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Editorial

What Has Happened to This Country?

We waited for the vaccines, the news about how and when we would be saved.

When the pandemic broke out in March of 2020, many experts told us that it would be years before they discovered a vaccine that would protect us from the Coronavirus.At the same time, they told us to stay home. Close businesses. Schools. The churches. To stay away from our parents, our grandparents, other people. To wear a mask. To wash our hands constantly. To be patient until a vaccine is found.

Meanwhile, hospitals were filled with Coronavirus patients.

Their relatives could not touch them or even visit them. 

Hospital staff was exhausted from work and pain – physical, mental and emotional. For the first time, we saw mobile funeral homes, refrigerated trucks parked next to the city's hospitals.

Millions were laid off. Tens of thousands of businesses went bankrupt. The queues for free food surpassed the queues for soup we saw in photos from 1929.

And that is when the first optimistic messages began to arrive. The vaccine trials, in their first stage, were promising. The same was the case for the second and third phases that were required before they could go to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for approval.

We absorbed every bit of news, every detail. We were encouraged when the treatment given to Trump worked so effectively. It is a matter of time, we said, before the cure reaches us.

And in the marathon race for the vaccine, ‘the Greeks’ were in the lead.

The finish line tape was cut by Bourlas, of Pfizer, whose vaccine was approved in record time by the FDA.

Public debate has shifted from the development of the vaccine to its production and distribution.

America has a population of over 300 million. And we need two doses of the vaccine for each of us.

The first trucks were loaded and distribution began. Photos were printed by every newspaper on our planet. The same was the case for the nurse who was injected with the first vaccine dose in America.

Finally, we said, we will soon get in line and our turn will come. It will not be long. By the end of December, they said 20 million people would be vaccinated.

Then our optimism returned to Earth abruptly. Not even two million were vaccinated by the end of last month. Millions of vaccines are still in the freezers.

How is that possible? What has happened to this country? We were once the example and admiration of the world.

Hopefully the new administration will put things in order by restructuring public administration – but also the country. For its own good. For the good of us all.

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