ANYONE WHO THINKS THE PANDEMIC POLITICALLY HELPS LIBERALS IS AN IDIOT

In a recent New York Times focus group of Republican voters, one partcipant said this:
Gayle: I’ll be quite frank: I think that the reason that [Democrats] push Covid so much is because they’re going to try to keep the mail-in ballots. I think that they are putting the fear in people so that they can push Covid as long as possible for 2024. It’s all about control, and they’re keeping Covid as one of their biggest weapons.
Gayle believes that the pandemic is good for Democrats electorally. Your right-wing relatives probably believe this, too.

Here's the reality:
EATONVILLE, Wash. — On the morning she met her opponent for coffee, Sarah Cole walked in with a front-runner’s confidence.

To Cole, the school board seat in this rural red district about an hour outside Seattle was all but hers. Educators and community leaders had endorsed her. She had name recognition from years in the Parent Teacher Association. And, besides, she was running against Ashley Sova, a home-schooling, anti-masking member of the far-right Three Percent movement.

“I kind of thought I had it in the bag,” Cole recalled.

... In December, however, it was Sova who was sworn in, the second Three Percenter on the five-person Eatonville School Board.

... Once-fringe views about government “tyranny” now match the mainstream conservative discourse on vaccine and mask mandates, softening the public image of movements linked to political violence.

... one liberal Eatonville couple — supporters of school board candidate Cole — requested anonymity to freely describe changes in their community that make them uneasy.

... the wife ... learned how extremists organized by latching onto Stop the Steal and anti-mask events.

... Drawing from her research, the wife put together a 24-page dossier, compiled from public information, that documents Sova’s ties to the Washington Three Percent and how she was supported by influential right-wing figures and a sympathetic political action committee. It’s a forensic, time-stamped look at how one local race was influenced by a simultaneous right-wing showdown with state leaders over vaccine mandates.

Before sharing it with The Washington Post, the couple hadn’t released the information....

“We think it would’ve helped her,” the wife said with a sigh. “That’s what the concern was.”

... Sova saw running mainly as a way to register conservative discontent on the issues of the moment: mask mandates, diversity and inclusion efforts, sex education lessons.
There's more going on here than just resistance to mask or vaccine mandates, but it's obvious that the right is benefiting politcally from the persistence of COVID, not the left. The pandemic is now perceived as a Democratic/liberal failure and efforts to reduce the spread of the virus are perceived as Democratic/liberal tyranny, the perfect outrage generator for off-year elections.

I'm sick of the pandemic. I want a combination of vaccines and treatments that reduces the risk of death, hospitalization, and long COVID to trivial levels. I'd be thrilled if the drugs were so good and so accessible that it didn't matter anymore whether you were vaccinated.

The pandemic is not an evil scheme to impose social controls on an unwilling populace. The pandemic is not a scheme to monkey with elections. The pandemic is not in any way politically advantageous for those who take it seriously. It is advantageous for those who don't. That's reason enough to wish it were over.