Corona Log Entry- Sept. 28, 2021
Corona Log Entry- Sept. 28, 2021
It is a cool and sunny day here in Western New York. The 48 degree (F) temps this morning augur the arrival of Fall. It is a beautiful time here, when the colorful palette of nature’s bounty is on display among the deciduous hardwoods.
The Delta variant, of the Corona Virus, still plagues the nation. Infection rates rival those held before the arrival of vaccines. Of note, is the statistic that 98 per cent of the newly afflicted, and those passing, are unvaccinated. Some are small children. Despite all efforts and encouragements, some eighty million Americans remain unvaccinated. Drug companies advise that they are working on vaccines for children under 12 years of age and will probably have a proposed solution in the next few months.
Increasingly, schools, governments and many private businesses are restricting access to their facilities, to those vaccinated. Wearing masks is once again coming into fashion. Football stadia across the country are requiring full vaccination for those who want to attend the sporting events. That is proving to be a powerful incentive.
On Sept. 17th, the CDC approved the application of the Pfizer drug company for a third “booster shot.” Those who have received that vaccine, emergency services personnel, hospital employees and other "necessary occupations” are eligible to line up for the third shot, six months after their second inoculation. President Biden got his televised third shot to kick off the process. In spite of all of the experience we have, the lines are still long. Older people wait for hours to get their shots. This first group comprises some sixty million Americans and should be the most hectic in the distribution process.
Medical experts advise that the CDC will probably approve applications, from the Moderna and Johnson and Johnson companies, for use of their vaccines, in the next few weeks. We will probably get our turn sometime in November. The tragic irony is that while millions of us line up for our third shot, some 80 million Americans haven’t had their first vaccination yet.
The hospitals, in those low vaccine states, are once again over run with Covid-19 patients. Medical personnel now repeat the oft heard stories of people asking for a vaccine, when they are on ventilators, only to be told it is too late. Many thousands of Americans are passing away needlessly. Most of us just don’t understand the vaccine reluctance.
The influx of covid-19 patients is also impacting millions of regular patients who need medical procedures and operations. Hospitals are postponing most elective surgery, because they don’t have sufficient staff or available beds.
Internationally, most developed nations share similar circumstances. Some nations are having an easier time, reaching higher vaccination rates. Some struggle like we do. The third world countries are of course a disaster. No one really knows how bad those populations have it. The United States, and many other countries, have donated several hundred million vaccines, to the World Health Organization, to assist in the world-wide battle.
The European Union advises the U.S that their countries are once again limiting access to tourists from the United States, until they can get a better handle of their vaccinations. America recently announced that it was keeping its border with Canada closed until at least October 21.Canda has already opened her borders to Americans, with proof of vaccinations and a recent negative Covid-19 test. The irony here is that Canadians are free to fly into the Unites States, and have their cars shipped in by truck or rail. It is a crazy logic, indicative of the chaotic mess we all find ourselves in.
In Washington D.C the whole Congressional Circus in on display. Republicans, in the Senate, recently refused to support an expansion of the debt borrowing ceiling. Without it, the country will technically be broke, and unable to play its bills. Hopefully this is the usual checkers and chess match to gain an advantage on “the other side.” The Trillion-dollar infrastructure Bill is at risk as well. This argument results from a fracture within the Democratic Party. Their Progressive wing wants to spend another Three Trillion dollars on a “social infra-structure” elements. The more moderate Dems, and all of the Republicans, want to part of this societal re-engineering. This wrangling has the whole Congress tied up. Some of us just sit back and wonder where the money for all of these things is going to come from? Everyone likes to be a Santa Claus, and give out goodies, but someone actually has to pay for all of these things at some point. The Unites States now carries a $27 - Trillion-dollar debt, something many generations from now will have to pay off, and curse us for our profligate ways.
In other areas of the Circus, Senate hearings are beginning to examine the causes of the Afghanistan withdrawal snafu. Lastly, a House of Reps. Committee is issuing subpoenas, to try and get to the bottom of the January, 2021 insurrection and coup attempt in Washington. The whole three-ring circus should make the media happy, covering the different circus acts for the next few months.
Another Immigration fiasco surfaced this month, when 15,000 Haitians showed up en-masse, at the Texas border, and settled under a highway bridge in Del Rio, Texas. The media was all over this one. And then, like the Chinese magic wand, the problem disappeared with the dispersal of the prospective immigrants to different centers for processing. It is of note, that we are still trying to process and resettle some 100,000 Afghanis, into the mainstream of life in the United States. They are former American allies who escaped during the fall of Kabul in August.
In the financial sector, the markets have been steady, at the 34, 000 point level. A brief hiccup occurred when the $ 300 Billon dollar, Chinese Real Estate Conglomerate, Evergrande, could not meet its obligations. The market dropped nine hundred points in a single day’s trading. But, in that China controls its currency and the Peoples, Communist Republican Army owns all of the real estate involved, the Chinese Government waved its magic wand and the problem was resolved. There is a massive hidden bubble, of Chinese real estate speculation, that will someday come crashing down on the international markets. It is of import to the U.S because China holds some $1.6 trillion dollars of U.S treasury notes. Nearby Japan holds another $2 Trillion. The Chinese Government owns most of the banks in China. But, even they can’t fight speculative market forces forever. They kicked a very large can down the road this time.
Crude oil prices will reach $90 a barrel, by years end, industry experts predict. That will drive the price of everything skyward here and every where else. As a natural corollary to this, interest in and support for electric cars, solar and wind-generated energy has increased across the planet.
Lastly, due to a shortage of truck drivers and laborers, there are massive supply chain clogs at both the Port Los Angeles and Port of New York. Fleets of container ships lie at anchor off shore, awaiting unloading at both facilities. The lack of materials in these containers already has people scrambling for Christmas Decorations and other supplies. Costco and other retail giants predict another round of shortages, in paper products, disinfectants and related materials. Sigh, this means seniors will purchase another six hundred rolls of toilet paper to add to their seven hundred roll collections from the last panic.
We proceed cautiously as always, practicing social distancing, washing hands and awaiting our third shot of the Moderna vaccine We will all get through this, one day at a time.
Joseph Xavier Martin