Nine days from inauguration.

Public journal, 1/11/2021

We are nine days away from inauguration.

While there is a high degree of uncertainty around the level of conflict that is to be expected between now and Biden’s swearing-in, I believe the biggest part has largely concluded. With GA run-off elections certified, electoral college votes confirmed, and all of Trump’s court cases lost, there may be little left that Trump can do to attack our remaining institutions. GOP’s base is collapsing. While the resolution of these issues is still long ways away, but I largely believe that the horrible events of 2020 are nearly behind us.

And I feel there are many reasons to be hopeful.

Nearly 10M doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have been given (both Moderna’s and Pfizer’s vaccine require two shots), and the number of vaccinations going up on a daily basis is increasing. Time will tell how the vaccination is adopted by the general population and the degree to which they are effective against current and future strains of the virus, but the initial data has been good. It is important to make the distinction between anecdotal and statistical evidence.

Many misinformation-spreading news companies will cite anecdotal cases of adverse reactions to vaccines — but the overwhelming nature of the rigorously conducted clinical trials on these vaccines demonstrates their safety and early efficacy — they would not have been authorized by the FDA had that not been the case. This, I’d argue, is the key piece argument that must be made to those arguing against the legitimacy of vaccines.

Additionally, I have faith that we will soon start to see serious public health policy changes in the right direction.

This is, and has always been, the volcanic nature of democracy. Freedom is not free. It must be fought for and earned.

There are many similar features between the Nazi party of the 1920s and the extremist conservative groups that stormed the Capitol, brought firearms, zip ties, and pipe bombs into our country’s principal law-making space, and they had the intention of harming our elected officials. Canada is reportedly considering designating the Proud Boys as a terrorist organization, along with the likes of Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

This will be a long term ideological battle that we will face in our homes, at our workplaces, and among friends for a very long time. It is critical that we fight to denounce hate, misinformation, and corruption at every level. That is how we earn our democracy. That is how we earn our freedom.

In the words of MLK, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Email me at erictam@ebvia.com.