MEGHAN MCCAIN: Omicron is a whole new kind of scary but I still don’t want my two-year-old to grow up in a mask or spend the rest of my life getting new vaccinations every six months just for the privilege of being able to go to work
As we enter into the final few weeks of 2021 and a new year, I can’t help but feel an underlying sense of anxiety and hesitation about what 2022 could possibly bring us.
I am not trying to sound like The Grinch but I, like most of you, remember the excitement and jubilation of New Year’s 2020 as we were entering a new decade, ‘the roaring twenties’ if you will.
My husband and I were heavily tipsy on a rooftop in Barcelona, Spain watching fireworks and I remember feeling blissfully happy and full of anticipation and optimism for the new decade.
We all know what happened next, and for that matter, what has happened in the two years that followed.
I don’t need to tell any of you how much has changed for all of us.
My daughter is 14-months-old and I am dreading her turning two-year-old because I have no idea how I could keep a mask on a child for an extended period of time. She can barely keep a headband on her head. I also don’t want her to live in a world where she is required to do so despite overwhelming science and research that says she is at very little risk from Covid. A five-year-old in a mask is vaccinated in Massachusetts
The spread of Covid and the subsequent loss of life, optimism, feeling of overall safety and excitement has been a heavy burden all of us have carried around one way or another, no matter who you are or what country you live in.
Last year when New Year’s came, I had just become a mother and was still trying to navigate taking care of a newborn and sheltering in place for our safety.
The vaccine was not yet available, and I was still very scared about what Covid-19 could do to a newborn.
Ultimately, my husband and I spent Christmas alone without family because of fear of the virus.
I remember crying all morning and missing my family while playing Australian musician, Sia’s amazing Christmas song ‘Snowman’ on repeat (if you haven’t heard this song, download it immediately, it is this generation’s Christmas classic).
Cut to today. We are 10 days away from Christmas, 16 away from New Years.
This year, I am more comfortable seeing fully vaccinated family members, and while still listening to Christmas songs on repeat, feel cautiously hopeful as we slowly pull ourselves further and further away from the 2020 pandemic and its chaos.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul (pictured Tuesday) enacted a new mask mandate requiring workers to ‘mask at your desk,’ unless the venue has instituted a vaccine mandate. This lunatic mandate forces some employers to make their staff wear masks all day long
That is, until I check Twitter…
Yesterday, I saw an article that I immediately texted to a few friends who are equally obsessed with the extreme and irrational Covid laws and mandates in major American cities.
The latest update is both New York University and Fordham University will require all faculty, staff and students to be fully-vaccinated and receive a booster shot prior to the start of classes for the 2022 semester.
Along with that came news that New York Governor Kathy Hochul enacted a new mask mandate requiring workers to ‘mask at your desk,’ unless the venue has instituted a vaccine mandate. This lunatic mandate forces some employers to make their staff wear masks all day long.
And all these new rules are being imposed despite New York City having one of the highest vaccination rates in the country.
Finally, as of December 27, all New York City workers (whether they work indoors or outdoors) will be required to have received at least one vaccine shot, with no options to test-out of the requirements. If businesses are found not to be in compliance with this policy, they’ll be fined $1,000 per violation and more for repeat offenders.
Essentially, workers will have to be vaccinated to work or be fired. Plus, they are forced to wear masks no matter where they work or what the setting is.
Contrast this with our friends across the pond where half of the conservative Tory party rebelled against their own party’s prime minister, Boris Johnson, for pushing vaccine passports for large public gatherings like nightclubs and concerts. Can you imagine the response if Johnson sought to force workers to get vaccines to keep their jobs?
I need to state explicitly before anyone starts to have a panic attack, both I and my entire family are vaccinated. I believe in the efficacy of the vaccine and was both excited and relieved to receive ‘the jab’ as it has come to be known as last spring.
I was so happy I cried, hugged the nurse who administered the shot, and took pictures at the George Mason hospital ‘step and repeat’ banner.
It was an exciting moment that felt at the time like the beginning of the end of the pandemic, or at least what I felt I was promised to be the beginning of the end.
That feeling has soon faded.
With each season comes a new variant and with each variant comes new calls for boosters and extensions of the mandates.
Depending on what state and county you live in dictates the level of rigidness within which you are legally allowed to live.
As the media goes into a Christmas panic over the Omicron variant, just this morning Dr. Sanjay Gupta went on CNN and said that this variant ‘seems to be less severe’ than its predecessors. While it is more transmissible, it is also less deadly.
As of today, the Omicron variant is known to have killed one person globally, even though that number is tragically sure to rise. But for some college students in New York to go back to school they must receive the booster — something that was originally only recommended for the elderly and immunocompromised.
So where exactly does this leave us?
It appears there is a segment of the population that is entirely comfortable being masked forever, having our children as young as 2-years-old exist in a world where they are educated and socialized only if they have a mask on their face, and requiring that we get a booster shot — I can assume — every six months for the rest of our lives.
Except, if you live in Florida.
I am fully aware that I could be canceled from the coastal elite cities for writing this column, but why are we accepting that children should be wearing masks all day at schools indefinitely?
My daughter is 14-months-old and I am dreading her turning two-year-old because I have no idea how I could keep a mask on a child for an extended period of time.
She can barely keep a headband on her head. I also don’t want her to live in a world where she is required to do so despite overwhelming science and research that says she is at very little risk from Covid.
I am against all forms of mask mandates.
I am against vaccine mandates for workers. I am against major cities in America collectively living in a dystopian hellscape with draconian laws.
All of this not only is illogical and anti-science, it is a slippery slope infringement on civil liberties.
All I am sure that there are a group of Democratic lawmakers, who seem more inclined to making sure we have the pandemic forever than to helping pull us out of it.
The pandemic has ushered in historic cases of drug overdoses, depression, loneliness, unemployment, and overall cultural malaise.
The question I have for people like Governor Kathy Hochul is: Why aren’t you trying in every way you can to bring life back to normal instead of stalling it in Covid 2020 forever?
I personally know three people who are now relocating from New York and California to Florida. I don’t see this ending anytime soon, as long as, the New York progressives continue with their forever pandemic.
It breaks my heart, and quite frankly, New Yorkers deserve better than this junk science and extension of apocalyptic laws this Christmas and New Year.
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