Opinion: 2022: Like 2020, but with more disasters

Or, in the case of this year, new disasters, new disappointments and “Groundhog Day” feeling like 2020 is in the infinity.

Still, many Americans spend the new year at home in their pajamas, fearing rising rates of COVID-19. But some things are fresh: Virginia has a fresh hell of an incredible traffic jam on I-95, where hundreds of drivers were caught after heavy snowfall on Monday.

For hours, handicapped trucks blocked traffic and halted all activities. The drivers, many of whom were with children and pets in the car, left without food, water or bathrooms, some running out of fuel in freezing temperatures. Even Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine reportedly got caught on the road in the kind of disaster you wouldn’t expect to see on a major street in one of the world’s wealthiest countries. It’s January After All – Sure Someone come Snowfall was predictable on the roads.

Drivers are not the only ones in Virginia who are stuck in transit. Thousands of flights have been canceled around the world due to bad weather, staff shortages and the ongoing pandemic, leaving fliers stranded and anxious to go home. (This weekend, I was one of them.) After two years of travel hesitations and empty airplanes, a huge number of travelers decided to visit their loved ones or experience something new for the holidays. He definitely paid the price. The frustration of being stuck away from home or (in my case) having a major airline completely cut off all flights to many different countries is certainly unrecognizable after two years of Covid-induced isolation, though maybe like that. The new experience was not expected. For a long awaited visit.
Like “2022: 2020, but with more disasters” most of us didn’t expect this year to go by. But four days in, it looks like that’s where we’re going.

I think there’s one bright spot: At least we’re not starting excessive diets and paying for gym memberships that would go to waste.

I have been vaccinated, raised and have no health problems.  i am traveling for the holidays
Instead of New You’s plans, the new year began with a new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, that began a rapid global spread late last year and is now ravaging the United States. According to a study by the UK Health Security Agency, the good news is that Americans who have been vaccinated and raised are significantly more resilient to Omicron – eight times more likely to be hospitalized than non-vaccinated people those who keep themselves safe. The bad news is that a critical mass of Americans are not vaccinated, which puts them at serious risk if they contact Omicron or another COVID variant (by the way, Delta is still moving forward). And those unvaccinated Americans put us all at risk, and not just because they’re more likely to contract COVID in the first place: they’re filling up hospital beds and overwhelming health care systems, which means that if You get into a car accident or need chemotherapy or knee surgery, you may have to wait for care.
Omicron also means, as we’re calling it back in schools, parents are in an impossible situation: School closures and distance learning were a nightmare to which some parents want to return, but many also want to return to their homes. Don’t want to risk exposing kids. A highly contagious version. Plus, there are basic logistics: how can schools stay open if too many teachers and staff members are sick? And these debates are taking place in cities like New York, which have at least basic protections, such as mandatory masks at school. In many other parts of the US, teachers are being forced to enter classrooms unsafely, and their districts and schools are barred from enforcing basic public health protocols.
Obviously, COVID spreads more rapidly and more seriously when the mitigation tools we have – vaccines, masks inside – are not used. Obviously, our lives are being badly disrupted. And disappointingly, we still lack the physical and humanitarian infrastructure we need to handle everything from adequate emergency response to affordable child care to safe schools to working airlines (unlike those that only require job cuts). Taxpayers take dollars and put services in the pockets of Line shareholders radically reducing (at the expense of passengers).

Soon, large numbers of parents could be back at home, trying to work all day while zooming in on their kids’ classrooms, everyone exhausted, sad and hopeless as if it’s 2020 again. That is, if they ever get off I-95.


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