The Covid-19 two-year anniversary is upon us, now what?
Last updated 2/24/2022 at 3:55pm
Supervisor Jim Desmond
With over 900,000 Americans and over 4,800 people locally who died with Covid, it brought tragedy and hopelessness that left a hole in our lives that will never be filled.
We’ve seen challenges with child development as kids lag with two years of modified or hybrid school. Behavioral health issues increased dramatically while drug overdoses spiked.
It’s very important we take a step back and learn from this historically difficult time.
From this tragic, front of mind pandemic, there is a cumulative impact that touches so many of us. The responsible precautions we exercised, due to covid, separated us. And for the better part of two years, families, friends and neighbors have been both physically and emotionally separated.
Social media only exacerbates distancing. In many social online circles, tensions were at an all-time high. If you spend five minutes on social media you’ll see a chasm of divisiveness. Debates between former friends, colleagues, and fellow Americans spin out of control, further driving separation.
Our San Diego County Board of Supervisors meetings have been quite the spectacle. At times they are comical, (making late night shows throughout the world) and at other times, completely out of line with racial abuse and personal threats.
Learning from the recent past, I propose we move forward with a healthy respect. A healthy respect for the virus and its variants; and, most importantly, a healthy respect for each other.
As a blueprint for living with the virus evolves, it is time for us to put physical and emotional distances behind us and come together, on the path of civility.
Earlier this week, the Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to request the State’s Department of Public Health for a “safe and responsible path'' toward phasing out pandemic-related mask requirements for school children from kindergarten through 12th grade. And while in the recent past we board members have not always seen eye to eye, this is a day and a goal we all wanted.
As we reach across the divide, there will still be differing thoughts on the approach to our changed world. Vigorous, respectful discussion and debate is fundamental to the success of our region. Collaboration and compromise are too often lost in local, state, and federal politics. In San Diego County, as in America, we need to encourage and reinforce that civil discourse, and accept that others will not always agree.
At this point, the separation that has occurred these past two years is what concerns me more than anything. Vaccinated versus unvaccinated, masked versus maskless, widespread isolation – it’s time for common decency to prevail, and for us to come together, safely, responsibly and respectfully as Americans.