The Tough Year

Fred Chong Rutherford
9 min readJan 1, 2021
Photo from Physics World;

This was a tough year. And I won’t lie, it’s going to get tougher.

A few days ago, I read about the situation that’s evolving around the country, for the hospitals. It’s like a worse version of what happened here, in New York City, 10 months ago. There’s so many sick people that hospitals are out of beds. If someone is in cardiac arrest, or needs an emergency room, there’s no where to take that person. People who may have lived won’t get that chance, and it’s not the fault of any doctor, nurse or hospital around the country, even though we’re all going to seek vengeance and blame once the crisis has passed.

The more contagious version of Covid-19 that appeared in the UK has already appeared in patients here in the United States, including in a 20 year old man in Florida. While so many people continue to get sick and die from this disease, as the hospitals overflow and people see what we saw, morgue trucks on street corners, there’s other people still in denial about what’s happening. A pharmacist a few days ago destroyed over 550 Covid-19 vaccines. In addition, vaccines aren’t getting to people quickly enough. This is bad for two reasons. The first reason this is bad is because the longer it takes to vaccinate our population, the longer the disease, its deadly effects, and the need for safety measures will continue. There’s already a substantial portion of our population that has been unable to tolerate social distancing and more; the longer we need to do this, the more people are likely to fail at it, even well-meaning people who truly don’t want to wish harm on anyone else, who nonetheless are willing to take a risk under the belief that the only harm they would bring is to themselves and the people around them, never considering the effect on hospital staff.

Among some hospital staff, there’s also skepticism about the vaccine. Most medical professionals know it can take 48 months to develop a vaccine. The mumps vaccine took 48 months to develop, and was considered one of the fastest vaccine programs in human history.

The fact that Covid-19 has a vaccine in less than that time means some people are worried the vaccine will be harmful. Couple that with people who deny the value of vaccines, who actively work against them, and we’re primed for a double-disaster. Consider the competence of the Trump administration; if you…