The last two years have been incredibly challenging as officials struggled to handle the Covid pandemic. One way the United States differed from most countries in the world is that it did not have a top-down approach. Although the Federal Government did provide guidance on when the two-weeks to flatten the curve began in March of 2020, each state in the Union chose its own path forward. The two ends of the spectrum were the deep blue states of New York and California on one side, and red state Florida on the other.
California was extremely aggressive with locking everyone down, closing schools, and mask mandates. Same for New York. Governor DeSantis in Florida eschewed mandates and kept the schools open. The studies are starting to roll in and you do not need to be a rocket scientist to know the results.
Thankfully Covid restrictions are rolling back across the country and life is returning to normal. There are hold-outs, however. Philadelphia just reinstated mask mandates. Most politicians are seeing the polling numbers and even the bluest cities have reversed. For example, Washington DC has dropped its requirements for vaccine passports and its mask mandate. The American people have clearly moved on.
The conflict in Ukraine is dominating the news and taking all the oxygen out of any other story. Even when Dr Fauci appears on the news you can tell that his recommendations have become an afterthought. The big question now is what is the path forward? Recent elections have shown that there is a strong preference for individual choice in mitigation efforts.
Blue Virginia recently elected Republican Glenn Youngkin as its governor. One of Youngkin’s main running points was that he would not impose vaccine or mask mandates. This was one of the issues that mobilized his base and resulted in enough voters crossing the aisle to carry him to victory. If we look forward to the midterm elections Democrats are projected to get crushed. One of the reasons is the draconian measures states like California and New York imposed. Covid’s lasting effects are not limited to health effects. There will be political ramifications for years to come.