Commentary: Good news about the COVID-19 relief bill and the new vaccine

Commentary: Good news about the COVID-19 relief bill and the new vaccine
March 10
12:09 2021

By Dr. James B. Ewers Jr.

“All night long” are some lyrics used in a song by Lionel Richie some years ago. These lyrics still ring true today.

This is how long it took the Senate to pass the 1.9 trillion-dollar COVID-19 Relief Bill. It was tweaked by them and now goes back to the House for approval.

The president is expected to sign the bill this week. The passage of this bill will give Americans hope for a better day. Our country has been suffering, so new life is just around the corner. Because of this bill, 85% of Americans will receive $1,400 stimulus checks. This is a much-needed upgrade from the money given by the previous administration.

President Joe Biden said, “We have heard the voice of the American people.”

The COVID-19 Relief Bill has been the cornerstone of the president’s plan to rebuild. Since day one in office, he has been talking about it and planning for it. He coined the expression, “Build back better.” This bill will allow the country to build back better.

Included in the bill will be an additional $300 boost for unemployment benefits through Sept. 6. It will provide food, clothing and shelter.

We are a land of plenty, so no family should go to bed hungry and without a roof over their heads. What we are seeing play out with President Biden and Vice President Harris is called compassion and empathy. These attributes were missing 90 days ago. They were not to be found. It is my opinion that as America gets better, that more people will see that President Biden is the right person to lead us.

Schools and colleges also will benefit as $170 billion will be set aside for them. School leaders at all levels want schools to re-open. The same can be said for colleges and universities across the country. Businesses will get additional monies that will help them to open and to serve more people. Going out to eat is an American tradition.

Having to stay inside our homes or to get take-out has not been easy. 

Meanwhile, we have three vaccines now; Johnson and Johnson is the newest.  So, we must take whatever vaccine is available in our area. Now is not the time to be selective. When your name is called, go and get vaccinated.

Reports say that 116,355,405 vaccines have been distributed and 87,912,323 have been administered. President Biden says that everyone who wants a vaccine will get a vaccine by the end of May. However, there are still some problems with distribution. Reports last week said that several states have backlogs. If you live in one of those states, hold on, it is coming.

We must realize this distribution initiative is a massive and logistical undertaking. This pandemic is unprecedented. Hopefully, it will not happen again in my lifetime.

Herd immunity will, in my opinion, happen prior to October. Does that mean we will not be wearing masks or practice being apart (social distance)? I think we will be wearing masks and using the other CDC protocols for the much of this year. Currently, medical personnel are saying that small family gatherings can be held when all parties have been vaccinated. That means we can hug our family members.

America is coming back and we cannot hide our elation. Let us continue to do our part. Texas and Mississippi have re-opened. We will see if that was the right decision.

The administration is on the right track and so is vaccine distribution. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter.

James B. Ewers Jr. Ed.D. is a former tennis champion at Atkins High School in Winston-Salem and played college tennis at Johnson C. Smith University, where he was all-conference for four years.  He is a retired college administrator.  He can be reached at

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