CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/25/2022

HELLO, 

NSC AT PRESENT, HOPEFULLY, PEAKING OUT?

FROM NYT TODAY:

Israeli experts recommend offering a fourth vaccine dose to people age 18 and over.

”…JERUSALEM — A medical panel advising the Israeli government has recommended making fourth coronavirus vaccine doses available to people age 18 and over, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday, citing what it suggested were some early signs of the effectiveness of an additional shot in helping prevent serious illness…The recommendation, which the ministry has yet to approve, comes weeks after Israel began offering fourth doses to people age 60 and over, as well as to medical workers and people with weakened immune systems, as it braced for a surge of infections from the highly contagious Omicron variant. It was the first country to offer such additional shots so broadly…The panel recommended offering a fourth shot to people age 18 and above at least five months after they recover from Covid-19 or receive a third vaccine shot. About 600,000 Israelis have already received a fourth dose.

FROM HOPKINS”

1 Rich Countries’ Access to Foreign Nurses During Omicron Raises Ethical Concerns, Group Says (Reuters) The Omicron-fuelled wave of COVID-19 infections has led wealthy countries to intensify their recruitment of nurses from poorer parts of the world, worsening dire staffing shortages in overstretched workforces there, the International Council of Nurses said. Sickness, burnout and staff departures amid surging Omicron cases have driven absentee rates to levels not yet seen during the two-year pandemic, said Howard Catton, CEO of the Geneva-based group that represents 27 million nurses and 130 national organizations. To plug the gap, Western countries have responded by hiring army personnel as well as volunteers and retirees but many have also stepped up international recruitment as part of a trend that is worsening health inequity,

2. Association Between 3 Doses of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine and Symptomatic Infection Caused by the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron and Delta Variants (JAMA) Among individuals seeking testing for COVID-like illness in the US in December 2021, receipt of 3 doses of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (compared with unvaccinated and with receipt of 2 doses) was less likely among cases with symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection compared with test-negative controls. These findings suggest that receipt of 3 doses of mRNA vaccine, relative to being unvaccinated and to receipt of 2 doses, was associated with protection against both the Omicron and Delta variants, although the higher odds ratios for Omicron suggest less protection for Omicron than for Delta.

Effect of Noninvasive Respiratory Strategies on Intubation or Mortality Among Patients With Acute Hypoxemic Respiratory Failure and COVID-19

Question  What is the effect of initial noninvasive respiratory strategies using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or high-flow nasal oxygen (HFNO), compared with an initial strategy of conventional oxygen therapy, on the risk of tracheal intubation or mortality among hospitalized adults with acute hypoxemic respiratory failure due to COVID-19?

Findings  In this randomized clinical trial of 1273 patients, the composite primary outcome of tracheal intubation or mortality within 30 days occurred in 36% of the patients in the CPAP group compared with 44% in the conventional oxygen therapy group, a difference that was statistically significant, and occurred in 44% in the HFNO group compared with 45% in the conventional oxygen therapy group, a difference that was not significantly different.

Meaning  Among patients with acute hypoxemic respiratory failure and COVID-19, an initial strategy of CPAP significantly reduced the risk of tracheal intubation or mortality compared with conventional oxygen therapy, but there was no significant difference between an initial strategy of HFNO compared with conventional oxygen therapy.

(J. Harris: CPAP, similar to those devices that some folks use for Sleep Apnea was sometimes helpful in treating Covid respiratory problems. A complex editorial following the article discusses the issues remaining with Covid induced respiratory failure.)

From the MNM Today:

2021 report: Northeast Texas home to higher mortality rates compared to the state, country

2021 report: Northeast Texas home to higher mortality rates compared to the state, country

J. Harris: Frightening.  

CDC VACCINE WEBSITES FROM MARSHALL-HARRISON COUNTY HEALTH DEPT:

1.  https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/clinical-considerations/covid-19-vaccines-us.html

2. The CDC defines immunocompromised at the following links:

https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/acip-recs/general-recs/immunocompetence.html

https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/clinical-considerations/covid-19-vaccines-us.html#considerations-covid19-vax-immunocopromised

3. If you are looking for a specific brand you can go to https://www.vaccines.gov/ enter your zip code and find a vaccine provider.

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/24/2022

HELLO, Not much new on the Area G chart.    Tues/Wed numbers should help.

Omicron will peak in most states by mid-February + 5 more forecasts

(J. Harris: From Becker. Summarizes several sources. Optimistic.)

CDC VACCINE UPDATES: JAN, 2022

(J. Harris: I can’t find any good reason to mix and match Pfizer and Moderna. 

How to Reuse N95, KN95, and Other Disposable Masks

Where to Buy N95s, KN95s, and Surgical-Style Masks in 2022

Mark Cuban’s drug company launches online pharmacy

”…Mark Cuban’s generic drug company launched an online pharmacy Jan. 19..

Mr. Cuban, a billionaire entrepreneur…. established his drug company, the Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Co., in January 2021. The company is designed to produce low-cost versions of high-cost generic drugs and aims to “provide radical transparency in how we price our drugs…,Because the company does not partner with third-party PBMs in order to process insurance claims, the online pharmacy does not accept insurance. However, its cost-saving model means patients are often offered prices lower than what most health plans’ deductible and copay requirements would total, the release said.”

TEARS, TEARS, AND TARES:

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/23/2022

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/23/2022

A QUICK NOTE. NO LOCAL IMPROVEMENT YET.

EXCELLENT COVID VARIANT COMPARISON OF ILLNESSES AND RECOVERY

*****

J. Harris — A Remembrance:

    Having an infection probably builds more antibodies to that infection than does a vaccine — this is if the illness is survived. Should this “natural” immunization occur, hopefully, the victim won’t have any significant long-term dysfunctions due to the original illness. Additionally, should the original causative organism later mutate and render the old antibodies partially or completely worthless, reinfection might occur, and it does. Just like the Influenza vaccines, Covid Vaccines may require additions, subtractions, and repeat injections. 

     I’d rather have a Polio Vaccine than Polio, or a Measles Vaccine rather than Measles. I won’t mention Small Pox. Absolutely the “sickest” and one of the most tragic patients that I ever cared for was at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, just about the time we opened the first ICU there in an old pediatric diarrhea ward in the mid-1960s. A young boy, 18, a large, muscular, football player, caught Chicken Pox and it spread into his lungs. Fortunately, Parkland had a fabulous Pulmonary Department with several well-trained Pulmonologists (Internal Medicine trained plus 2 years of Pulmonary subspeciality). We even had several newfangled “Bird” IPPB Machines to help patients breathe.  

     Alas, the young man’s viral Pox Pneumonia spread to both lungs despite 24-hour care with physicians, med students, nurses, Pulmonary Tecs, nursing students, the chaplains — every who could add anything. The entire medical service was aware of his case and was pulling for him. There were no “antibiotics” for viruses at that time, (and not many even now). His lungs became so “stiff” that no amount of alternations (and repairs)  to the Bird IPPB Machines would force air into his lungs and after several miserable, agonizing days, he died. He had childhood immunity against Chicken Pox, and there was no vaccine for Chicken Pox until the 1990s. He must have been an only child; Chicken Pox is so contagious that it was hard not to catch it in childhood when it was a milder disease. Thankfully, the Chicken Pox Vaccine has saved millions of cases including some that would have developed pneumonia.  The pathology of our long-ago Parkland patient’s destroyed, gunk-filled, inelastic lungs is very similar to that seen in the lungs of severe Covid patients today.

TEARS AND TEARS: TARES

AND FROM THE DMN:

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/22/2022

J. Harris: Don’t worry about reading all the references if they are of no interest to you. Despite my desire to “keep it simple,” I have a few specialized readers to whom some of the more complicated references are directed. Don’t make reading this stuff oppressive and depressing. When in doubt, delete it or never open it. Keep up with the general trends and keep you and your family safe. You are in charge. Oh, I do have some GREAT new jokes thanks to Tom Allin. 

F.D.A. expands approval of remdesivir to patients who are not hospitalized.

Do genetic differences make some people more susceptible to COVID-19?

”…Genetic variation plays a role in susceptibility to a number of diseases, from HIV to malaria to TB. Researchers know this because they hunt for variations of interest by comparing people’s entire DNA sequences – their genomes – to see whether certain variations coincide with certain disease outcomes. Such analyses are called genome-wide association studies….people with blood type A now seem to be more at risk than those with blood type O. More recent research suggests a lower risk of severe disease for blood type O, even going as far as to suggest that this blood group has a protective effect. Additional studies have postulated that blood type A increases the risk of infection (though some of these are pre-prints, meaning they have yet to be scrutinized by other scientists)….The picture is a bit clearer for chromosome 3. The genome-wide association study mentioned earlier, involving Spanish and Italian patients, also found an association between severe disease and variation in a small region on this chromosome called 3p21.31...One of the genes in this region, SLC6A20, contains the instructions for building a protein that interacts with ACE2, the molecule the virus uses to get inside cells…To date, 3p21.31 is the only genetic region significantly associated with severe COVID-19. Having certain genetic variations in this region can therefore be considered a risk factor.

THREE GOOD ARTICLES SELECTED AND  EDITED BY BECKER

1. Why don’t hospitals just pay full-time nurses more?

2. Texas healthcare workers must be fully vaccinated by March 21, per CMS mandate

3. Viewpoint: Many unvaccinated, critical COVID-19 patients still distrust those caring for them

Association of Major Depressive Symptoms With Endorsement of COVID-19 Vaccine Misinformation Among US Adults

(J. Harris: Short, readable article that may be relevant?)

”…In this survey study using national data including more than 15 000 respondents, we found that presence of moderate or greater depressive symptoms was associated with greater likelihood of endorsing misinformation about vaccines..In this survey study using national data including more than 15 000 respondents, we found that presence of moderate or greater depressive symptoms was associated with greater likelihood of endorsing misinformation about vaccines…using a subset of participants from the first wave who returned for the second, we found that depressive symptoms preceded misinformation emergence, suggesting that misinformation was unlikely to cause depression per se…individuals with major depressive symptoms often exhibit a more pronounced negativity bias, a form of attentional bias in which thoughts with negative valence receive greater focus.13 Insofar as forms of misinformation that elicit negative affect may be more likely to spread,5 it follows that depression could facilitate uptake of misinformation at an individual level…Alternatively, it is possible that the association between depression and misinformation could be mediated by change in trust. Individuals with depression could exhibit less willingness to trust institutions attempting to combat misinformation…As anticipated, we also found that individuals who embraced health misinformation were less likely to be vaccinated or be willing to get the vaccine if available….If causation could be established, it might suggest strategies aimed at reducing the consequences of depression in terms of misinformation. To date, efforts to combat the impact of misinformation on public health predominantly emphasize reduction in supply. In parallel, it may be possible to develop interventions targeting negativity bias that reduce demand, or at least modulate the capacity of misinformation to impact health decision-making…”

Changes in COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy Among Black and White Individuals in the US

Question  How has COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy changed among Black and White individuals in the US since vaccines became publicly available?

Findings  This survey study of 1200 US adults found that COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy decreased more rapidly among Black individuals than among White individuals since December 2020. A key factor associated with this pattern seems to be the fact that Black individuals more rapidly came to believe that vaccines were necessary to protect themselves and their communities.

Meaning  This study suggests that ongoing efforts to increase vaccine uptake among Black individuals in the US should attend to a range of vaccination barriers beyond vaccine hesitancy.

HOW TO SIGN UP FOR FREE COVID EMAILS FROM JOHNS HOPKINS

FRIDAY HOPKINS NOTES:

1. How Does Omicron Spread so Fast? A High Viral Load Isn’t the Answer (Nature) In countries around the world, Omicron has rapidly surged past other variants to become the dominant SARS-CoV-2 strain. Now, two studies show that the variant has achieved success despite causing viral levels in the body that are similar to — or lower than — those of its main competitor, the Delta variant 1,2. The results suggest that Omicron’s hyper-transmissibility does not stem from the release of large amounts of virus from infected people. Instead, the best explanation for its lightning-fast spread is its ability to evade SARS-CoV-2 immunity caused by either vaccination or past infection, says Emily Bruce, a virologist at the University of Vermont in Burlington.

2. Generic Drug Makers Sign on to Make Merck COVID-19 Antiviral (CIDRAP) Following an initial licensing deal in October between the United Nations–based Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) and Merck to allow pharmaceutical companies in other countries to make molnupiravir, an oral antiviral for treating COVID-19, the MPP today announced agreements with 27 generic makers.

Jan 22 Becker 

COVID-positive employees returning to work: 2 CEOs share their protocols

J. Harris: Att. Employers.

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/21/2022

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/21/2022

THE BEST COVID TEST ARTICLE AND HOW TO DO IT I HAVE SEEN–KEEP

Comparison of mRNA-1273 and BNT162b2 Vaccines on Breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 Infections, Hospitalizations, and Death During the Delta-Predominant Period

”…The 60-day hospitalization risk was 12.7% (392/3078) for mRNA-1273 [MODEERNA]recipients and 13.3% (2489/18 737) for BNT162b2 [PFIZEER] recipients. The 60-day mortality was 1.14% (35/3078) and 1.10% (207/18 737) for mRNA-1273 and BNT162b2 recipients, respectively. Among the matched cohorts, mRNA-1273 recipients (n = 3054) had a lower risk of 60-day hospitalizations than BNT162b2 recipients (n = 3054) (HR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.70-0.91). No significant difference was observed for mortality (HR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.50-1.23).

J. Harris: As far as I can see, with the Delta Variant, there not much difference in which one of the mRNA vaccines one takes. I’m still looking for a good “Mix and Match” vaccine article.

COVID-19 Cases and Hospitalizations by COVID-19 Vaccination Status and Previous COVID-19 Diagnosis — California and New York, May–November 2021

”…What is added by this report?

During May–November 2021, case and hospitalization rates were highest among persons who were unvaccinated without a previous diagnosis. Before Delta became the predominant variant in June, case rates were higher among persons who survived a previous infection than persons who were vaccinated alone. By early October, persons who survived a previous infection had lower case rates than persons who were vaccinated alone.’

FROM HOPKINS SUMMARY OF THE ABOVE STUDY:

COVID-19 IMMUNE LANDSCAPE With cases of COVID-19 continuing to surge worldwide due to the Omicron variant of concern (VOC), scientists are looking to recent experiences with the Delta variant to shed insight into what the immune landscape might look like for individuals who are unvaccinated and have recovered from previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, those who are vaccinated, and those who are both recovered and vaccinated. The world will be in a significantly different place after Omicron subsides, with millions of people having at least short-term immune memory of its distinct S-gene mutations. More people than ever before will have some form of natural immunity against SARS-CoV-2, but it is unclear the extent to which recent infection might protect against future infection or hospitalization. In a new report[ABOVE] published in the US CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), researchers examined case and hospitalization rates in New York and California during the surge of the Delta VOC. They describe a complex immune landscape through the beginning of Delta’s takeover to the time when it became the predominant global variant. 

Initially, in May 2021, vaccinated persons with no prior infection had the lowest rates of hospitalization, but as Delta began to infect more people and cause breakthrough cases, individuals with previous infection were less likely to be hospitalized compared to unvaccinated persons with no prior infection. From May 2021 to June 2021, vaccinated persons with no prior infection had the lowest hospitalization rates of any other group at 27.7-fold lower compared with unvaccinated persons with no prior infection. But from October 2021 to November 2021, hospitalization rates among vaccinated persons with prior infection were 57.5-fold lower and 55.3-fold lower among unvaccinated individuals with prior infection, compared with unvaccinated individuals with no prior infection. By comparison, hospitalization rates in vaccinated persons with no prior infection were 19.8-fold lower. These data suggest that natural immunity from prior infection can play an important role in preventing severe consequences of subsequent SARS-CoV-2 infections, even among those who have not been fully vaccinated. 

Some important context to these findings is that the shift in protection from vaccine-alone to vaccine-plus-prior infection occurred during a time of known waning immunity from initial rounds of vaccination. Additionally, people who were fully vaccinated with an additional booster dose were not evaluated as a separate group in this study. All of these data point to having high levels of antibodies—whether vaccine-induced, naturally acquired, or a combination—as vital in protecting against hospitalization and severe COVID-19 outcomes. It is still unclear whether these patterns will hold for the Omicron VOC, which has a greatly different viral profile compared with previous variants. Hospitals are still reporting that the unvaccinated have the highest risk of severe COVID-19, while the group with the lowest risk of severe COVID-19 are those who are fully vaccinated and boosted, underscoring the continuing need for vaccines and booster doses.  

A word of caution: Some might interpret these findings as a “green light” to ignore all COVID-19 precautions and take unnecessary risks for themselves and others. Even if natural immunity does confer protection for an extended time, the consequences of contracting and recovering from COVID-19 cannot be overstated; it is estimated that 15-80% of people recovering from illness will experience “long COVID,” or prolonged symptoms including brain fog, dizziness, loss of taste and smell, and other symptoms which can alter daily life for those affected. While those who might get COVID-19 twice do seem fortunate in that their bodies are better able to fight off the newest infection, it is still better never to become infected with SARS-CoV-2 because of the uncertainties of long-term sequelae. Vaccines, masks, and physical distancing are all still vital tools in bringing an end to the pandemic with as few deaths as possible.

      Coming tomorrow, a Chicken Pox story

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/20/2022

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/20/2022

For Jan. 19, the Covid Counts are essentially unchanged in Area G. I hope to see lower counts by about Wed???(Weekend cases should be accounted for by then.)

EDUCATION UPDATE FROM THE NYT

(J. Harris: The NYT invites educators to subscribe to this weekly article (s).

Information for parents of school children is also included and seems helpful.)

FROM HOPKINS:

The Pandemic’s True Death Toll: Millions More Than Official Counts (Nature) Demographers, data scientists and public-health experts are striving to narrow the uncertainties for a global estimate of pandemic deaths. These efforts, from both academics and journalists, use methods ranging from satellite images of cemeteries to door-to-door surveys and machine-learning computer models that try to extrapolate global estimates from available data. Among these models, the World Health Organization (WHO) is still working on its first global estimate, but the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle, Washington, offers daily updates of its own modeled results, as well as projections of how quickly the global toll might rise. And one of the highest-profile attempts to model a global estimate has come from the news media. The Economist magazine in London has used a machine-learning approach to produce an estimate of 12 million to 22 million excess deaths — or between 2 and 4 times the pandemic’s official toll so far.

IN THE ABOVE COVID DEATH MODELS, THE NUMBERS ARE IN MILLIONS OF DEATHS

Vaccine Passports Help Boost Lagging Vaccination Rates

Sewage studies offer clues to when Omicron might fade.

”…According to Biobot Analytics, a company tracking the coronavirus in wastewater in 183 communities across 25 states, viral levels have already begun to decline in many big cities but are still rising in smaller communities…“Wastewater surveillance is a really powerful tool, and we’re seeing really a good example of that with Omicron, It’s not just an early warning sign, but it’s also helpful to monitor the full trajectory of a surge.”

The effect of maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection timing on birth outcomes: a retrospective multicentre cohort study

”…The results suggest that additional monitoring of birth outcomes following first or second trimester maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection is warranted. The pregnant people who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in this study were unvaccinated against COVID-19; therefore, it would be interesting to examine in future studies whether vaccination helps to prevent negative birth outcomes in breakthrough cases….”

(J. Harris: A long, comprehensive piece.)

AND LAST BUT NOT LEASED:

What do you say to comfort a friend who’s struggling with grammar? There, their, they’re.

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Opinion: A Slap In The Face

 Opinion: A Slap In The Face

By George Smith  — January 19, 2022

Patriotic Americans, real Americans, ALL citizens who love this country and believe in the Constitution as a living document, should be four-square in favor of the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

Creating rules simply to make voting by eligible citizens harder is, simply, un-American.

Passing laws and/or reforming voting district boundaries to make it harder for people to vote, or to render their vote ineffective, is a slap in the face of any attempt to have an honest, ethical government.

Yet, here we are: One party, unhappy with the recent voting trends, are changing the rules and making it harder for so-called opponents of their policies and programs to have an honest say-so at the ballot box.

If American political leaders truly believed in “equality under the law”, they would hold hands and pledge to create a system which encouraged a safe and easy way for every eligible citizen to vote … easy, with convenience, just not ”often”.

Voting is a right of all eligible Americans. Nothing — NOTHING — should ever be considered to create a hardship to excising that basic right.

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/19/2022

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/19/2022

Covid (Omicron) cases are falling slightly in the US, but not in the South, not in Harrison County where our vaccination rate is only 38%. As far as the magic ”15’%” Covid Capacity in Area G hospitals: we were at 3.4% at Christmas; we are at 16.8% now.  It should start down in a few more days.  J. Harris

ORDER FREE COVID TESTS VIA EMAIL, QUICK AND EASY

 YOU CAN ALSO ORDER THE TESTS AT   USPS.com®.

(You will need to know your name and mailing address and email address.)

400 million nonsurgical N95 masks available, free of charge, at community health centers and retail pharmacies across the United States.

”…The White House said in a statement on Wednesday that the government would begin shipping N95 masks to pharmacies and health centers at the end of this week, and that the masks were expected to be available at the end of next week. The program would be in full gear by early February…”

Types of Masks and Respirators

81% of ICU beds in use nationwide: How each state stacks up

How Soon After Having a COVID Breakthrough Infection Should You Get a Booster Shot?

(J. Harris: Good, readable article. Don’t wait long. )

AND LAST BUT NOT LEASED:

 Sometimes, someone unexpected comes into your life out of nowhere, makes your heart race, and changes you forever. We call those people cops.

I’m trying to organize a hide-and-seek tournament, but good players are really hard to find.

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/18/2022

From MNM: Last weeks New Covid Cases:

FROM THE NYT: Death rates are likely to go up in the next two weeks.

Can You Reuse a KN95 or N95 Mask? Experts Say Yes, but Follow These Steps

Case Series of Thrombosis With Thrombocytopenia Syndrome After COVID-19 Vaccination—United States, December 2020 to August 2021

J. Harris: There were a few cases of vaccine induced clotting due to J&J Vaccine (3.8/million doses given,  but probably none due to Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

From MNM:

“We’re about to catch on fire”: Inside a Texas hospital battling omicron and staffing shortages

AND LAST BUT NOT LEASED:

I once worked at a cheap pizza shop to get by. I kneaded the dough.

  When I told my contractor I didn’t want carpeted steps, he gave me a blank stare.

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Opinion: It’s Been A Year

 Opinion: It’s Been A Year

By George Smith  — January 17, 2022

It’s been a year since Joe Biden took the oath of office to become the 46th president of the United States.

It has been a horrendous year for the president, the nation, the world.

Covid won’t retreat. Russia is rattling sabers. The Democrats Party is strangling itself with internal conflict. The GOP is manipulating the absolute right to vote for every citizen. Vice President Kamala Harris is AWOL and most people could care less. Biden’s cornerstone policy changes in voter registration and laws, and filibuster reform seem to be spectral fantasies.

Inflation is whooooo-high: Gas prices climbing; a single tamale at a taqueria can run $3.25; you can see the back of an abundance of grocery shelves; prices across the board continue to climb.

 It is a sucker bet that the Republicans will regain control of Congress at November’s midterm elections.

To put it succinctly: President Biden is a lame duck president with 1,095.75 days left in his presidency.

It is not an overstatement that our democracy is in peril. The most divided national populous in 160-plus years is simmering and seems ready to implode.

The causes are apparent: Stress over the pandemic, an inept administration which displayed great promise and vision but had no viable game plan to execute necessary strategy; a worn-out leader who could not hark back to his younger days and build fences; cabinet members with bad public policy ideas, inexperience in their bureaucratic arena of interest…or both; partisan politicos of both parties more interested in personal programs and maintaining power than in ensuring the future of America.

Bottom line: Same old, same old. The only thing certain is this downward  spiral of democracy that what we are experiencing today will get worse before it gets better.

And, here’s hoping that better days are ahead. Because what we, as individuals, as a nation, as a global community, are going through now quite simply … sucks.

For positive change to occur, the words and actions of calm patriots must prevail and our leaders must embrace the true ideals of democracy.

All the average citizen can do at this point is pray.

Prayer can’t hurt at a time when the United States needs a true and lasting miracle.

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