By Ray Cardello for June 1, 2021 Season 1 / Post 136
I cannot tell if we are at the end of a Pandemic or just a cease-fire. It feels like we went from intense restrictions complete with fear and confusing directives to everyday life in the blink of an eye. I am not complaining, mind you, I am just confused, and my cynical side has many questions.
A few weeks ago, there were very few places you could go without a mask. CDC, State Governments, and even many local boards still had mandates in place. Plexiglass was still separating us from the clerk or server in front of us. Congregating was still an issue. We were still living our lives with other people calling the shots.
Things seemed to change overnight. Everyone is still pushing the vaccine, but other concerns have quickly disappeared. Masks are now optional or just recommended. Clear dividers of space have come down. We can safely sit at a bar or dine inside a restaurant. The arrows are gone from the aisles, and the annoying announcements about social distancing have disappeared at the local market. Sporting events, concerts are now hearing the sounds of an excited audience. It was surreal to tune into the Bruins game in TD Garden on Saturday and see a packed house. The energy in the house was palpable, and the game seemed to be played at a higher level.
We hope this is a solid step forward and not a taste of freedom to be snapped away at the whim of the government. I fear this is temporary and that setbacks will not be handled well by a frustrated population finally free after fifteen months of captivity. There are too many people in charge who are prone to waver under pressure. These people will be back in front of the cameras at the first sign of bad data.
I do not watch baseball any longer, but it was on at the restaurant we enjoyed on Saturday night. The smiling face of Rochelle P. Walensky was throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at Fenway Park. She was then interviewed while taking in the game in one of the luxury suites. The volume was off but was not needed. She was enjoying her celebrity status. I am not sure she deserves the ten minutes of fame. She is the agency director that we counted on to lead us out of the darkest period of our lives. She and the CDC have failed. We pulled ourselves out despite their ever-changing direction. Donald Trump, Operation Warp Speed, and our sacrifice deserve more accolades than the CDC.
There is still work to be done. There is still social distancing in churches when not at concerts or sporting events. There are no masks in restaurants, yet we still have our children wearing masks from the moment they get on the bus until they are returned home. There are too many inconsistencies, and there are still far too many mandates in play in some states. There are still too many people either not vaccinated or have only received one shot. We will not be free of COVID-19 until we all enjoy every freedom we are entitled to regardless of where we live, work, or attend school.
One thing we cannot forget is some people need to pay for their sins. China needs to be held accountable if they prove to be the source of this plague. People like Cuomo, Whitmer, and Newsom need to pay a political price for their bad decisions, some of which caused tremendous loss of life. On the flip side, President Donald Trump needs to be praised for what he, and his team, did to quicken our recovery.
We have a wonderful summer ahead that we can let loose and enjoy. We have hands to shake and loved ones to hug. We have life to live, and I hope we can do so without watching for Big Brother in the rearview mirror.