought to throw out the election on flimsy affidavits from nefarious sources. All thrown out of court, even by the Supreme Court, which had been packed with three new conservative judges during Trump's administration.
Unfortunately this all culminated in the events of January 6, 2021, which will be remembered historically similarly to December 7, 1941 and September 11, 2001. A day when our democracy was almost destroyed. A day that saw Confederate battle flags mixed with American flags and MAGA flags and Trump flags used as weapons to storm the US Capitol in order to stop the counting of electoral votes and overthrow a duly elected government. How easily supposedly good people can be turned into monsters with the right words and wrongful lies.
So Crazy started the year 2021 and has continued up until the writing of this even though the election of Joe Biden, and his assumption of office, have given us a little respite from the continual upheaval of the four long years of Donald Trump. The fact that Trump has been essentially kicked off of his social media platforms and has lost the bully pulpit also helps. Nevertheless the politicization of Covid has continued.
Back in January and February when the vaccine was first approved, Geralyn and I got up at 6am to try to get an appointment for the vaccine. We finally ended up driving 90 miles each way on separate occasions to get our vaccine. But more lies and more conspiracies have worked to slow down and in some cases almost stop the vaccination process in many deep red communities as well in communities of color, who are even more susceptible to the virus.
Now, as I write this, the virus is resurging throughout the country and indeed the world due to a variant of the original virus called the Delta Variant. It is more transmissible, more virulent and more deadly and is raging through the unvaccinated population. Hospitals are again being overrun with Covid patients, with over 95% being the unvaccinated. Plus, due to the polarization of our world and the politicization, some Governors of red states have even banned the ability of local authorities to impose restrictions and mask mandates. This goes against logic and borders on forming a death cult by these people.