Topic: How and who will pay for COVID-19 vaccinations?
Issue: Pandemic, vaccination costs, and the risks of ongoing collateral damage in the U.S.
Pandemic was recently dubbed the “word of the year” by Merriam-Webster (click link either left or below). Congrats, pandemic, you’ve officially arrived! However, now the discussion has shifted from acknowledgment of the pandemic (for many – but not all – of us) to another word, Vaccine/Vaccination.
Whereas ‘pandemic’ can be delivered to our shores for free, ‘vaccine’ cannot and will not come ashore for the same, wonderful price. What that leaves us with, is, how and who will be actually paying for the delivery and distribution of each vaccine?And, how much per dose?
U.S. Imports: To me, it’s starting to take the form of most every other import into our country. Those who have the means will receive the goods, and those who don’t will just have to sit and wait. And since we’re not talking about the newest G.I. Joe (with the ‘Kung Fu grip’) toy or BMW model, it isn’t quite so simple a formula for success going forward.
Issue: What can be expected from the “college fallout” due dramatic loss of revenue from the Covid-19 pandemic. In other words, how do parents of soon to be college students even know which ones will even exist next fall and beyond?
I hear you folks. It’s unbelievable what has already taken place over the past 5-6 months in 2020. Physically, mentally, financially, politically – and otherwise – we all seem to be holding onto our last fiber of sanity (of course, assisted by evening nips of our favorite adult beverage!) But, how are we supposed to have confidence in the whole process? I mean, does anyone actually have a clue as to what the future of (campus) college holds? Q: When is the SAT/ACT? A: They aren’t counting them this year. Q: What?
However, for those of us who have already sent our kids off to college (many peers, relatives, and good friends), are currently trying to figure out where, and if, we should plan to send them for Fall, 2021 (yours truly). Or, how about the ones who are still trying to figure out the navigation process through the remainder of middle or high school (many others), it’s on all of our minds. I mean, how could it not?
Topic: PLAY BALL!! (just don’t spit or argue…and get Covid tested often!!)
Issue: Can baseball players really refrain from spitting?! Or, arguing?Or …
I guess it’s a valiant effort to think we can “field” a troupe of MLB players and count on them to refrain from spitting before, during, and after a game. However, do you think it’s perhaps a bit far-fetched we can achieve such a lofty goal?
I mean, these guys (I do know a little bit about them) have been “takin’ a dip,” “puttin’ in a chaw,” and otherwise hockin’ loogies since practically tee ball. In fact, I could tell you some stories about guys who filled up 2-liter soda bottles with the “after-sauce” of Apple Jack, Skoal, Copenhagen, or … well, take your pick, big boy.
The point is that a good argument can be made that spitting is just as (if not more) linked to baseball than both apple pie and hot dogs are to the American culture. Baseball players spit … period. Even the ones who don’t chew tobacco. It’s part of the game folks.
To add insult to injury, players will also be commanded to “not argue” with the field umpires and be available for plenty of Covid testing. Baseball and testing?! C’mon, man! Did you see what happened during the (steroid era) 90s and early 2000s? Again, testing and baseball haven’t mixed too well in the past. Let’s just leave that argument for a different day.
Okay, so even if we can clear the above hurdles, we must also understand that, in lieu of screaming and adoring fans, the stands will be filled with … cardboard cutouts of fans. Yes, I said it, cardboard! If ever there was a reason to spit on something, this may be it.
In this technological age, couldn’t we have come up with something more life like? How about holograms that are programmed to behave like regular fans? Or how about cartoons of fans who drink gallons of beer, scream obscenities at the top of their lungs, and hurl batteries (and other unmentionables) onto the field – without provocation? Sounds kind of fun, huh?
Or, how about this? How about making the holograms, well, (fake) spit! That way, the players will feel more at home for the opener … wait a second, did the rules committee just tell baseballers that they can’t adjust their, uh, “pant legs” either? What is this world coming to?!!
Issue: Is it better to risk an economic collapse using a more deliberate approach in reopening America (with a broader national testing program), or, try to get us ‘back to normal’ as quickly as possible and risk another spike in infections and deaths?
After this lockdown ends (sometime before the end of time, I imagine), I’ve decided to book a trip around the world. Who’s with me?! Nope, just pulling your leg, but sounds pretty tasty, huh?
It’s just that, you know, being a lifelong “travelin’ man,’ I’m struggling with the “everyday backyard scene.” No, it’s not quite Groundhog Day, but pretty close.
In fact, I just posted a video of what appeared to be my full grown, ash tree uprooting and exiting my backyard. For reals…I think.
Okay, maybe it was my imagination or something. Anyhow, the point is that we are at the point of, well, seeing fleeing trees! And, no, it’s not worth the risk of contracting anything outside the home, but it’s something to take a closer look at, right?!
And, until then, I guess the only outdoor fun will be watering the plants…Woo….Hoo.
Arena: Healthcare and Politics (and why they don’t mix), Vol. III
Topic: How do we manage to blame the ‘other party’ during a global pandemic?
I understand all too well that America in 2020 is in the midst of a political tug o’ war over, well, almost everything. We have demonstrated that we can brawl about just about anything: from guns and ammo, to impeachment, and just about every bit of minutiae worded in a congressional bill.
But, the coronavirus, seriously? I mean, do we really think that this little bugger even cares whether you are pro-life or not? Or, how about whether you have open carry permissions in your state? Or, whether you voted for Hillary or Trump in 2016? The obvious answer is NO, it does NOT.
It only cares about finding a way into your bloodstream (and mine, too) and causing enough harm to hopefully derail us from future family births, graduations, weddings, and the like. The virus is the real enemy, not your next door neighbor (with the Bernie bumper sticker you may despise).
Let’s try to bear all this mind moving forward. Remember, the people who #StayAtHome aren’t lazy, foolish or have an aversion to sunlight. They are, hopefully as you are too, trying to get this monster to go away. For good. So, let’s try to bury the egos, the bravado, and, in some cases, the reckless disregard for stay at home orders.
Issue: What “good” has already resulted from shutting down entire city, state, and nation populations due to the Covid-19 pandemic? Let’s take ‘a closer look’ …
If you haven’t yet noticed, we are in an international health crisis – the likes of which have never been seen on this size and scale. Our global population is closing in on 8 billion – and one of its largest, China, first experienced one of the most enigmatic and deadly outbreaks of what is termed “Covid-19.” As of this post publication (3/21/2020), China has (reportedly) gained control of the outbreak of new infections. Conversely, the location I’m currently residing in, Los Angeles, Calif., U.S.A. – is in its second full day of a complete lock down/ social distancing/ shelter-in-place, house arrest, or whatever you’d like to call it.