With 3 months to go, 2021 is already a dismal year. Welcome to the pandemic of disunity | Mike Kelly – NorthJersey.com

Posted: September 29, 2021 at 6:41 am

'Ultimate knuckleheads': Gov. Murphy calls out anti-vaccine protesters

Gov. Phil Murphy showed rare public ire when anti-vaccination protesters started chanting during a bill signing ceremony.

Paul Wood Jr, NorthJersey.com

So now its a booze shortage?

Can this year get any worse?

Well, stay tuned. It just might.

This has been a hard year thats definitely an understatement. We still have three more months to go before the winter of our discontent. But lets take a look at the just-completed summer of trouble. What exactly did we learn? Better yet, what did we ignore at our own peril?

Before we explore all the darkness, let's take a moment and return to those hopeful, pre-spring days of February and March. People gleefully bared their biceps for a vaccine. Lines at the recreation center in my town stretched around the block on some afternoons. Strangers smiled at each other. Nurses told jokes as they stabbed you with a needle. President Joe Biden suggested that we should prepare to celebrate our newfound freedom on the Fourth of July.

Well, you know what happened.

Nearly one third of American adults refused the vaccine. Florida, led by its silly governor, became a hot zone. Texas also breathed in the idiot winds of warped libertarianism and led the charge into the mask wars. The so-called red states of "Trump Nation" proclaimed they would not join the rest of America in fighting a pandemic.

Welcome to the new Southern succession. The old, arrogant Confederacy is still alive. As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, we are a nation as divided as we were during the Civil War.

We need Abe Lincoln.

Sadly, we have Joe Biden.

Sorry, Democrats. I know youre shaking in your Birkenstocksand sweating through your tie-dyedDead Head T-shirts about the prospect of the Republican Visigoths sweeping into power in Congress and then electing someone like Ted Cruz or Josh Hawley as president in 2024, but Biden needs to find his rhetorical groove soon before he becomes another Jimmy Carter. Setting aside the results of the California recall vote, which left Democratic Gov. Gavin Newson in power,Democrats are all too adept at losing their way as they battle each other over competing agendas. They're proving it again sadly.

The nation faces dire problems, from the roller coaster investments of Wall Street to the deepening worries inside countless Main Street schools, restaurants and apartmentbuildings to name just a few places where people feel as if lifes foundations have become far too shaky.

Teachers increasingly talk of a lost generation of students who have fallen behind in math and reading. The nations hospitality industry of restaurants and hotels is now hooked on a weird version of inhospitable life support. And with one survey by the Magnify Money website showing 15.4%of apartment dwellers behind on their rent more than double the normal rate of delinquency America seems on the verge of a painful uptick of homelessness as winter approaches.

In just a few months, far too many hospital wards filled again with people gasping for breath and begging for the shot in the arm before they closed their eyes forever and headed for the cold darkness of a grave.

Meanwhile, we cant even drown our sorrows with a shot of whiskey or just a beer. Experts say there are not enough truckers to deliver liquid spirits to boost (or mask) the nations diminished spirit. Gov. Phil Murphys marketing campaign to promote vaccines with a shot and a beer for New Jersey residents might now be called a shot and maybe a beer one of these days.

Elsewhere, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, the Kentucky Republican, and alleged journalists such as Tucker Carlson of Fox News sneered and proclaimed to millions of sycophants in their echo chambers how much they wanted to save America from the overreach of government mandates that require masks and vaccines. Millions of Americans cling to the misinformation spewed by Paul and Carlson and plenty of others. And look where it has led us? By the end of 2021, more than 700,000 Americans will have died from complications from COVID-19 complications that can mostly be stopped by a vaccine.

But right-wingers dont deserve all the blame for Americas plague of disunity.

Consider what our liberal leaders have been up to. For example, how is it possible that alleged progressive, Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat whose district includes some of the poorest corners of the Bronx and Queens, could show up at a glittering Manhattan gala, wearing a donated designer dress with a Tax the Rich message on her dress and posing for the cameras like some sort of foolish runway model?Where are America's women in complaining about this idiotic display?

Column continues below gallery.

Welcome to the new generation of limousine liberals. Welcome also to the new version of Tom Wolfe's "Bonfire of the Vanities." Democrats: Are you listening?

Such is the state America as we enter the last quarter of 2021.

The just-ended summer will surely go down as a time of wasted hopes and dashed dreams.Our nation produced enough vaccines to protect everyone from this dangerous pandemic.And yet, we let our political foolishness run wild.

Here in New Jersey, where vaccines are not only plentiful but nearly 6million people have received a shot, more than 2,000 new COVID cases were recorded on Thursday. For context, its worth remembering that in late June, when we still held out hope that America would defeat this pandemic, the number of new daily cases in New Jersey had dropped to around 290. Since then, the massive increasein new cases falls mostly among one category of people those who refuse to get vaccinated.

So much for coming together to defeat a common foe.

But our disunity is not confined to just COVID vaccines.

A recent study by the Preply online educational platform found that we cant even agree on what language America should speak.About 93% of Republicans favor English only. Only 68% of Democrats believe that.

Another study by Digital.com, a website that caters to small businesses, found that nearly half of all consumers are unlikely to buy products from companies that align themselves with political views they disagree with.

This is our nation as we approach the final months of 2021.

Disunity is the new pandemic. Only this time, there is no vaccine.

Mike Kelly is an award-winningcolumnist for NorthJersey.com. To get unlimited access to his insightful thoughts on how we live life in New Jersey,please subscribe or activate your digital account today.



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With 3 months to go, 2021 is already a dismal year. Welcome to the pandemic of disunity | Mike Kelly - NorthJersey.com

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