The following column has been authored by a non-clinician.
In December 1999, I turned 18-years-old.
Around that time, my friend, who was also born in December 1981, told me that Britney Spears was only three days older than him.
At that moment, I realized that my friend and I were born in the same month as Britney.
We were just two guys in high school and she was already an icon.
As much I think she is a talented singer, and a beautiful woman, I have always admired her life story the most. She's an American success story.
She was born 40-years-ago this week in Kentwood, Louisiana. She came from very modest circumstances and became one of the best-selling music artists of all time.
I don’t think most people could have handled the intense scrutiny she faced. Most kids in their 20s have the privilege of making their dumbest mistakes in private.
When you combine the struggles of fame, with millions of dollars, and lots of greedy people, it’s easy for any celebrity to get in trouble.
That said, nothing Britney Spears ever did could justify this outrageous conservatorship.
Conservatorships were designed for people who cannot take care of themselves.
During this 13-year period, Britney Spears was earning millions of dollars.
I didn’t know anything about this situation until I watched the "Framing Britney Spears" (FX/Hulu) documentary in March 2021. The way her dedicated fans were able to start a movement to help her end this injustice was inspiring.
The #FreeBritney movement effectively used social media. It could serve as a model for a future movement toward ending COVID-19 restrictions.
People are not going to wait forever.
Now that the vaccines have been available for a year, it is time to discuss the endgame.
I just received my booster shot last week. I will continue to encourage other people to do the same. The real question is what if COVID-19 will eventually become like the flu?
I can live with an annual COVID-19 shot if it means that life can return to normal and I don’t have to wear a mask.
The question is how many people have to be vaccinated across the world in order to achieve this goal. Is herd immunity still possible?
Vaccinating wealthy countries alone will not do the trick.
There will always be new variants that will pop up in developing countries.
The Delta variant was first detected in India.
It 's too early to know the impact of the Omicron variant.
All we know is that it has spread to several countries beyond South Africa.
As Americans, we should be proud of how quickly our pharmaceutical companies were able to develop a vaccine. Much like World War II, a partnership between the public and private sectors could give us the tools to step up production.
When I read David Gergen’s book "Eye Witness To Power" in 2002, I was struck by how much President Reagan admired FDR.
In Gergen’s book, he quotes President Reagan telling David McCullough that, "He gave confidence to the people. He never lost faith in this country for one minute."
President Roosevelt had confidence in the American people and it was later justified by the facts. According to the National WW2 Museum:
"By the time the Japanese surrendered in 1945, the United States had fulfilled President Roosevelt’s admonition to become the great arsenal of democracy.
"American manufacturers had turned out more than 96,000 bombers, 86,000 tanks, 2.4 million trucks, 6.5 million rifles, and billions of dollars’ worth of supplies to equip a truly global fighting force while maintaining a robust Home Front as well."
The same can happen against COVID-19.
I hope President Biden, and the Congress, can work together with Pfizer and Moderna to produce billions of doses annually to end this global pandemic.
If we are to end this pandemic in 2022, it will require bipartisan cooperation and creative thinking. In his Second Annual Message to Congress in 1862, President Lincoln said:
"The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country."
Robert Zapesochny is a researcher and writer whose work focuses on foreign affairs, national security and presidential history. He has been published in numerous outlets, including The American Spectator, the Washington Times, and The American Conservative. When he's not writing, Robert works for a medical research company in New York. Read Robert Zapesochny's Reports — More Here.
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