It’ll End Sooner Than We Think, But With Dire Sociopolitical Consequences.
It’s January 20, 2021 and Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. has just taken office as the 46th President of the United States after winning over 400 electoral votes. In his Inauguration Speech, he speaks eloquently, if not with the occasional gaffe, of a new reborn America, a vision of innovation and equality in the 21st Century, emerging from its greatest national challenge in more than seven decades.
It is the beginning of the end of the COVID-19 Pandemic. A few months earlier, the FDA approved emergency use of two vaccines, one tested by Oxford University and manufactured through AstraZeneca and another by Moderna that both showed 50%-70% efficacy in Phase III trials toward protecting from COVID-19. Both have been rolled out to the military and healthcare and frontline workers in hot spots during the Fall wave of the pandemic and Biden announces a plan to vaccinate 200 million Americans by April and 300 million by June 30. The vaccine should provide enough immunity that if enough people get it, it will be contained.
The FDA also approved several treatment options, including a monoclonal antibody drug that shows great promise to reducing severe illness and death. Though still a nasty illness, experts agree these medical interventions will make COVID-19 a manageable disease. Plans are made to lift all remaining restrictions. Our long national nightmare is over.
In his first speech as president, Biden charts a course for vaccinating America, ending the pandemic and bolstering the economic recovery. He praises science, for their hard work during the worst days of the pandemic and for their ingenuity in bringing vaccines and treatments to market quickly and efficiently. He promises to rejoin the WHO and help stamp out COVID-19 or at least help turn it into a minor annoyance rather than a terrifying plague. America is on the upswing! Our darkest days are behind us!
With that, life begins to return back to normal. Sports returns, first with limited fans and then with full arenas. Major League Baseball returns with great fanfare. Parades and festivals go on as scheduled. New York City holds its promised ticket-tape parade down the Canyon of Heroes for healthcare workers and essential workers. Liberals, who once preached the need to to stay home, indefinitely, and shut up and like it, now preach coming out of our homes and rejoining society, going on trips and to restaurants and living again! Leftists still hold out hope the virus will trigger the long-awaited toppling of the Capitalist system, so they still argue for staying at home and lament liberals now supporting “killing grandma for the Dow.” It’s Dems in Disarray.
Because even as the pandemic quietly dissipates from the headlines, and the recovery and political infighting becomes the ongoing story, the virus is still infecting people, sickening people and, yes, killing people. Only now, it’s not out of control, overwhelming hospitals, and drugs and vaccines are the method of response, not mask mandates and distancing. 100,000 will die of the virus in 2021, 80,000 in 2022, and 50,000 in 2023, but compared to the 250,000 we lost in 2020, this all seems like tolerable improvements. Progress!
The economy struggles because people still feel skittish about going out in crowds. Masks are still the norm, at least for the rest of the winter and people aren’t quick to go back to bars and other crowded venues. Acquiescing to the demands of progressives in Congress, President Biden signs a robust economic recovery package that helps bolster the economy and invested in infrastructure, small business and states/city aid. Leftists hate it.
And Trumpers seethe.
See, the timing of the vaccines/treatments is suspicious. It is all proof that they were right all along – the pandemic was overblown in a successful attempt to derail a strong economy and defeat Donald Trump. After all, it came right after impeachment failed, and miraculously vaccines came just as he was losing the election. Fox News goes all out on the conspiracies. The vaccine existed a year ago, but scientists waited until it couldn’t help Trump to release it; or it doesn’t work because the virus never truly existed in the first place. By the millions, they refuse to get vaccinated, or seek medical treatment until it’s too late. This seeds outbreaks all across the country, stressing hospitals and leading to questions about whether or not we need to institute restrictions back.
Now people are mad.
Liberals: “We may have to cancel baseball because right wingers won’t get vaccinated!”
Right Wingers: “You see, they never had any intention of normal life coming back, this is about controlling you. You can’t live until you take their vaccine!”
Bill Gates, 5G, yada yada yada. Governors realize they can’t reimpose restrictions after promising a vaccine would be the end to them – and with medicine able to respond with, well, medicine, they don’t have to. But the case loads still go up and people still die and that scares enough people out of taking trips or eating out or going to movies that the economy is not able to recovery at the same speed as other countries.
Republicans, sensing a repeat of 2009 when a slow economy recovery paid dividends to them politically, spin the narrative that liberals are hypocrites; the virus meant having to stay home and not go to work when Trump was president, but now, even as people are still dying, “medicine” that coincidentally appeared just as they won an election, means its safe to go outside.
Every post-vaccine COVID-19 death is breaking news on Fox, proof the Democrats are hypocrites. They find someone who dies even AFTER getting the vaccine, proving it doesn’t work and Democrats never cared and it was all about beating Trump. And even though social distancing and mask-wearing is no longer mandated, the country remains as hopelessly divided as ever.
But at least there’ll be baseball.