A HARRY HURLEY OPINION - EDITORIAL

Are you ready for the end of Summer, 2021?

Even during a pandemic, it has flown by in the blink of an eye.

They say (whoever “they” are) that every year of our life goes by quicker. It sure seems that way.

When you think about it, it’s been a tale of two summers.

The first half featured great optimism that the pandemic was over. We were directly told as much by the President of The United States.

It went like this, “If you’re vaccinated, then the pandemic is over for you.”

And, we began to lead our lives that way. By June 2021, 80 percent of The American people believed that the worst of the pandemic was finally behind us.

People were freely recreating with confidence.

Things felt almost normal again.

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Our leading industry, the Atlantic City casino industry has had a record summer to date.

Then, the cruel and highly contagious Delta Variant struck America and struck hard. And, we’ve experienced a different second half of the summer, 2021.

Particularly hit hard, are the states with poor overall vaccination totals. Positive cases and hospitalizations have hit peak levels not seen since last January and February.

By early August 2021, nearly half of all Americans responded that the worst of the pandemic has not yet taken place.

This was a dramatic change from just two months ago.

Many children have not regularly been in the classroom since the 3rd marking period, two school years ago.

Parents, students, teachers, etc. all believed that a “normal” school year would be taking place, beginning in just 2 weeks.

Now, the reality is it’s face masks all over again and who knows what else will come next.

The FDA has given Pfizer & BioNTech full approval for its COVID-19 vaccine. This is a very big development and hopefully, it will encourage at least some of the unwilling to get vaccinated.

Incontrovertible data exists which has yielded that should you become infected with COVID-19, the outcomes of the vaccinated are far superior versus the unvaccinated.

So far, people are holding tight to their advanced plans. But, no doubt, the current mood is very different.

Events and other activities have been canceled or postponed. This creates uncertainty and stress.

This much I do know. We can’t go backward. We can’t give back our gains.

I don’t believe the psychology of the American people can take much more of this.

It’s been demoralizing and debilitating for many. It has destroyed many Americans' lives.

Others have held on by a thread and can’t even imagine having to go back to where we were a year ago.

All of this is swirling as we approach the end of summer, 2021.

It truly has been a tale of two summers.

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