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Let’s work to assure 2022 isn’t a sequel to 2021

Regarding the motion picture industry, most people look forward to sequels about as often as brand-new movies.

News about a forthcoming sequel, in probably most instances, generates as much genuine excitement among moviegoers as when they hear that certain new films are on the way.

As moviegoers can attest, Christmas is a time of the year when a number of new movies debut on the big screens.

It was obvious that the movie industry would not be spared adverse impacts of COVID-19. Now it can be said the industry, like the rest of the economy, will continue to feel negative impacts in the coming days, weeks and probably months.

Development of the coronavirus vaccines provided the opportunity in 2021 to score major victories in the fight to defeat the pandemic.

However, although there were victories, especially in the middle-to-latter part of the year, millions of people’s stubborn refusal, fearful reluctance, plain fear or suspicions about rolling up their sleeves for the injections have prevented a knockout punch and, instead, allowed the medical nightmare to continue sickening and killing people.

Meanwhile, the virus’ variants — and who knows what new variants might be forthcoming — have voided the early predictions about how soon the pandemic might be defeated.

Thus, more people will buy movie theater tickets in the coming 12 months, but not as many as seemed possible just three months ago.

Barring some miracle, COVID-19 is what the world has to “look forward to” in COVID-19’s second sequel — “2022” — to what began in 2020. How tragic.

The Mirror’s editorial of Jan. 1, 2021, focused on cautious optimism. It began:

“As America begins its trek through the ‘2021 Experience,’ no one should be content with just shallow, general expressions of hope that the next 12 months will be better than the year just ended.

“If 2021 plays out as an anemic response to the many bad aspects of 2020, the citizens of this land will deserve the many unwanted ‘fruits’ of that doomed-to-failure kind of undertaking.”

It can be said without hesitation that this nation’s response to the coronavirus has not been anemic, but the persistence of the pandemic has shown how bad this scourge was and continues to be.

Many more people are going to be sickened and/or die unnecessarily during the 12 months ahead if the anti-vaccine proponents fail to join the fight and broaden the scope of the battle against COVID-19.

They should consider the medical condition of the nation if parents had refused to have their children immunized against polio, measles, mumps, rubella (German Measles) and smallpox.

They should consider the medical condition of the United States’ military if a vast number of the nation’s guardians were allowed to refuse the vaccines they are administered routinely as part of their military careers — ultimately for their own good.

The new year upon us needs a mindset determined to kill the coronavirus before it scores many more dubious victories.

There is nothing political about that call to action.

“Cautious optimism” is not what is relevant for 2022. What is relevant are “common sense,” “responsible judgment” and “concern and respect for oneself and others.”

The goal should be for vibrant optimism to already be strongly in place on Jan. 1, 2023, not another 2020-related sequel.

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