For those who don't really know me - I am a 12 year old at heart - waterslides, inappropriate jokes, rollercoasters, driving CiCI crazy, and all aspects of bathroom humor. It was great getting away today with the family to be silly and enjoy some New Hampshire sunshine up at Water Country. Can’t seem to even write the words “water country” without singing the jingle in my head - I guess marketing really works.
There were 12 deaths assigned as covid related today and 262 more people were diagnosed as positive. We reached over 2 million tests year to date but our positivity is still staying under 2%. All the other metrics continue on the right trajectory so let's hope it keeps going this way.
Yesterday I needed to not write because I was angry and I want these nightly missives to come off as informational, unbiased, and apolitical as possible and I try to tamp down my emotions whenever I can. Although, shocker - I’m human so they inevitably come out. And for better or worse - I can’t stand politicians who spin everything and always plays it safe by telling everyone the world is just about rainbows, puppies, and unicorns because I respect my friends too much to try to pull that and you are too smart to fall for it anyway. That being said, it always amazes me how many people get mad when they ask for my opinion and I give it to them. As I have said before, I will always do my best for you, will work hard, and even if you don’t agree with me - please know I am trying.
So many things happened yesterday that set me off. First, the state screwed up with their data entry and made Wrentham Red causing all sorts of stress and panic (later corrected to yellow and then white). So frustrating that we are being told to rely on these maps and use them for the restart and the quality control appears to be non existent.
After that the 3 main Massachusetts Teachers Unions held a protest on the state house steps demanding to go full remote at the start of the school year despite the fact that 2/3rds of schools have already decided to go at least with a partial in person plan to start the year.
Then the government came out with the new guidelines for fall sports which was also incredibly disappointing. As a coach and a father of a football player - I can not begin to tell you how sad we are at my house. I continue to worry about the lack of socialization and the isolation of our children and what harm it is doing to them long term. Not to mention, I learned more about life and working in the real world through sports than anything else.
Interspersed throughout all of these hits were calls from different business owners asking me for help and seeing what they can do to save their businesses. As well as calls from folks who have lost their jobs and they do not know what to do. I can’t tell you how heart wrenching it is having these people call and plead for me to do something and I can’t.
Then the Governor declared that all children must have the flu vaccine this year because of covid. Spoiler alert - DPH corrected the Governor today that this edict of mandating flu shots is forever - not just this year. I’m really not sure how the Governor’s 60 day emergency declaration regarding covid now has morphed into mandating a vaccine that changes every year and has a roughly 50% efficacy rate for every child and young adult in the Commonwealth. This just strikes me as wrong on many different levels and I’m a pro vaccine guy and I get the flu shot most years. And who is making all the money on this - big pharma? - since we know they are only in it to help people and are never chasing the dollars. Since getting elected one of the things I always go to when something doesn’t make sense is to try and follow the money. Amazing how often that proves to be the answer - but I digress.
Maybe I am hyper sensitive to this new order in part due to the fact that our State Senator (Rausch) is trying to pass a law that takes away the religious exemption as a reason to not get a vaccination with additional limitations of medical exemptions. Again, is this where we are going in Massachusetts - not allowing people having a choice? And, if the flu virus has nothing to do with the COVID-19 virus as we have been repeatedly told - and since masks, washing hands, and social distancing are so effective in preventing the spread of both viruses - how are we going to know if we have no flu this season if it was because of these shots or was it the other precautions that really made the difference? Are we worried that the flu is going to be more severe this year because we has so significantly limited our herd immunity with all of this lock down? (For what it is worth - I have heard this fear discussed by several doctors and scientists -in other words from people way smarter than me) And why just the children and not the teachers and administrators if this will really make a difference? So now we basically know that covid vaccines are going to be mandated - but how early? - like I said, I’m typically pro vaccine but do I want my kids to be the very first to get a vaccine that has been rushed and green lighted - especially when the effect of the virus on children is so minimal.
But good news - Lt. Governor Polito today said that having fans back at Gillette to watch the Pats later in the season was a possibility the administration is open to exploring. Hmmmm, wonder if they are going to make all those season ticket holders get a vaccine or does Bob Kraft have veto power over that?
So many questions and so few answers. I am frustrated as I have so many people calling me on all of these issues and I don’t know what to do. Unfortunately, I’m not king (as opposed to someone else who I won’t name as some people feign hysteria when I refer to him as king) - and most of my fellow legislators seem to be ok with all of this. Passing the buck on making the tough decisions that we were elected to do. Anyway, I’m trying to get my head around all of this and come up with some answers.
Sorry for such a long, disjointed post and I appreciate you allowing me to post this cathartic vent although the Karen trolls will screen shot this and try to frame me as some crazy extremist. But the reality is I’m just a regular guy and most importantly a father and I’m confused and worried. I guess that is what they mean by the new norm. Lots of things keep me up at night - I just never thought our government would change so much so fast - it feels very much like out of a science fiction novel or a historical documentary - lots of worries but again I’m trying and I appreciate your support.