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A Created Chaos

I am appalled that political pettiness has created a disaster that need not have happened. I am referring to the pandemic and the flood of misinformation that has been circulated for political reasons. The pandemic was mishandled from the very beginning by an administration slow to acknowledge it was a serious threat. Even now there are politicians who are trying to gain a political advantage by opposing vaccinations when they have been shown to be very effective. The threat to your health from COVID-19 is much greater than from the vaccines.

The ignorance of facts and politicizing of a heath emergency has created chaos in many areas of this country. This need not have happened. As a young man, I lived through the threat of polio. In fact, at my first job out of graduate school, my boss had one arm as a useless appendage because of polio. When a vaccine became available, there was concern about side effects, but I do not recall any of the craziness that I am now seeing. Many generations have escaped the often-crippling effects of the disease thanks to Dr. Jonas Salk.

Almost half of this country has accepted hearsay and ridiculous claims over science and heath recommendations from the experts. Some of the early detractors of vaccinations in Congress and the news media are now advising people to get vaccinated. Unfortunately, they are late to do so and created a mind set early on among some groups that is now difficult to overcome. We cannot run our country from Facebook or Twitter; for health guidance we need to listen to the people with the background and training to properly advise us. This does not mean they are never wrong. But the odds of them being right are much greater than the uneducated who don’t know the difference between a virus and bacteria.

When I hear a politician with no training in science make some of the claims they make, I am dumbstruck. I am even more dismayed when I see the number of people who take the politicians advice over someone such as Dr. Anthony Fauci. And when I hear people say it is their constitutional right to not wear a mask, I wonder if they think it is their constitutional right to infect me and others at the grocery store and other public places. Some of the younger people have said the following: I am healthy and strong, so I don’t see any need to be vaccinated. I think that is ignorance speaking. When I hear this, I think about the girl who went to a party, contracted COVID-19, and then gave it to a grandparent who later died.

We cannot get COVID-19 to a manageable level with less than half of the population vaccinated. We need to stop the madness with all the politics and follow the health advice of the experts. If our approach to climate change follows our approach to the coronavirus, as current events suggest is the case, we are in for a long dark night. As with the coronavirus, early on the threat was minimized by many. And only now, as many regions are engulfed in fires, drought, flooding, and unsafe air are we beginning to recognize the magnitude of the problem. But political bickering may keep the needed urgent action from occurring. And we will find ourselves in chaos as the fires, drought, and storms spread throughout the nation. For decades, scientist have been warning about the real possibility of a pandemic. And for decades scientist have been warning about the threat of climate change. The scientists are not the problem; the problem lies in Congress. The problem lies with the American people.


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