Sequels are dicey things. At their best they bring clarity and greater scope to a story. But too often they are mostly just a rehash of the same characters and plot with slightly different costumes and settings, recreating what has already been. The year 2021, as it slips behind us, was a terrible sequel. Frankly, in 2022, we do not need another.
From the moment the COVID virus and its eventual myriad variants arrived from China we have made one central mistake over and over. In our fear we mistook science for reason. In the desire so many of us had for objective rules to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe we pretended that such a thing is possible. That isn’t reason, it’s faith.
Perhaps nowhere has this been more clear than in the elevation of certain scientists into almost holy and infallible figures while others were at best ignored and at worst smeared as ignorant hacks.
Scientists skeptical of lockdowns and severe restrictions such as Drs. Scott Atlas and Jay Bhattacharya don’t exactly have their offices on the D train. They are both at Stanford and both are experts deserving of respect, instead they were both demagogued as grandma killers. Never mind that almost everything they said would happen came to pass.
As we enter 2022 now well into the 21st of centuries, there is reason for hope, even as Omicron rages with heretofore unseen case levels across the country. We are starting to see a recognition, even from restrictionist figures like Dr. "I am the science" Fauci, that legitimate competing interests such as the economy, our kids’ education, and basically everyone’s mental health, must be balanced with COVID concerns.
It doesn’t require much cynicism to see that these sudden changes in attitude are tied to another event slated for 2022, namely the midterm elections. Democrats know they are staring down the barrel of a potential generational defeat. Their best and maybe only chance to avoid a journey to a political wilderness of biblical proportions is to get things back as close to normal as possible.
But self-interested or not we should welcome Democrats such as Colorado Gov. Jared Polis coming to reality in regard to COVID. Get a vaccination if you want protection, but either way let's get back to our lives.
This is really the whole purpose of politics. When the citizens don’t like what's happening they start threatening to vote people out, and that is exactly what is happening.
Ultimately, to finally turn the page on the 2020 that refused to end we need more politics, not less. That was another great myth of the pandemic. We need decisions made that reflect the will of the people. We need reason, not a false faith in some unrealistic concept of science. Science is a tool, an important one. But history is replete with examples of it being used to steal power, to subjugate, to demonize, and in some cases to kill.
Let 2022 be the year of reason. A year of real and careful consideration, not another 2020 or 2021of hasty poor decision-making that harms more than it helps.
In this new story of 2022 let’s remember we all play a role in our society functions, not just cherry-picked scientists. On then, and for the first time in two years, we will truly "all be in this together."