2020 has been a difficult year for everyone. The current challenges facing our country have dampened the Christmas spirit for many during this time of year and I’m sure there are some who just want to get past the holiday and move on to 2021.
Let me begin by wishing you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Festivus and lastly, Winter Solstice. Reaching the Winter Solstice means that each day will be a bit brighter than the last; we have made it through literally the darkest part of the year. Figuratively, we still have just a bit longer before the darkness grows brighter.
As I sit down to write my last column for the year I cannot help but think what a chaotic year! I mean seriously, who would have thought that a year like this would have ever happened, let alone played out like it did. From Spring Break to Christmas Break, our lives have been consumed by a worldwide COVID-19 pandemic that has ravaged every community and devastated thousands of families. Our social media feeds have been prodded and polluted by political propaganda. Plus, we have lived in a world where people hate each other over the color of skin, politics and religion, and the social and financial status into which someone is born.
Earlier this week, the Southeast Oklahoma Subcommittee on Redistricting, which I chair, hosted its first public meeting on redistricting. The meeting took place on Wednesday evening in McAlester. We had a good turnout from members of the public, and several legislators who serve on the subcommittee were in attendance as well.
This week, the first COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed to Oklahoma and across the country. President Trump’s work and commitment to Operation Warp Speed, have ensured that we are now closer than ever to defeating this invisible enemy. There have been many things said about the vaccine regarding its safety, the process of developing it, and whether people will be forced to get it. I want to set the record straight on some of the most common concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine.