New Year 2021

2020 is over.  Finally.

The ball dropped in Times Square last night, but the public was kept out, with attendance limited to the TV crews and performers, and a handful of first responders.  The guy on NBC kept prattling on about his thoughts while the ball was dropping; someone must have finally gotten his attention about 15 seconds before midnight so they could finally focus on the main event.

While 2020 is thankfully over, alas, I don’t see the emergency ending anytime soon.

We have two vaccines against Covid that became available in December, which in itself is a fantastic achievement.  But wait!  There’s now a ‘super-Covid’ strain against which the vaccine may or may not be effective, and we’re now told that while the vaccine may protect the person who receives it against getting sick, it won’t prevent that person from spreading the virus asymptomatically.  So even if we all get vaccinated, the masks, social distancing, and occasional lockdowns for shits and grins will still go on.

For now, unless some makes me, I’ll pass on the vaccine.  As far as I can tell, Covid is perhaps a couple of ticks more severe than the Hong Kong flu that was a thing when I was a kid.  The Hong Kong flu killed perhaps 100,000 in the United States (160,000 or so adjusting for population between then and now), but at the time we didn’t have overly sensitive PCR tests to genetically identify the virus (or non-functional fragments thereof), and didn’t have a political interest in emphasizing the worst, including fussing over asymptomatic transmission.

Nevertheless, here we are, with a politically weaponized virus that served to take down a President.  I acknowledge that Joe Biden won the election, but not that he won fair and square.

My son voted for Biden, not believing the radical progressive rhetoric, thinking that he would govern as a moderate Democrat, rather like Bill Clinton.  If I had believed that, I might have voted for Biden myself.  If Biden and Harris ultimately govern as moderates, it would mean that the entire electorate, the Democrats and Republicans, the liberals and conservatives, had all been played (except, maybe, my son).

I hope my son is right.  Meanwhile, Uncle Joe has told us to look forward to a dark winter.