For the record, I do nearly everything asked of me by government and health officials in the fight to stop COVID-19.  I wear a mask when inside or near large groups of people, I social distance, I stay away from large gatherings, I wash my hands regularly, and I have not been to visit relatives (including my mother) for the better part of a year.

This is not a political rant.

This is a plea for hope…

Despite the fact that we have several vaccines currently available (and more on the way), and millions of doses of those vaccines have already been administered, we still continue to hear nothing but bleak outlooks on the future and warnings from the experts and our leadership.

Thumbing through social media the other night, I stopped on an interview with Microsoft’s Bill Gates. While he is not a doctor or politician, he has been heavily involved in combating the coronavirus pandemic through his foundation.  In the December 13th interview CNN’s Jake Tapper asked him how asked him how long it was going to before “life would fully return to what we thought of as normal back in January”.  He estimated that we would not see the return of large gatherings for another 9 to 12 months and that it could be mid-2022 before the world returned to normal.  Okay…

Similarly, Dr. Fauci has been far from the most optimistic person.  In a December interview with the Harvard Gazette, he said we could see a version of normal “close” to what we had in January 2020 by the end of 2021.

Even President-Elect Biden, the man who will soon lead our country, has not been all that good at spreading hope.  In a December 22nd (the day after he got his first vaccine dose) press conference he said, “Our darkest days in the battle against COVID are ahead of us, not behind us.”  Seems like it would have been far more effective for him to use that time to remind us that we need to continue do all we can to contain the virus, but that things would so be getting better.

Whatever happened to our politicians inspiring us instead of guessing about what could happen?

For almost a solid year, we have listened to our leaders guess about the proper action to take to combat the coronavirus.  Lockdown for two weeks and it will be over.  Nevermind, that did not work.  Masks are useless.  Oh wait, nope, masks are essential.  Let’s extend the shutdown for several more months.  Oops, that did not work, either.  Don't even get me started on the hypocrisy of some of our politicians and health experts.

In a situation like this, I feel that guessing and speculating can be okay.  Sometimes, it is even necessary.  As COVID-19 is a new virus, virologists and doctors are still learning new things about it every day.  There are going to be times that things that once seemed correct are later found to be completely wrong.

What I don’t understand is why the experts and politicians must immediately announce to the media their guesses at a worst-case scenario?  Yes, we could be in for a dark winter.  Maybe it will be another year, or more, before we see schools return to normal, before we see nightclubs reopen, before we are able to see concerts, or go to a Patriots game.  But, then again, maybe it won’t be that long.  Maybe the vaccines will be incredibly effective, maybe people will steer clear of large gatherings and they'll continue to social distance, and maybe we’ll begin to built up a natural herd immunity.

The mental damage these doom and gloom announcements are causing concern me a lot.

Not for me.  I am doing alright.  I am lucky enough to have my family with me, to be employed, to have food to eat, a comfortable place to live, and enough streaming services to keep me occupied until sometime in 2050.  And, on top of that, I get to live and work in the great city of Augusta, Maine.

My concern is for those people who are on the edge.  The young mother who can’t pay her bills because the hours at the bar or restaurant where she works have dried up due to mandates.  The elderly man or woman who has been cutoff from their family for the last 9 months.  The teacher struggling to deal with all of the social distancing requirements while she tries to educate our children.  The small business owner who is hoping for a change in the mandates and/or economy that will allow them to stay open.  The recovering addict who has returned to old habits out of desperation for normalcy.  Or, that person who has fallen into such a deep depression they may take their own life.

My heart goes out to those people.  I have had recent conversations with people who have been deeply affected by all that is going on right now.  Teachers, small business owners, people who are under employed.

They need hope, not another reminder of how we could be dealing with this situation for another year.

Maybe it is a crazy request, but I pray the next time our political and medical leaders have time on CNN (or MSNBC, or Fox News), they think before they speak.  I am not saying they should sugar-coat reality, but would it be too much to ask for a little hope?  Honestly, simply saying, “It’s too early to tell for sure” or “we’re taking it day-by-day” would do far more good than giving us your worst case scenario.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

The preceding is the sole opinion of the author and not necessarily the opinion of Townsquare Media or this radio station.


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