I was hoping to begin this missive by paraphrasing an old radio newsman who began his nightly newscasts with the cheery “There’s good news tonight!” Unfortunately, some of what seemed to be good news has become not so good, and some has shifted into the “iffy” category. There is, however, some really good news, but I’ll begin with the not so good.
It looked to be really good news that Congress passed the very long awaited and often contentious, second COVID-19 relief bill in the wee hours of Monday. That high came crashing down on Tuesday when the president (thankfully for only four more weeks) declared that he wouldn’t sign the completely bipartisan legislation.
After much wrangling and arguing, a group of senators, led by Lisa Murkowski (R-Arkansas), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), and Dick Durbin (D-Illinois), put together the framework that became the final bill that passed the House of Representatives and Senate by wide margins. Even Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, saw it favorably and Lindsey Graham pitched it to Trump, who seemed supportive of the effort. Then, the POTUS decided it was too little, even though it’s about twice what the Republicans had initially proposed, with Trump’s backing.
In the “iffy” group is the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine.
On the good side, there are two vaccines now approved for use and they are being distributed throughout the country, even to our little corner of the world. However, available supplies of the vaccines, as well as syringes and other ancillary supplies, seem to be something less than what had been envisioned previous to their approvals. Bummer. Seems that we’ll all have to wait a bit longer to get our shots, and I do plan on being at least close to the head of the line when my turn comes up. I also totally urge everyone to get one or the other of the vaccines as soon as they are available to you. It’s the one way we can get our lives back.
Also in the “iffy” news, the Ravens still have a shot at making the playoffs as long as they win their last two games, which are completely winnable, but they also are lose-able, too, if the team doesn’t keep its focus. However, they’ll need some help in the way of wins against other playoff hopefuls by some of our rivals. We’ll just have to root harder and cross our fingers.
On the totally good news front, the annual Holiday Hope charity drive blasted well past the goal for this year. With checks still come in through the U.S. Mail, the total total has already exceeded $175,000. This simply shows that companies and regular citizens of our county are more than willing, I might say eager, to help those in need of a hand in times like these. Thank you, to all of those who donated any amount, and especially to those who have the means to make large donations. Your support of this, and all of the efforts throughout the year, is greatly appreciated.
As you read this, the wrapping paper has been burned or put into the recycling bin, toys are still strewn about, the new clothes have been put away (or already worn and in the laundry), and if you’re like me, the leftovers from the feast are still part of the family dinner. I hope that whichever holiday you celebrate this time of year, it is/was everything that it could be, current situation notwithstanding. I also hope that, like we did last month, we all expressed our gratitude for the blessings that we have received during these trying times. We must all sincerely believe that things will eventually get back to “normal,” whatever that was.
Let me not be the last to wish one and all a happy holiday season.
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Bill Kennedy writes every other week from Taneytown. You may contact him at email@example.com.