By Dan Spalding
My mother-in-law might be elderly, but she’s still sharp as a tack and incredibly easy-going.
But for a moment, that changed last week.
The retired health care worker has taken every precaution when it comes to the pandemic. I’ve only seen her twice since March and when we did gather recently for a visit on her porch, everyone wore masks.
But she was especially blunt when she said she’s tired of the pandemic. It was a rare moment for her as she did everything but stomp her foot.
She’s not alone. We’re all fatigued, frustrated and fed up.
Unfortunately, there are signs the pandemic is getting worse, not better. Readers of the Drudge Report and other news sites woke up this morning to more alarming headlines that sound ominous.
The United States hit an all-time high in new coronavirus cases on Friday, Oct. 23, surpassing the previous mark set during a summer surge across the Sun Belt. Friday’s tally of new U.S. cases — the first above 80,000 — comes as COVID-19 hospitalizations are soaring across the country, according to the Washington Post.
Indiana is one of 38 states that is seeing a rise in cases and Kosciusko County is part of that trend as the death toll has risen to 26, according to the state’s dashboard.
Marshall County, which has seen a similar number of deaths and cases, declared a health emergency last week because of a growing shortage of hospital beds.
Some area school districts are sounding alarms, with Rochester Community Schools taking a two-day break from in-school learning. Grace College’s president admitted last week in a letter that we’re “not out of the woods” yet. That’s probably an understatement.
Complicating matters is Election Day just ten days away. The pandemic isn’t going to fade after Election Day. That now appears to be a certainty.
And that leaves a lot of elected leaders in a quandary.
It’s safe to say Gov. Eric Holcomb, the frontrunner in a three-way race for re-election, won’t take any new action before Nov. 3, and will face incredibly tough choices afterward if circumstances continue to worsen.
Nationally, it’s hard to envision President Donald Trump taking any action if he wins or loses and he may well choose to ignore the issue and leave it for Joe Biden to deal with if Trump loses.
Meanwhile, our lawmakers are flailing over if and when to pass another relief package, and you can bet the election will be a factor.
So if any change is to happen, it will be left at the grassroots level. But even Kosciusko County’s health officer, Dr. William Remington, admits there is no appetite for another shutdown. That’s also probably an understatement.
This means the direction of this pandemic is in the hands of you and me, your neighbors and your family. We all need to do better, including me.
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GOP DINNER – Second District Congresswoman Jackie Walorski will be the keynote speaker Thursday night, Oct. 29, when the Kosciusko County GOP hosts its annual Hall of Fame dinner at the Owl’s Nest.
Sen. Todd Young will likely not be able to attend, but could make a short statement via Zoom, said GOP Chair Mike Ragan.
Regardless, if Amy Coney Barrett is approved by the Senate before Thursday’s dinner, one could expect a celebratory atmosphere as conservatives rejoice in a decisive shift in the balance of the US Supreme Court.
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POLITICAL TIDBITS – Some things to consider:
- More than one million Hoosiers have requested early ballots and some 50 million have already cast ballots nationwide. Kosciusko County is part of that historic trend. With a few hours to go on the final day Thursday for voters to request a mail-in ballot, 4,011 people had done so. That’s four times as many compared to 2016.
- If you missed the first debate last week between candidates running for governor, you’ll have another chance on Tuesday, Oct. 27. The race between Gov. Holcomb, Democrat Woody Myers and Libertarian Donald Rainwater will be available on various channels, including PBS channels across the state. The debate starts at 7 p.m.
- Some conservative friends were ecstatic – ecstatic I tell you – about President Trump’s civil approach during Thursday’s debate with Joe Biden. What that tells me, however, is how quietly disappointed they’ve been with his behavior for four years.
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Dan Spalding is the editor at InkFreeNews.com.
He covers city government and politics and always welcomes your input.
He can be reached at [email protected] or at (574) 855-7612.