When they write the history of this pandemic that has affected our great nation and the worldwide population, I wonder how they will do it and how the inevitable blame game will be played.
How will they deal with the losses we have suffered, as the emotion of “loss” is one which we all struggle with on a day-to-day basis? For over a year now, we have dealt with that emotion, as it has hit our shores with the devastation of a massive tsunami due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Americans, including our neighbors here in Southwest Florida, have felt the sting and pain of the loss of relatives and friends since the early Spring of 2020. I wonder whether we have been numbed to that emotion and whether death will no longer have the same meaning it once had to us.
We were confused and unsure of the right steps we should be taking to protect those that we hold dear. To deal with this invisible enemy, we were required to take extraordinary precautions that required us to sacrifice the norms to which we had become accustomed.
Not since World War II had Americans been called upon to make sacrifices to the extent they were being told to submit to. The wearing of masks was being mandated by both individuals and businesses. Businesses were required to reduce hours, or close and lay off personnel. Schools were closed. Children were required to undertake “virtual learning from home,” and in some cases, a parent would have to leave a job to help supervise those children.
Some believed we were only at war with a virus, though nothing serious, nothing more. This wasn’t a mad man who was a tyrannical dictator, who was slowly but surely casting his shadow of death and destruction over the European continent that our parents or grandparents had faced.
The death toll in this nation continued to rise on our shores, as it did in lands afar. We began to lose faith and our patience was growing thin. You see, we are not a patient people. We as a nation and a people have become accustomed to “instant gratification.” When we want something, we want it now!
We have become a society of “full entitlement,” and nothing less, especially with regard to this next generation. Twelve hundred dollar cellphones, two hundred dollar jeans, seventy dollar haircuts.
One of the newest terms we hear today is “COVID Fatigue,” a term that worries me when people attempt to minimize the serious nature of the disease that has taken over 581,000 lives to date in the United States alone.
Now we hear calls for the government to start handing out “guaranteed” checks to Americans after this third distribution of $1400 “stimulus” checks. This was part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan recently passed by the Biden Administration, which has pushed COVID-19 packages to over $5 Trillion in spending, between both the Trump and Biden Administrations.
Has the Pandemic been used as a cover for the funding of some questionable programs? I guess to answer that question you’d only have to look back on the quote, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” Some attribute that quote to Rahm Emanuel, the former Chief of Staff to President Obama. True, Emanuel may have used it, but Winston Churchill had used it long before him.
Have we handled the events surrounding COVID-19 flawlessly? Of course not. Could President Trump have handled it more eloquently? Of course he could have. Did the vaccine development under Trump outperform everyone’s expectations? Yes it did! Has it helped to save lives? Yes it has! We are beginning to come out of a dark period, but whether or not we languish within it due to our childish and immature actions depends on us. We need to stand up as citizens of this great nation and take on the leadership role the world has been accustomed to seeing us assume.
I don’t like wearing a mask any more than anyone else and can’t wait for the day I don’t have to, but I don’t want to endanger the business of any of my friends or yours if they are forced to shut down to do a deep clean or endanger any of their families or employees. The same thing goes for vaccines. I respect you and your beliefs, but don’t disparage another who chooses to do so – and for God’s sake, don’t take any unusual risks.
We need to shelve the political bickering and unite under a common cause which will result in the lowering of the tragic deaths attributed to this terrible virus and restore the reputation of our nation as one which can be counted on during a crisis such as this. We should be that “Shining City Upon a Hill” that President Reagan spoke of so eloquently during his eight years in office.