Just to take stock, this is where we are today, Jan. 15, 2021. Covid-19 cases are up 27% across the country in the last 14 days and deaths up 39% according to the New York Times. We are being warned to double down on efforts to stay home, mask, and social distance because of the rate of infection. A new variant of the virus that spreads it more quickly is showing up and making people more concerned than ever with getting the vaccine to people. At the same time, the vaccine roll-out is going slowly. The outgoing Trump administration is hindering efforts by not sharing information with the incoming Biden administration. It is a race now to prevent more deaths.
Many predicted that we would see a resurgence of the virus in the winter and that it could be worse. That is happening. We know the future is hopeful, that we will get back to a more normal life at some point, but that still seems far away.
In terms of improving the quality of life for the ordinary American affected by the virus, President-elect Biden spoke last night proposing a massive $1.9 trillion stimulus bill that would provide among other things $1400 checks for Americans, money for vaccine distribution, additional unemployment money, money for education, and money for states and localities. Of course, Congress will have to approve this in the middle of Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate.
We are coming up on a year of pandemic. Rumblings and warnings really began to gather force in February last year, and the blocks began to tumble in March. We have all been challenged like never before. We have all had the change our lives in fundamental ways. Many have lost loved ones. To top it off, we suffered the Big Lie from Trump and a terrifying coup attempt at the Capital.
In 1994, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The biggest shock was realizing that I was vulnerable. I think we are realizing our vulnerability as a country and having it hammered home that every individual has a critical role to play. We wear masks and social distance not just for ourselves but to protect others. We vote and stand up against racism and lies because it is up to us to preserve our democracy.