Editorial

We collectively have failed to properly deal with Covid

ACHTUNG: This is not a “fair and balanced” article. It is an editorial by the editor.

It’s been nearly two years since the Covid-19 pandemic began, and one thing seems certain: We have collectively handled this crisis very poorly. Much of the problem is that we have turned a health issue into a political issue.

The crisis has found its way to Martin schools most recently, after a lengthy visit to Hopkins around Thanksgiving and Wayland High School in the past week. Interestingly, Martin last year limped through the pandemic without going to all virtual instruction and Hopkins had in-house classroom instruction four days per week.

Yet here we are, back to enduring on-line classes in Martin and Wayland. The reasons are fairly simple — the newest variant is incredibly contagious and we’ve haven’t taken issues previously presented to us seriously enough to do the right thing.

Mistrust of government and public health authorities has fed the trouble. Indeed, when the pandemic first struck, too many in charge didn’t know how to properly handle it.

Mistrust reared its head Monday night at the school board meeting in Martin when Superintendent Brooke Ballee-Stone asked for permission to implement health department protocols if they are issued on an emergency basis and it’s cumbersome to contact all seven board members. Some board members rejected the request and some among the public have suggested she is trying to be a dictator. These same people rarely have a problem when and mayor governor proclaim a curfew during a riot.

Martin, Hopkins and Wayland schools have been unable to escape the political pitfalls that have accompanied the Coronavirus. I see school officials, teachers, doctors and nurses scrambling for too long to save us from ourselves. There have been consequences, and as many in the audience said last night, Covid just might be with us for the rest of our days.

We could have done a much better job.

When I was a child, I don’t remember any political hoopla that surrounded the jabs youngsters got during the polio crisis. I and many of my comrades didn’t like the shots at all, but we lined up and took them in the same room.

And voila! Polio not long afterward ceased to exist in a meaningful way in society. The same was true after applications of vaccinations for measles and smallpox.

Most of the focus on parents’ protests at the board meeting Monday night was on athletes having to wear masks at basketball games and wrestling meets, two indoor sports that include significant amounts of close contact. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has strongly recommended masking up for such occasions in the interests of public health.

But apparently many of us choose eliminating the inconvenience rather than protecting our children’s health.

Just like so many others, I am tired of dealing Covid. Some people now are suggesting hospitals lower the priority of treating unvaccinated patients for Covid because they willfully made a foolish choice.

I have a close friend who told me over the phone just recently that when he encounters a maskless unvaccinated person in enclosed quarters, he says to himself, “Good thing I don’t have a gun.”

14 Comments

  • The problem is social media distorting people’s perception.

    We did eradicate Polio through mass vaccinations. However, while it seems like “poof” and it was gone, it actually took six years. During that time, people didn’t hide and kids went to school. People still caught polio and have symptoms to this day from it.

    The risk to children and to healthy, vaccinated people from the latest variant is very low. It will also readily infect the vaccinated, with about 50% of them having symptoms.

    Make good choices, or don’t and get on with your life. Masks for all and lockdowns are done and over. Don’t want to wind up in a hospital right now? Be careful.

    One thing that’s true, both the Trump and Biden administrations failed on COVID in spite of promises. Probably because viruses do virus things and they don’t really follow “rules”.

  • Sorry, Dave, we will never beat Covid with all the “my body my choice” people. I say we pull out all the stops. No seat belts, no speed limits, no drinking and driving laws. My body, my choice, doesn’t mater how many other lives you affect. No more vaccines needed to attend school, my child my choice. No more drug tests for anyone, my body my choice.

    • Dennis, If the alleged vaccine is so good and effective, why care about what the my body my choice do. Also good luck with the dozen or more shots they will “sell” you on over the next few years. Autoimmune disorders are raising like we have not seen. But they blame that on fast food. Why of course it has nothing to do with the shots.

    • Vaccines are not required to attend public schools. They ask you to attend an informational class at the health department and you are then issued a waiver for your child. Each child requires the same steps to be repeated.

      And let’s be honest….speed limits are rarely enforced. Regularly people are driving 5-15 over the limit, everywhere, especially the highway.

      Nonetheless, I get your point.

  • Mr. Young,

    My estimation is your friend may need to grow somethings. Talks tough after the deed is done. Why didn’t he tell that to the unmasked at the time?

    • Couchman,
      Pretty sure you have me confused with someone else. I do not ever recall campaigning for Hydroxychloroquine, particularly over vaccination. That said, I know it’s probably occasionally disturbing and unsettling that people won’t all do 100% of what you want them to.

      As an American, you are going to have to get used to people doing stuff that you don’t think is right, safe, intelligent or correct.

      I am going to have to get used to a Government having no accountability that screws up 90% of what it does get involved in.

      This isn’t Polio for sure, I didn’t make the initial comparison but I did point out that it took 6 years for the US to become “fully vaccinated”. While that took place, we didn’t cower. We took appropriate measures as individuals or families and for the most part, we lived life.

      If you want to live in a society with an all-powerful central government, the world offers a lot of other options. Why anyone would trust Joe Biden, Dr. Fauci, or anyone in authority at this point is just as confusing to me as your powerlessness to fully control the behavior of your neighbors. In case you haven’t been paying attention, they were all caught completely flat-footed by Omicron, which is 100% inexcusable. By the time home tests and masks land in people’s mailboxes, the Omicron wave will be pretty much over. It’s kind of appropriate that as the pandemic fades, the last thing people remember is another massive failure by Joe Fed.

      Would have been brilliant if Joe & Company had forseen addional variants (what were we on, our 2nd or 3rd variant by that time?) & bought a billion masks and tests between April and August of 2021. Instead, they fiddled.

      They were focused on other priorities, like shaming members of their own party that didn’t think flushing another 3 trillion down the toilet was a super great idea.

  • Nothing to worry about. More than 80% of those who eschewed COVID vaccinations are being admitted to hospital and those who survive ICU and ventilators will be left with crushing medical debt. Most will declare bankruptcy and/or stiff the hospital billing office long enough for those of us with insurance see our premiums rise to pay for the deadbeats.

    Maybe their deaths will encourage their survivors to get vaccinated. Others of their ilk will get sick with COVID-19 or a variant, and some will die.

    But I understand most, like my acquaintance who died from COVID, decided to be “informed” by amateur “experts” who repeat the drivel fed to them by Facebook, and worse, by radio and TV hosts who are living their lives in isolation broadcasting from home studios.

    Some, like McDougal, have pivoted to the new GOP line of “learning to live with COVID.” He can be cavalier if he chooses but my 3-year-old grandchild can’t be vaccinated and I don’t share his arrogance of thinking we need to play the odds. If McDougal has young children or grandchildren, they are as vulnerable. He seems to think they are expendable. I disagree, but maybe he can tolerate heartbreak over the death of a child more than myself.

    McDougal is also obfuscating about polio. Polio was eradicated in the US in 1979. It was written about in multiple publications and media sites. As of 2019 Polio strains have made comebacks in the Philippines, China, Myanmar, Pakistan and some African countries. Not in the U.S.

    Likening polio vaccines and deaths attributed to polio to COVID is playing fast and loose with facts. Something McDougal had done in March-April 2020 when he claimed Hydroxychloroquinine was effective and had cured patients at Henry Ford Hospital. But when push came to shove, none of the doctors at Henry Ford Hospital would put their name on the study backing claims of efficacy for Hydroxychloroquinine.

  • Your friend that is glad he or she doesn’t have a gun should avoid public places and wear a mask if he or she is uncomfortable. It sounds like they need help, or possibly psychological counseling. They definitely should not be gun shopping.

    It is very possible that person facing irrational hostility for daring not to wear a mask is like me…Fully vaccinated, with a booster and making a choice not to wear a mask 100% of the time because I’m pretty much done wearing a mask except for an N95 in some places. Why? Because nothing really works but an N95. 90%+ of the masks out there are simply theater.

    • Mac,

      Indeed, you are too direct of a communicator for today’s society.

      Taper it back a bit, for those with reduced testosterone.

  • There are a lot of fully vaccinated people still getting COVID. It comes down to making money and being in control. They have admitted the vaccine gives them the ability to track people. No other vaccines did this and there is no reason for it.

  • MacDougal has been, and always will be, a direct conduit for the same high level state GOP operatives who give our State Rep., Steve Johnson, his marching orders. Perhaps you’re one of them directing our GOP legislators. The timing of your appearances in this publication look to be talking points dependent.

    2022’s GOP newer talking point is fermenting fear of central government. If that’s the case, I’m sure you have no issue ceasing Medicare and Social Security, two of those evil central government programs the GOP allegedly hates, effective in 2024 when the GOP hopes to win The White House. While you’re at it, decentralize the U.S. military. Every state for themselves.

    But you truly don’t believe much of what you write here. You show up when there are GOP talking points to be pushed. Like being we need to take our chances with deaths of people who can’t be vaccinated because that’s the cost of running an economy.

    Meanwhile, the GOP and its supporters like yourself have no solutions to date on how to address the massive medical bills that won’t be paid to hospitals by all those stricken with COVID and its related maladies. But that requires more than a 30-second sound byte and isn’t a simple solution.

  • Couchman,
    As much as it is amusing to see you turn to the classic far-left tactic of name calling and label-slapping that always happens when someone on the left runs out of intellectual gas…

    I actually do have a solution for adults that are eligible to be vaccinated. I will admit that its not likely one that will stop you from making unfounded and ridiculous allegations that I supported anything other than vaccines as a first line of defense, or that I am a GOP shill.

    For those adults that CHOOSE not to be vaccinated, they get a bill for whatever their insurance doesn’t pay. If they don’t have insurance, they get a bill and a normal process starts from there. I could go on about bad choices, bad consequences, but you get the idea. From your perspective, bankrupt and homeless right-wing folks should be a good solution. Unfortunately, the willingly unvaccinated being all right-wing white folks is largely a myth but you probably know that already.

    For those vaccinated or UNABLE to get vaccinations that wind up with huge medical bills, Federal relief is probably in order. Most of the sickest with COVID and burdening the health care system are those over 50 who have co-morbidities and CHOOSE to go unvaccinated. It’s a fact and has been one for months, even moreso with Omicron.

    Those of us that are fully vaccinated go on with our lives AND/OR make choices aligned with self protection (social distancing, masking, etc, etc). Lockdowns don’t work/have massive negative consequences and masking is largely ineffective. I also completely agree with the latest CDC guidance that N95 KN95 masks are the only thing at this time that really has any potential as a mask to mitigate spread of Omicron.

    I also have nothing against remote learning at times like this and have never argued against it on Town Broadcast, ever.

    See, not very “GOP talking point”.

  • MacDougal,

    The left resorts to name calling? Now that is funny! Just look at your party’s hero Trump. He calls John McCain a “loser”, makes fun of handicap people, etc. Or perhaps lok at one of his minions, DTOM and all the vitriol he spews.

    The classic saying “The pot calling the kettle black” comes to mind.

    What a joke!

    • I haven’t posted much in weeks, I must have made an impression to a Liberal. Thanks for recognizing I was effective in getting under your skin. Peace.

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