RUSHVILLE – Well, the most unusual year that I remember since the polio epidemic of the 1950s is about over and I’m about to say, “Thank goodness!”

A vaccine for the coronavirus has been developed and people are receiving it as I write this. It, obviously, will take time to inoculate over 300 million people, but at least we’re on the road to recovery. All the latest surveys suggest that about a third of our population will not take the vaccine for whatever their individual reasons, just as some parents won’t allow their children to have the inoculations before starting school. With all due regard for their respective reasons, I am happy to say I had the shots for polio and I will have the shots for the coronavirus as soon as I can!

Why?

I have the perfect answer for skeptics and others who intend to decline the coronavirus vaccine. For most of my life, I went to a local doctor who was from the era when doctors made house calls when a patient was too ill to go to his office. Long ago, I remember asking him if he thought a particular vaccine was effective. He said to me, “God has given us the knowledge to create these medications to save lives. Our job is to help as many people as we can receive them.” I remember thinking, “That really makes sense.” Since that long ago day I have never worried about being vaccinated.

There is one thing that puzzles me, however, and it may be nothing more than a reflection of my lack knowledge. Why is it that we can come up with a vaccine for a deadly virus in less than a year and we still can’t come up with a cure for cancer and heart disease? We’ve been looking for a cancer cure for decades and still it eludes us. Why is that? Could it be because we’ve made a very lucrative business out of the search for a cancer cure? Just think how many people would be out of work searching for a cure if one were found. People have made a lifetime career out of unsuccessfully searching for a cure for cancer! All of us know someone who has died from cancer. Wouldn’t it be terrible if a cure were out there that no one has managed find to help keep the money rolling in for continuing unnecessary research? Makes one wonder why we can find a cure in less than a year for one and why we’re still searching for a cure for the other after decades of research.

Moving on, the upcoming end of 2020 should give all of us hope that we’ve got another chance to start over once more with our own New Year’s resolutions. One of mine is to lose the 15 pounds I’ve gained since last March when the coronavirus became a serious issue. I have a couple of other resolutions simmering, but they’re not the sort of resolutions you share with everybody who takes the paper.

Nevertheless, despite the pandemic that has made 2020 so unusual, there are still things for which we all can be grateful. For one, it is the good health most of us have enjoyed (and often take for granted). Another is the fact that we still live in the greatest country in the world despite the comments I heard on TV last week from a congressman who said it was time for this to be a socialist country. Can you believe that? If he had bothered to do just a little research, he would have found that socialism has never worked regardless of where it has bee tried! Trying socialism is certainly not one of my New Year’s resolutions and I profoundly hope it’s not one of yours!

Since this column is read by people in more than one county, I sincerely hope that a New Year’s resolution for everyone is that city and county government can work cooperatively in the new year. The progress that all us want for our counties and communities depends, to a large extent, on the willingness of both city and county governments working together for the common good of both. I am very happy to report that both bodies in Rush County are working extremely well together as can be seen by the progress that has been made here over the last few years and will, I’m confident, continue into the new year.

Finally, it is my most sincere hope for the new year that those young people who are about to finish high school and go on, hopefully, to post-high school education or training will get to enjoy the traditions and ceremonies associated with graduation this spring. I hope spring sports will still be held, especially for those seniors for whom this will be their last opportunity to take part.

It’s a shame that the Chinese allowed the coronavirus to escape from the laboratory into the general population, either by accident or purposefully. Either way, the lives lost as a result of their actions have certainly demonstrated the real meaning and consequences of germ warfare – and it should not only frighten us but also warn us about what’s possible. That doesn’t mean we should approach 2021 with apprehension, but rather with confidence in the hope that at least another century or two will pass before another year like this one comes again!

That’s —30— for this week. Have a happy and healthy new year!

Retired Rush County businessman Paul W. Barada may be contacted via this publication at news@greensburgdailynews.com.

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