Well, it's been a year since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 to be a global pandemic. To commemorate the anniversary, President Joe Biden stayed awake long enough to give an approximately 25 minute speech, though, in a shock to no one, didn't take questions.
On the surface, Biden and his supporters surely saw it as an attempt to exude hope to the American people. Key word, "an attempt." The idea of "unity" and "coming together" were mentioned throughout. If I had a nickel for every time I heard the phrase "unity," only to experience the opposite, I'd be a wealthy woman. Instead, I've been reminded that "Orange Man Bad" and if you can't see that, then you are too by association, and must suff
er for it. No "unity" for you!
For anyone who bothered to take a second away from the fawning we were subjected to over that speech, you actually don't have to get that far beneath the surface to be scared out of your minds as to if we'll ever get back to normal. Does the idea of making to sacrifices for a few weeks or so in order to "flatten the curve" sound like a faint, faraway dream to you too? It's a sad club, but feel free to join in when it comes to that longing. It is so sad because you have to wonder if the powers that be, President Joe Biden, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Dr. Anthony Fauci when he's having that kind of a day, make it seem like we'll never get back to normal.
If you want to lecture me on "the new normal," save yourself the trouble.
Now, back to that "unity." It's not so much that Biden used that word; we all already knew he was going to, but what the overall message is:
Because even if we devote every resource we have two beating this virus and getting back to normal, it depends on national unity, and national unity is not just how politicians vote in Washington, with the loudest voices say on cable or online. Unity is what we do together as fellow Americans, because if we do not stay vigilant and conditions change, then we may have to reinstate restrictions to get back on track. Please, we do not want to do that again. We have made so much progress.
That's our president, ladies and gentleman. Uncle Joe? More so like our disciplinarian dad. Or King Biden.
Even worse, is that the shutdowns may not have done much, at least not helpful. Chuck DeVore analyzes the date with "Did The Shutdowns Save Lives? A Year Later, Statistical Analysis Suggests Not."
What shutdowns did do is lead to is effects such as depression, alcohol and drug abuse, and children falling behind in school, with more children also turning to suicide at increased rates than before the pandemic.
Biden's true colors also came out when he called out red states for their "neanderthal thinking" for making the decision to open their states up "completely," including Texas' Gov. Greg Abbott and Mississippi's Gov. Tate Reeves.
Despite already being fully vaccinated, Biden still wears two masks and insists on maintaining social distancing. What about the rest of us, though? If you're vaccinated, can you actually go about your daily life. Sort of.
On Friday, NBC summarized recent guidelines from the CDC, in part writing, with original emphasis.
Fully vaccinated people engaging in social activities in public settings like gyms, offices, restaurants and stores must take proper precautions. Regardless of your vaccination status, you must wear a face mask, maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from others, avoid crowds and avoid poorly ventilated spaces. The CDC also advises against unnecessary travel, as well as medium- and large-sized gatherings.
Biden went for a patriotic tone when he evoked the 4th of July:
I need you to get vaccinated when it is returned and you find an opportunity, and to help your family, your friends, your neighbors give vaccinated as well. Here is the point. If we do all of this, if we do our part, if we do this together, by July the fourth, there is a good chance you, your family, and friends will be able to get together in your backyard or neighborhood and have a cookout or barbecue and celebrate Independence day. That does not mean large events with lots of people together, but it does mean small groups will be able to get together after this long, hard year. That will make this Independence day something truly special. Where we not only mark our Independence as a nation, but we begin to mark our Independence from this virus. But to get there, we cannot let our guard down.
That doesn't exactly make me feel any better. If this is what we have to look forward to, it wouldn't have just been "a long, hard year," but a difficult four years of the Biden administration.