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Editorial: Be thankful a vaccine is on the way and get ready to work together to beat this coronavirus

Holiday travelers crowd the ticketing area of terminal one Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020 at MSP in Minneapolis.
Holiday travelers crowd the ticketing area of terminal one Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020 at MSP in Minneapolis. Millions of Americans took to the skies and the highways ahead of Thanksgiving at the risk of pouring gasoline on the coronavirus fire, disregarding increasingly dire warnings that they stay 比特币交易网home and limit their holiday gatherings to members of their own household. (David Joles/Star Tribune via AP)
(ASSOCIATED PRESS)

It’s hard to be thankful when the coronavirus and COVID-19, the disease it causes, have killed 260,000 Americans in 10 months, and a third wave has led to 16 straight days of record hospitalizations and 2,000 deaths in a single day for the first time since May.

It’s hard to be thankful when the coronavirus and COVID-19, the disease it causes, have killed 260,000 Americans in 10 months, and a third wave has led to 16 straight days of record hospitalizations and 2,000 deaths in a single day for the first time since May.

Just as public health experts warned when the pandemic hit, it has also taken a heavy toll on mental health. Life now is all about quarantines, school closures, distance learning and grocery store visits that have become something to survive (with workers who have become something to celebrate) — on top of job losses, pay cuts, furloughs and fewer working hours. This has pushed some Americans to see public health campaigns as attacks on democracy. This inclination has been encouraged by President Donald Trump’s dangerous leadership (or lack thereof) and by the do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do hypocrisy of California Gov. Gavin Newsom and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on social distancing.

For the record:

9:42 a.m. Nov. 27, 2020This story has been corrected to reflect an error regarding the 1932 syphilis study.

Melancholy may be as common as defiance among Americans — a sense of loss that can be just as dangerous. In August, studies mental health page.

Yet there is much to be thankful for, starting with the fact that San Diego’s weather allows us to get and gather outside more safely than most of the nation — a mental health boost, especially with winter’s dark days still ahead. Technology allows many of us to connect with family we can’t see in person. And the cavalry is on the way. President-elect Joe Biden has made clear he will listen to experts, unlike his predecessor. And successful tests of three promising COVID-19 vaccines give hope that life may be more normal next year. Frontline health workers may start getting vaccinated in weeks.

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The questions hang perilously, though: How many of us will get vaccinated when we can? (Essential and health care workers and people 65 and older, in long-term care facilities and with high-risk medical conditions will be first.) Will the unprecedented effort build the herd immunity we need?

To accomplish that, Trump and Biden both need to start urging their tens of millions of supporters to get vaccinated — including any who see vaccines as skeptically as they do masks. And all those who get a first shot must get a second, which may be tough.

A as guinea pigs to test vaccine safety, and two, that wealthy White Americans would get shots over poor communities. Hundreds of Black Americans who were infected with syphilis were intentionally, callously denied treatment as part of a U.S. government study from 1932 to 1972.

In October, a Public Policy Institute of California poll found 7 in 10 Black residents would probably not or definitely not get new COVID-19 vaccinations compared to 4 in 10 Californians in general.

We need a public information campaign to win over every American. We need TV spots, social media ads, public figures everywhere — from Trump to teenage TikTok stars — in front of cameras. A coordinated effort to put this pandemic behind America — now that would be something to be thankful for.


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