To The Daily Sun,

On Jan. 5, renowned epidemiologist Michael Sylvia, of Belmont, New Hampshire, made an exciting pronouncement. In comments to the NH House of Representatives, he stated that the COVID-19 pandemic “has come to an end."

Unfortunately, further exploration into this welcome news leads to disappointment. Michael Sylvia has no MD nor PhD at the end of his name. And although it initially appeared that he was speaking in Concord, it turned out that his remarks were actually addressed from Cloud Cuckoo Land (from Aristophanes, The Birds). Wikipedia defines Cloud Cuckoo Land as “a state of absurdly, over-optimistic fantasy or an unrealistically idealistic state where everything is perfect” and a “Cloud Cuckoolander” as a person “who thinks things that are completely impossible might happen, rather than understanding how things really are”.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services reported 2,184 new COVID cases on Jan. 6, with 14,937 active cases diagnosed in NH. Medical services throughout the state are stretched way beyond capacity, especially at hospitals. Waiting rooms are overflowing, elective procedures are canceled, and vulnerable population members cross their fingers, hoping not to require emergency treatment.

We all long for the end of the pandemic, but those of us living in the U.S., and more specifically in NH, know that it is still very much with us. Rep. Sylvia, on the other hand, who has declared himself no longer a citizen of NH, and who urges NH to secede from the U.S., has seen the end, in his new mythical land known as “Cloud Cuckoo Land."

Let’s hope that the voters of Belmont give Sylvia the boot at the polls. That isn’t the thinking of a Cuckoolander; that’s just looking forward to the voters seeing Sylvia for what he is.

Ruth Larson


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