The best or the worst of times?


Charles Dickens may have been correct about his era: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” 

In our “season of darkness,” stormy waves of deaths from the highly-contagious Delta variant rank the Covid-19 pandemic atop the list of America’s pandemics. More than 710,000 deaths have already been registered. The 1918-19 Spanish influenza pandemic killed about 675,000 Americans; it no longer holds the winner’s silver cup. 

Faith is a “belief” in something, or someone, absent evidence to support said belief; in fact, empirical evidence frequently contradicts Faith. It is the nature of “Faith” that believers don’t examine their “belief” too closely; dogma remains unchangeable. 

Alternatively, Fact is a conclusion based on empirical evidence. Accepted facts change when new evidence is discovered. Anthropologists did not think Neanderthals interbred with Homo sapiens, but when advanced genetic technologies were developed, new facts told a different story; we all have Neanderthal DNA in our genome. 

An overwhelming majority of Americans that died recently were not vaccinated. Highly infectious COVID 19-Delta slashed through the unvaccinated, with deaths concentrated in the South, a region seriously trailing in “getting the shot.” Every age group younger than 55 (including children) has reached its highest death tolls. Unvaccinated people are 10 times more likely to die than vaccinated folks. Vaccines are proven to be highly effective, safe and readily available. Yet, barely half, only 56 percent of eligible Americans are fully vaccinated. A wretched and totally unnecessary “Greek tragedy.” 

The avalanche of COVID-19 infections has caused most hospitals to become stretched, most beyond their capacity. Overwhelmed hospitals treating mostly unvaccinated infections prevent others from receiving lifesaving medical treatments. Heart disease, strokes, life-threatening accidents, serious gunshot wounds and many other medical emergencies go unattended. There is no room left at the “Inn of Medicine.” 

A reasonable argument could be made that very ill folks unable to get into hospitals for treatments actually die from COVID. How? Because unvaccinated folks receiving treatments in overwhelmed hospitals prevent otherwise deserving-of-care seriously sick folks from getting lifesaving care. 

This is unacceptable. Worse than just shameful and immoral, it is unpatriotic to fail to do one’s duty in a time of war. And war this is! Casualties from the COVID War have surpassed all our “other” wars. We have the necessary “weapons” to win this war, to conquer the enemy, and to prevent unnecessary deaths, but only if we choose the right battlefield plan. 

Beware boys and girls, the “other” enemy – the Industry of Deception — also has effective weapons. Theirs are lies, which have created wholesale failures of common-sense rationality among too many of our countrymen/women. We now are drowning in a flood of fantasy conspiracies such as: COVID-19 vaccines contain microchips or can change our DNA, along with other deliberate fictions about the toxicity of vaccines and the fabricated dangers of wearing masks. 

Excuse me, doesn’t the ninth of God’s 10 Commandments say “Do not bear false witness;” that is, do not lie. What about believing lies? 

The Commerce of Lies has become a booming business, aided and abetted by social media that doesn’t prohibit the world-wide transmission of outright lies. In the long run, falsified beliefs, based on disproven creations, are unsustainable. The “house of cards” built with untruths, targeted to corrode medical facts, is doomed to fail. But what grave harm will befall us before that fake edifice implodes ignominiously upon itself? 

We are captains of our own destiny. We have free-will to make choices, some of them difficult. Such choices are within our own capacity to decide either to trot the trail of truth or to limp along the road paved with rotten deceptions leading to perdition. 

If you choose not to be vaccinated, that is your right as a denizen of a free country. But, good citizenship and patriotism are duties that must ride shotgun on the stagecoach of righteousness. 

What is your best choice for how to control the tiller of your own ship of fate? There are life-changing choices to make in our “winter of despair,” and they all have consequences: good, bad and the very ugly. 

It is a proven fact, beyond all rational and reasonable doubt, that COVID-19 vaccines save lives. The Department of Health and Human Services has verified that in the first five months of 2021, vaccinations likely prevented about 265,000 coronavirus infections, 107,000 hospitalizations and 39,000 deaths of Medicare receivers. 

Truth will always prevail. There is still time to board the Train of Truth. Have you bought your ticket yet? 

“Well, all I know is what I read in the newspapers.” – Will Rogers. 

David M. Taub was Mayor of Beaufort from 1990 through 1999 and served as a Beaufort County Magistrate from 2010 to 2015. You can reach him at david.m.taub42@gmail.com. 

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