At long last, we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. We are inching closer and closer each day to the end of the COVID-19 pandemic here in America.
We are not quite there yet. There are still 500 of our countrymen dying every day from complications of this insidious virus. But all over the nation, there is a different feeling in the air. There are people in the streets and restaurants. They are talking, hugging, smiling and laughing. It’s simple, but it was missing for the last year. We are finally seeing a marked lift in the spirits of the American people, and there are some important lessons we can draw from this.
Restaurants have reopened their doors. Public events are being held. Conferences are taking place. Droves of people have voted with their feet for this to happen. They have made the decision that, after giving in to fear for so long, they are ready to reclaim their lives.
The American people have stood up and shown that it is time to get back to work and get back to life. In recent days, the CDC has had to scurry to catch up with the reality: Americans who have chosen to get vaccinated, and even many who have not, are largely forgoing mask-wearing and getting back out into the world.
The CDC declared something most Americans already had internalized when it decreed on May 13 that those who have been vaccinated don’t have to wear a mask even indoors, except in specific situations, such as hospitals, nursing homes and public transportation.
This is a prime example of the people leading the way and our health officials following.
This was not guidance as much as an admission of the truth. The power of the people is palpable.
The belated guidance demonstrated that the people still have the power to shape policy in America, should we only decide to use it.
COVID-19 is real. The death toll has been significant, and the impact on all of us undeniable. The number of lives COVID has claimed in the last year and a half is nothing short of gut-wrenching.
At the same time, the hysteria, paranoia and fear generated by the virus had its own toll: on our mental health, economy and so much more.
Thankfully, as the death toll is easing in America, so is the feeling of unease and apprehension. The people are no longer letting fear run our lives. We are reclaiming our liberties as we shed our anxiety alongside our masks.
And yet, even with the pandemic winding down, we are finding that this may not be the only instance where health officials have been lagging. The recent news that the Biden administration and the scientific community are now investigating whether the virus originated from a lab accident at the Wuhan Institute of Virology comes after a full year of this idea being derided as a conspiracy theory. It was dismissed out of hand by the left-wing media; proponents of the theory were immediately written off as nuts or racists.
We still do not know exactly what happened, but it is clear that we need the facts. We owe it to the American people, and the entire world, to thoroughly investigate and conclusively determine how and why COVID-19 started. The people have the power to encourage that to happen, so let’s raise our voices.
We are ready to put this pandemic behind us. With vaccines in arms, Americans are ready to get back to what we do best: working hard, succeeding and leading the world. There is light at the end of the tunnel. The American dream is just waiting for people to step forward and claim it.
In the coming months, as more people emerge, we will see life begin to go back to normal.
Businesses will reopen. Friends and families will reconnect. The toll of the pandemic is diminishing, because the people have made it so, and the government followed our lead.
Years from now, COVID-19 will be a unique moment in time that did not derail us but did challenge us. Then it led us to even higher levels of resilience and success.
We are almost there.