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Pleas for masks, social distance in ‘Red zone’

COVID-19 testing continues in full at several locations in Everett. (Above) Testing is administered by Cataldo Ambulance EMTs at Swan Park. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

Christmas is next challenge for holiday gatherings


Thanksgiving has come and gone.

Whether you believe the statistics or not, about 7,000 Americans died from the onset of Turkey Day and over the long holiday weekend.

It is predicted that many, many thousands more are going to die before Christmas, which is now a month away.

What is worse are the predictions by our health experts that Thanksgiving is going to be followed by a further, dangerous spike in virus cases as a result of the Thanksgiving get-togethers.

At a time when 180,000 new infections a day are being discovered among the population, the possibility of a further spike makes the future appear to be tenuous at best, terrible at worst.

What is in store for Christmas?

Dreariness and hesitation, uncertainty, and more sickness.

The virus is running away on our ability to control it like a racehorse leading in a race where the leader is cannot be caught.

In Europe, in all the major cities affected by the virus (Britain is in a second lockdown), nearly all the major consumer gathering celebrations for the holiday have been canceled.

Here, we are deluding ourselves into thinking the vaccine is going to take care of everything, that an end to all of this chaos and sickness is nearing the end, is just around the corner, as the president likes to say.

COVID-19 testing sites continue to see large lines. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

It isn’t.

About 50% of Americans say they will not take the vaccine for whatever reasons they make up in their minds. That’s like saying you won’t take the vaccine stopping polio or smallpox or tuberculosis and on and on.

For God’s sake, we can’t even get Americans to wear

masks. There are even some people dying of the virus saying they don’t have it up to the moment of their last breath.

Even if you hate President Trump, he has presided over the miracle
creation of three vaccines that apparently work.

Now comes the trick of be-ing able to distribute them in a country the size of ours without the federal government providing money to distribute it to the states and groups who need it most.

Almost 100,000 Americans are now in the hospital suffering from the virus.

In some states, hospital beds are unavailable.

In other states, intensive care wards have filled up.

Undertakers are having problems keeping up with the tidal wave of deaths and the subsequent need for extra space to store bodies before preparing them for burial or cremation. You hear many people claim the virus is the same as the flu.

It isn’t.

The flu kills about 70,000 men, women, and children every year.

Add to this the 260,000 that have already died of the virus.

The flu is one sickness.

The virus is altogether another, and vastly different and more destructive to the body’s immune system.

With Christmas now coming up and nearly upon us, the nation needs to come to terms with the virus.

Don’t ask me how.

I don’t know-how.

No one seems to know.

In a national environment driven by inertia, bad politics, and a strict divide, not much seems to make good sense anymore.

The virus continues to ravage the nation.

The deaths grow higher and higher by the day.

Christmas is less than a month away.

Many of us need to think carefully about what kind of Christmas it is going to be, and whether or not Christmas, or any holiday, is worth more than getting sick and possibly dying.

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