Richard Wolfe: Merry Christmas 2021

Richard Wolfe: Merry Christmas 2021

Turns out there are reasons for a Merry Xmas after all, even if the ability to celebrate in traditional fashion is still a sketchy thing. Things have loosened up considerably since last year, but whatever constitutes appropriate caution is, this year, even more muddled.

My wish for this day is good health and happiness to all. Even as so many among us may not be able to enjoy either just yet. I hope you and yours can find more joy and blessings than sadness and regrets.

Sadly, though, I’ve got some bad news. Promisingly, I’ve also got some good news.

Bad news: As of Dec. 20, 2021, there were 50,791,012 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States (53,777 in Ottawa County) and 803,593 deaths (617 closer to home). The Omicron variant is menacingly on the march (but not to the beat of any lefty mid-term election conspiracy drum; it’s the real deal).

Good news: As of Dec. 20, 2021, there have been 495,101,938 total doses of approved vaccines administered the U.S. and 202,358,902 people are fully vaccinated (61.4 percent).

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Some justifiable Grinchiness coming at you now:

No giddiness is to be found within the anti-vax community. A COVID vaccine is just another log on their fire of unsupportable “concerns” regarding all vaccinations. It’s gob-smacking to realize these people don’t understand why public schools require vaccinations as a condition of enrollment. Or why “unenlightened” parents won’t respect anti-vaxxers’ rights and then willingly risk the lives of their children by marching them off into a tainted (possibly toxic) petri dish.

[Yes. That entire paragraph was last year’s text. Nothing changed.]

A Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) research project tracking the public’s attitudes and experiences with COVID-19 vaccinations (published on Nov. 8, 2021) shows that 48 percent of those identifying with the GOP believe that, of the following (demonstrably) false statements, one, two or three are true or they’re unsure if they’re true or not:

  • The government is exaggerating the number of COVID-19 deaths.
  • Pregnant women should not get the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Ivermectin is a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19.
  • You can get COVID-19 from the vaccine.
  • The COVID-19 vaccines contain a microchip.
  • The COVID-19 vaccines can change your DNA.

A separate cohort of 46 percent believe four or more are true or they’re unsure about. Only 6 percent believe all the eight false statements above are, indeed, false.

KFF further estimates that 163,000 deaths could have been prevented by vaccination since June 2021, when safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines were widely available to all adults in the U.S.

As of Dec. 2, the Michigan Health and Hospital Association (MHA) found that “three out of four COVID patients are unvaccinated (76 percent), 87 percent of COVID ICU patients are unvaccinated and 88 percent of COVID ventilator patients are unvaccinated.”

Will the lies of the autocrats-in-waiting regarding COVID-19 save any lives?

Nope. Lies will still be lies and people will still die, only then faster and in greater numbers.

President Biden inherited a forest fire from his predecessor. It’s still raging and he’s still fighting it. The Republican Party, however, wants to roll up the hoses because their base thinks water is a hoax.

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