Signs of Hope

Today is Christmas Day, 2021. Therefore, the Spirited Reasoner is determined to focus only on the positive. Surprisingly enough, there is quite a lot to be hopeful about as we end one year and roll out a new one.

While some might point to the many college and professional sporting events that have been postponed or canceled due to COVID-19 protocols, the Spirited Reasoner prefers to concentrate on the nearly full glass of seasonal eggnog. Almost all the bowl games (as of today) appear to be going ahead as scheduled. Wasn’t it just one short year ago when all events like these that were scheduled during the holiday season were essentially locked down? What a difference a year makes!

As we look around the world, we note that the United States is no longer at war. That situation could change, of course, at the drop of a hat. But isn’t it worth noting, and celebrating, this brief window during which fewer bombs are dropping out of the skies?

Meanwhile, our stock markets, at least so far, appear to be unfazed by the twin scourges of COVID-19 and inflation, preferring instead to focus on the resilient nature of this nation’s remarkable economy.

And then there’s the fact that vaccinations against COVID-19, especially when boosted, appear to ameliorate the worst effects of the Omicron variable now sweeping the nation. Although too many people are getting sick and continue to die, those who have chosen to protect themselves are—to a remarkable degree—less prone to need hospitalization. People are actually traveling to see family members again!

Earlier this year, Congress passed, and President Biden signed, an infrastructure bill that will begin to take root in 2022. Its effects will soon become noticeable across the nation, as roads and bridges are improved, airports and rail systems are modernized, and wi-fi is made available to folks in places that have long been dead zones.

And, last but not least, Senator Joe Manchin appears to be rethinking his position, considering the support of at least some sort of scaled-down version of President Biden’s “Build Back Better” legislation. Any progress on that front would do wonders to improve the President’s sagging poll numbers.

So you see? Things aren’t all bad. In fact, when all is considered, we’re in a much better spot now than we were only one short year ago.

Happy New Year to Spirited Reasoners, no matter in what far-flung corner of the world you may be reading these words!