Corona Log- 3 May, 2022- final entry
Corona Log- Tues, May 3, 2022- Final Entry
It is a sultry 92 degrees (F) here in SW Florida. I had started the day out with a congregation, of friends and coffee drinkers, on our club house lanai. The conversation centered around the impending decision of the Supreme Court to over-turn the Roe. V. Wade decision, of the 1970’s, concerning a woman’s right to abortion in the United States. Someone, employed by the Court, had released an early draft of the opinion overturning Roe. This single issue could be a barn-burner that ignites a cultural war in the coming congressional elections.
The whole Covid-19 problem had fallen to third place on the news agenda, behind the war in Ukraine and now this abortion issue. The pandemic hasn’t really gone away. New waves of the last variant are even now sweeping across the U.S. There does seem to be less death and hospitalization associated with this last wave of the plague. China, perhaps fearful of another pandemic, has locked down eleven provinces, a population of millions, in an effort to rein in the spread of the disease.
Domestically, over one million Americans have fallen to the two-year-old pandemic. Medical experts have started to treat the Covid-19 cases as just another virus that “won’t go away.” We expect next Fall to get our third booster Covid -19 shot, along with our annual anti-flu vaccine. Moderna is just now coming out with safe vaccinations for children down to the level of six months old.
Public attitudes are changing as well. The wearing of masks is no longer required on air planes. In most of the U.S. other covid-19 restrictions are eased as well. Two days back, some 2,500 members of the Press had gathered together, for a dinner to roast President Joe Biden and each other. No masks were required then, though testing and current inoculations were required to attend. I would guess that this will be taken as a return to normalcy for most of the country, even though the virus still rages.
In Florida, the culture war rages on. Gov. De Santis is at war with the giant Disney Corporation. A Florida Leg. Bill stripped the entertainment giant of its special status as a quasi-govt. De Santis signed the bill. If it is enacted, it will cost each of the Florida Orange County residents another $1,000 per year in taxes. It will also add One Billion dollars in indebtedness to the local tax base. It is one of the dumber “shoot your foot off” moves ever carried out by local governments.
Inflation is the current fear in the U.S. Prices are up on most commodities, forcing rises in rents, fuels and other business costs. The Federal Reserve is raising its prime rate for banks, in an attempt to stem the inflationary tide. Main Street isn’t reacting too well. Their feelings should figure into the Fall mid-term elections.
Internationally, the Russian invasion of Ukraine still holds top news billing. President Biden has sent to Congress a request for an additional 33 Billion dollars in aid to the Ukraine. Though principally in armaments, the package also includes humanitarian aid for Ukraine. The scrappy Ukrainians are still fighting the Russian juggernaut to a standstill. The loss of men and material by the Russians is significant.
The financial markets are in disarray. A drop of 14% in value, over the last several weeks, has the bears out in force. The fear of another half point rise, in the prime lending rate, has investors spooked. Inflationary fears, supply chain blockages and other ominous economic signs have people thinking twice before investing or spending.
It seems like a very long time ago that I started this narrative, after first hearing the name Corona Virus, while visiting San Diego in March of 2020. I have tried, as best I am able, to reflect the times and conditions that we lived in during this 26-month period. Like any narrative, it will resonate with some and be thought silly by others.
I would hope that, some decades from now, when most of our current controversies have faded and been replaced by others, that the information provided will give people an insight into how we struggled with a deadly pandemic, that claimed many millions across the world. As a world community, we did our best to meet the challenges posed. In some places we did well, in the poorer countries, not so well. Like any struggle, the annals of humans rising to the challenge was both courageous and inspiring. Most people did what was asked of them to help out. Others, for reasons of their own, didn’t help out so much.
My narrative is a record of how we met the challenges here in the United States. As always, we took the pandemic “one day at a time” until we came out on the other side.
(74,045 total words)
Joseph Xavier Martin
May, 2022- Estero, Florida