Who Is That Masked Man?

Right, the guy on the roof, wearing red with a shaggy white beard escaping from his mask? It’s Santa Claus, doing his job despite the recent surge of Covid cases. His team – Rudolph and eight tiny reindeer – are all masked too.  These guys have also been vaccinated and boosted unlike way too many Americans.

Christmas is only days away. According to the New York Times, nearly 1,300 Americans are dying every day from Covid. More than 120,000 are testing positive. Hospitalizations have increased twenty percent in two weeks. Here in New Mexico, where I live, there is only one ICU bed available this weekend. This is the time of the year when accidents happen, pneumonia happens, and other health issues arise requiring hospitalizations. But there are either no or few vacancies in the hospitals across our nation. Easier to find a bed in a manger.

Of American adults who are fully vaccinated and eligible for a booster only about one in six has received a booster. Because of the variants, scientists believe three shots are the new two shots. Even then there is no guarantee that you will be protected. A nephew of mine, who lives in Houston and was vaccinated but not boosted, has spent the past week battling Covid. More than half of the people in his firm contracted Covid, possibly at the company’s Christmas party. My nephew shared the virus with his wife, who had to be rushed to the hospital for steroids and an antibody infusion, and his son.

It’s understandable why people want to break out and celebrate the holidays this year. We’ve been locked down, quarantined, masked, unmasked, kept at a distance, at least six feet apart, and we’re even further apart politically. We been scared, mad and confused for nearly two years. Or is it longer? Who keeps records when we’re having so much fun?

The most disturbing piece of data I heard this week came from a neighbor who told me that a lawyer friend who works for hospitals said many top hospital executives are afraid the coronavirus won’t be in check until 2025. Yikes? We’ll be at each other’s throats.

Speaking of throats, NBC News is reporting that a House select subcommittee investigating the nation’s covid response says then-President Donald Trump’s White House engaged in deliberate efforts to undermine the U.S. response to the pandemic early on when it could have made a critical difference.

Now more than 804,000 Americans are dead because of the pandemic. And this guy, Trump, wants his old job back. He’s not qualified to clean out bed pans in our overcrowded hospitals.

One brighter note, hundreds of people are lining up to get tested for Covid. These concerned Americans want to have happy holidays with family and friends without spreading disease. That gives me hope that someday somehow, we’ll come together as a nation to combat this scourge.

In the meantime, don’t dial 9-1-1. The guy on the roof is not a burglar; he’s a good guy delivering holiday cheer. It’s still out there. Really! Happy holidays to all!

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