By Robert Scott
All writers in Op Ed are here to inform and acknowledge issues of importance to our communities, however these writings represent the views and opinions of the authors and not necessarily of The Advertiser.
There is so much political division in our great country today that, too often, we seem to be made up of two groups, who have agreed with one another only as far as recognizing that each side considers themselves correct on all issues and the other side totally wrong. The issues might be “Black Lives Matter” vs. “All Lives Matter,” or “Right To Life” vs. “Right To Choose,” or “The Government Can Solve This Problem” vs. ”The Government Is The Problem.” Unfortunately, another such issue is COVID-19, with the two sides being “Vaccines For Everybody Is the Only Solution” vs. “I Have a Right Not to Vaccinate.” Unlike those other issues, though, this one is going to play out in a way that will show which side really is correct. We have an “I Told You So” moment coming up, and it is coming up in a matter of months if not of just weeks.
One possible “I Told You So” outcome is this. With the so-called Delta Variant spreading across South Carolina and across the world, and with (as of this week) only 50% of adult South Carolinians having been vaccinated, there will be a new wave of sickness, of hospitalizations, and of deaths due to COVID-19. As of this writing, over 99% of those currently contracting severe symptoms of COVID-19 are the unvaccinated – not just adults but children as well. This is particularly tragic in the case of children, since even those families who believe in the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines are not yet cleared to have their own children vaccinated; there just isn’t enough data in yet, to ensure that vaccines are safe for children. This “I Told You So” crowd will try to protect not just their own but everybody’s children with masks and social distancing. If the pandemic hits hard once again, they will use those words to point out that the large number of people who become ill, and perhaps fatally ill, are mostly those adults – and their children – who squandered the opportunity to be vaccinated now, this summer, before the next surge hits.
The other “I Told You So” outcome is the opposite. No new surge of any noticeable proportions happens. Those who are not vaccinated and those who are vaccinated both contract COVID-19 but only in very small numbers and almost all with no serious effects, and people’s lives (and the economy) really do rebound to the healthy and prosperous outcome we all want. In that event, the “I Told You So” people will be those who have not (to their thinking) succumbed to panic but are working to restore education, normalcy, and prosperity to our state and to our nation.
Which outcome are we going to see? Who will be the ones saying “I Told You So” in a month, two months, three months from now? I find myself in the first camp, and I am already thinking, although not saying, those words when I see the media reports about massive outbreaks and hospitals becoming overwhelmed in Missouri, in Arkansas, and (to a lesser extent) in Florida.
But I sincerely hope I am wrong. I will be overjoyed if my neighbors and friends in Edgefield County who disagree with me and who find themselves in that second camp, can rightfully say to me, “I Told You So,” in just a few months, as this pandemic winds down.
Which camp do you find yourself in, dear reader, as we head together into August, 2021?