From election surprises, to travel meltdowns, to sudden deaths, to hospital crises, no one seems to want to say the word "COVID"
COVID has revealed a lot of bad assumptions by companies about just how close to the staffing and resources edge they could fly (pun intended). That Dec. 21st SWA memo is kind of the smoking gun that sickness has a much to do with the problem as the preferred explanations, which were the only explanations offered by mainstream news sources. You've really hit the DENIAL on the head with this article.
I'm pretty aware of COVID-denial in general, but I hadn't really thought about the fact that Republicans disproportionately died between the 2020 and 2022 elections. I remember some gallows humor about it along the way during the Delta wave. But in the swing states, a lot of statewide elections were quite close in 2020, under 20,000, and Congressional districts were of course much smaller margins. That alone could have served to swing 8-10 Congressional districts and maybe a couple of Governor and Senate races. It is a glaring omission in the coverage, now that you mention it!