Many things in 2021 America seem designed to make conservatives not just angry, but downright flabbergasted — perhaps even doubting our own sanity. After an election plagued with irregularities amid a rush to loosen election protections amid a pandemic, President Joe Biden says any effort to return to the status quo is “Jim Crow” or worse. The legacy media and “experts” repeatedly lie to the American people about the threat of Marxist critical race theory. Corporations are echoing the Left in demonizing conservatives. The Biden administration is pushing Woke ideas in the military and using “domestic terrorism” to target conservatives. Dr. Anthony Fauci continues to insist that 3-year-old kids wear masks, even as COVID-19 cases and deaths decline amid the vaccine push.
It’s hard to retain our sanity in a world like this. But I’d like to put some matters on COVID-19 in perspective.
First, my family has experienced both the terrifying ravages of COVID-19 and the damaging side effects of ill-advised strategies like lockdowns. Both my wife and I caught COVID-19 late last year, and we experienced mild symptoms (we are in our early 30s, after all). However, a few months after my wife seemed to fully recover, she started experiencing an extremely distressing symptom: she started getting a gasoline/trash taste/smell in her mouth.
This condition made even her favorite foods utterly disgusting to her. It wasn’t just the temporary lack of taste and smell, either. Many of my friends experienced a lack of taste and smell while experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. My wife’s condition was different — her food tasted like garbage. Even some of her favorite foods, like garlic and prosciutto, became disgusting to her.
She went to the doctor, and the doctor said there was nothing the medical establishment could do. Some nerves had gotten crossed, and some patients who experienced these symptoms had never recovered. All we could do was wait and see what happened.
Luckily, my wife has mostly recovered from this bizarre condition, a few months later. Occasionally, she will still complain that food does not taste the way it should, but she is one of the lucky ones. There is a broad community of people who have experienced this same malady — and many of them have not recovered.
This bizarre condition reminded us that COVID-19 remains mysterious, to some degree. While the disease is not usually life-threatening except in cases of extreme age and co-morbidities, there are reasons to fear the disease beyond the relatively low risk of death.
At the same time, lockdowns have personally affected my family, as well. Although the idea of a lockdown seemed wise at the beginning of the pandemic, studies suggest the lockdowns may have done more harm than good, even for fighting COVID. COVID-19 spreads most quickly when people share the same air in enclosed spaces, which means that (perhaps paradoxically) keeping them home and in institutions like nursing homes may have enabled the spread more than everyday life would have.
My wife and I enjoy cruises, and after the first big wave of COVID-19 abated, we hoped that the lockdowns would ease. We bought tickets for a New England cruise that ended up in Canada — near Montreal. My wife’s grandmother lived in Montreal and we desperately wanted her to be able to meet our little daughter, Alanna.
Yet Canada banned travel from the U.S. and our cruise got canceled. My wife’s grandmother contracted COVID-19 and recovered, yet months after the cruise would have taken place, she tragically passed away of natural causes.
She never got to see our little girl, except remotely via video. My wife, daughter, and I have been unable to travel to Canada to pay our respects. I am, however, thankful that I got to meet her in person back in 2018.
The unreasonable COVID restrictions are personal to me — and I attended one of the churches that sued after Democratic officials abused their power to crack down on religious freedom during the pandemic. I understand the anger at continued restrictions and at Biden’s ridiculous rhetoric on COVID.
However, both my wife and I got the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine a little over a month ago. My maternal grandfather, from whom I got my name and my love of music, lost the use of his legs to polio when he was five years old. The polio vaccine saved future generations from a similar fate.
The long-term effects of COVID-19 vaccines remain unclear, so I understand some vaccine hesitancy. However, the vaccines are effective at preventing harsh symptoms of the disease, and they have combatted the spread of the disease in the United States.
While I understand vaccine hesitancy and I understand that the prospect of people from the White House going door-to-door to promote the vaccine may annoy some people, I do not understand the anger over this issue. Sure, a White House campaign to encourage vaccinations may be a waste of taxpayer money, but it seems impossible for the White House to know exactly who has gotten the vaccine and who hasn’t. This does not represent a police-state effort to force people to take the vaccine.
It is high time both the Right and the Left calm down on these issues. Yes, the Left needs to stop overhyping COVID-19. It’s not the end of the world, and the presence of vaccines should put people more at ease. Those who do not want to take the vaccine should still take some precautions, voluntarily, of course. It’s always a good idea to wash your hands and to stay home when you’re sick. Kids, who are far, far less susceptible to COVID-19, should be able to live normally, and it is high time we stop foisting masks on them.
At the same time, COVID-19 is a scary and dangerous disease, even though the media has made it seem far deadlier than it is. I support the vaccines and I’d encourage the unvaccinated to practice social distancing when practical. We can return to normal while still keeping an eye out.
I distrust the Biden administration on many things — especially transgender orthodoxy, critical race theory and worse in the military, and the new effort to fight “domestic terrorism” that seems targeted at conservatives — but promoting the vaccine makes sense, even though I’m not sure it’s worth the expense.
Let’s save our Biden outrage for the issues that really matter.