High Points: Change in the air
It has been a rough time. And it is hard to be optimistic. Still, keep the faith.
This past Monday, Dec. 14, was an extraordinary day in our collective lifetimes and the history of the nation. In a period of hours we saw the introduction of the first vaccine to be approved for the fight against the terrible virus that has made this such a tragic year. And that same day, we saw our democracy at work as the Electoral College completed its duty to verify and vote in accordance with the will of the people in the their individual states to name our new president-elect.
Sadly, we also passed a milestone that Monday as well, as Johns Hopkins reported the 300,000th death attributed to the COVID-19 virus. It is hard, unless one of those 300,000 people was someone you know, to comprehend just how horrific this is. We tend to look at these numbers as some sort of abstract rather than relating each one of these deaths as a person, a loved one, mother, father, brother, sister, son, daughter, friend to those who knew them.
It was just this past spring when the first deaths occurred in the U.S. with experts citing two deaths in California’s Santa Clara County on Feb. 6 and 17. It is inconceivable that we would be at this point just 10 months later.
But it is almost equally inconceivable that the medical community would be able to hunker down and create a viable vaccine in those same 10 months. And it appears that the efficacy rates for the both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines can be game changers. This was a heroic achievement by the scientists who were in the trenches for most of 2020 working on our behalf. The key is to get them out and to convince people to get vaccinated. I can understand the arguments of those who are concerned about taking vaccines, but it is this simple: A society that wears masks, keeps socially distanced and vaccinates their populace can get ahead of this disease in a few months. One that does not will not.
Then there is the election. Never before in modern times have we been so divided as a nation. The only thread that ties us all together right now is the rule of our law and the processes that have been spelled out to maintain them. Personally, I am no fan of the Electoral College system. I consider it an affront to the concept of majority rules and one person, one vote. Had that been in place the winner of this election would have been clear by seven million votes. As it is, Joe Biden won by the rules in places 306 to 232. Equally clear. Game over.
As a community, as a nation, we must take these times and this challenge personally. It is time to hunker down as individuals. Move forward from the divisiveness, adhere to public health initiatives and decrease the toll 2020 has taken on our society.
It is on us. Keep the faith.
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We say it like it happens easily and frequently, but time together spent focusing on the people we are with and they on us is rare and cannot occur by effort expended trying to achieve it, writes columnist Roger Marolt.