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As we head into the new year, striving to put our duo annis horribiles in the rearview mirror, it is worth considering what makes living in a time of heightened uncertainty joyous – or at least tolerable.
By now it is clear there is a stark divide among Americans’ opinion on how to respond to COVID-19. In general, conservatives want to get on with their lives while liberals continue to see the pandemic as a significant crisis.
Mask-wearing has become more a sign of solidarity than an effective response to the virus. Studies and practical outcomes in the real world suggest that masking up by the general public makes no statistical difference in actual infection rates.
Of note, according to the New York Times COVID tracker, in the last week of 2021, the five highest infection rates were found in places with heavy government public health restrictions: D.C., New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Illinois. The bottom five are: South Carolina, Wyoming, Idaho, Alaska and Montana.
In a few weeks, the infection rates from state-to-state