Cathy Reilly Mug

Cathy Reilly, Assistant to the Publisher

I am thinking more of late that some are pushing the whole COVID and vaccine hoax conspiracies for the sole purpose of further polarizing our society. If that’s the case, I find it deeply troubling and extremely sad. It does not bode well for our collective future.  

I recently had a conversation about the pandemic and vaccinations with someone I’ve known for years. While I can empathize with concerns some may have about receiving a vaccination, it’s unsettling to know there are so many unvaccinated who are not willing to make any effort.  

The take of my partner in this discussion: “We have to find a way to preserve people’s freedoms.” And somehow public health measures equate to tyranny. Hey, I can get behind freedom — but not how they meant. 

What about the liberties of those of us who have chosen to be vaccinated? Of those who are too young or too medically fragile to be vaccinated? We have the right to live without fear of variants that can incubate and spread among the unvaccinated, potentially causing great harm to us all.  

Furthermore, as much as I do not love wearing a mask and staying out of crowded indoor spaces, we know that those approaches are effective in lowering the risk of transmission.

Another topic of our conversation: Silver-bullet medicines that have not been proven effective in treating COVID. And even though a drug like Regeneron has its sliver of supporters, why should the public foot the bill for cures when we already have three perfectly good and free vaccines? 

Finally, this country professes to love and value children — but when it comes right down to it, for so many that sentiment is purely performative. Otherwise there would be no argument about whether masks should be worn in schools. But incredibly our country has some local and state governments that are banning masking mandates in educational settings. And now we are school closures due to outbreaks. Worse, there have been both students and teachers who have died of COVID. It is simply madness.

When I cannot make sense of things, I often try to envision what will be written of this period in the history books of the future. That sometimes brings me solace and peace — but right now it only brings anguish. Because, when all is said and done, the records of this era will show many who could have made a difference were extremely selfish, more concerned with their precious power than doing what is right for our society at large.

— Staff notes originally run in our daily email newsletter, Indy Now, along with news updates, photos of the day, a weekly poll and more. Sign up below.