How Soon We Forget

By Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryFor a year, I did not bother to wear a mask when I went shopping, met with people, or went to the bank. Despite all of the signs saying people should wear masks, I did not care anymore. In my mind, if the vaccines did not work, then nothing would. And lo and behold as mid-term elections started looming the mask mandate and the other virus restrictions started to fall. What a coincidence! Now we also have studies that show the masks were unnecessary and the vaccines were enough. Also, with the number of people who have been vaccinated (plus those who had the virus and had gained some immunity), the danger of seeing higher numbers of people getting any corona virus variants let alone dying have gone and have been going down drastically for months.

I have been seeing life returning to what was “normal” back in 2019. Yet, it is not the same normal, and probably never will be again. The biggest loss the public has had in not only the politicians but also our medical establishments is trust. Trust that the doctors, science researchers, and healthcare workers will know what to do and what to advise us in case there is another pandemic. Trust in the politicians to make correct decisions that affect our whole lives (especially the current governor of Illinois). Trust in our school boards for the future of our children to hold their well-being in mind. Trust is the first thing that was a casualty of this pandemic, and in the end the lock-downs, the restrictions, the mass arrests of people who disagreed and disobeyed, and the forcible shutdowns of businesses that did not comply was all for nothing.

What was supposed to have only endured for a few weeks or a few months lasted for almost two years (in the case of federal restrictions, those regulations are still there). It did not stop the number of people who died, and it did not stop the virus from spreading. According to what studies have been done, those states that did not have any restrictions or lock-downs or mask regulations saw no more significant cases in corona virus cases than did states which did. Will the politicians, scientists and researchers draw any lessons from any of this and their errors? I am beginning to doubt it, and so is the general public. This is again the sad lesson—trust has gone out the window. What would happen if we get a truly deadly virus that has a kill capacity of 30 percent to 50 percent of all people, and is so highly contagious that it could wipe out not 6 million worldwide in two years but 40 million to 50 million in that same period of time (as was true for the deadly Influenza pandemic of 1918-1920)? Would we trust those in charge again? Our current leaders did an exceptionally poor job this time, and the consequences could be damning for us all in the future.

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