As we approach the end of 2021, here is my wish list for the coming year. These are things I hope might occur in our community, our county, our state, our nation and world in the year 2022.
The COVID pandemic is still here and heading into its third year. It must be about to set a record for the longest recorded pandemic in history.
The “Spanish Flu” pandemic didn’t last this long probably because by 1919 the world had done enough grieving for war dead and victims of the flu and wanted to forget. But now, over 100 years later, when the health sciences have advanced far beyond that earlier time, the press, public health officials and politicians seem to go into panic mode over every new variant of COVID including the Delta variant, the Omicron and the Epsilon variant that I had never heard of until I started writing this piece.
While the Omicron variant that recently came out of South Africa is highly transmissible it appears that it does not generally produce serious disease among the young and “fully” vaccinated but nonetheless the press, politicians and “Saint” Fauci immediately went into panic mode and raised storm warning flags. Meanwhile no mention was made by these same people of the treatments and new drugs for treating COVID that are coming down the pipeline.
Politicians, the press and the public should come to understand that viruses like COVID, the flu, measles, mumps and the common cold are always with us and will always attempt to defeat our efforts to control them by mutating into “variants.” We are now at a point where we may have to accept the fact that COVID is here to stay with the likelihood that yearly COVID shots like yearly flu shots may be necessary but now with effective viral treatments becoming available we should be able to return to a normal life with no more general shutdowns, closed businesses, no more school closures, no more shuttered churches, an end to increasing teenaged suicides and deaths from drug overdoses among the general public.
My next wish for the coming year is that Russia and China will see the error of their saber rattling over the Ukraine and Taiwan.
So far, our weak and bungling national leadership has not given them a reason to reconsider their stances because both nations have only the example of our current administrations hasty and incompetent withdrawal from Afghanistan to go by. This is not to say that we should get into a shooting war in these regions but both are dangerous flash points. We should supply both Taiwan and Ukraine with all the military weaponry necessary to make China and Russia think twice before making aggressive moves and by keeping our own forces at a high state of readiness.
This year was another violent one in many of our cities as the turmoil shifted from riots in the streets to the organized looting of stores. These same cities also saw an increase in violent crimes and homicides with this increase in crime attributed to an increase in lawlessness, caused by the movement to defund the police which has led to the early retirement of experienced officers, and difficulty in hiring new recruits.
A major factor was bail reform that resulted in perpetrators being released after posting little or no bail coupled the policies of left-wing prosecutors elected in several Democratic run cities with the support of George Soros.
I hope that in the new year common sense and a sense of real justice return to our justice system along with an understanding that the first job of government is to protect citizens.
I also hope that New Yorkers will come to see that one-party rule in the state has done us little good and that we are swiftly falling behind states with sensible tax structures and spending policies who are also friendly to business.
Perhaps we should follow the example of Florida, a state that is doing something right but sadly our state is controlled by downstate Democrats who seem to have little concern for or understanding of the needs of upstate New York except when they want our votes. This has to change.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record I want to once again express my hope that in 2022 we will have good news about the new Brooks Hospital and I will go so far as to predict that ground breaking will occur in 2022. Sadly, my record in making predictions is not good, but we can hope.
Finally, I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas with the hope that the coming year will be pandemic free and a fruitful and outstanding one for all of us.
Thomas Kirkpatrick Sr. is a Silver Creek resident. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org