Local Commentary

Editorial: What a Difference A Year Makes

This past week has marked the first year since (1) the murder of George Floyd by a uniformed police officer aired on TV turned the stomachs of tens of millions of Americans, (2) the explosive spread of a deadly airborne virus that began killing people in the tens of thousands daily and stretching the nation’s health care system beyond its limit, (3) the descent of the American presidential administration into sheer madness with claims that ingesting bleach could cure victims of the Covid-19 virus, and (4) the demonstrated inability of so many among us to handle the full consequences of the pandemic, insisting it was a hoax, and must not require keeping kids home from school.

Yes, the long weekend surrounding Memorial Day in 2020 was perhaps among the darkest times in our national history. How different than this week, only one single year later. The transformation has been little less than miraculous.

Think about it. In just this past year the officer who murdered George Floyd was found guilty of murder by a jury of his peers, an unprecedented development in a nation that more are now keenly aware that it still has much, much to do to be cleansed of the foul stench of white supremacy and racism.

The pandemic has wound up taking a million lives of Americans, it is estimated, above the official stats. But in just a year now, over 50 percent of the adult U.S. population has now been fully vaccinated against the virus’ spread and health and government experts are indicating we are within just weeks now of being able to safely reopen our entire society to all those fully vaccinated now without need for masks. We need to better appreciate how extraordinary this is, how amazing the efforts have been of everyone from the front-line health care workers to the researchers to came up with the vaccine in such a short timeframe, and the myriad heroic citizens who contributed to stemming this once-in-a-millenium scourge while never giving a serious thought to throwing society’s most vulnerable, including its elderly in nursing homes, overboard in the process.

The worst presidency in the history of the U.S. was defeated in its attempt to use the full power of the incumbency to rule for a second term, a very critical achievement again owing to the American people, the blessed rank and file, who took up the challenge to unceremoniously unroot this would-be tyrant and agent of a hostile foreign power (so potentially lethal to the global cause for democracy).

Finally, America will always have nay-sayers, but a new spirit is now awake in the land to revive the best values of the founding of this democracy that will ensure the nation prospers as a beacon of hope for all humanity into its future.
The revival and advancement of the spirit that drove out tyrants to establish a free and open society for all is now before us.