Virus Apathy Will Cost Lives
Updated: Jun 12
America has thrown in the towel when it comes to COVID-19.
This week, we are seeing cases of the virus spike in several states, and the response from our local and federal government has been a collective shrug. The repercussions of irresponsible Memorial Day weekend celebrations are now coming into focus, as was to be expected with a virus that has about a two-week fuse.
Two weeks from now, we could be seeing another massive spike as a result of the entirely justified George Floyd-related demonstrations.
It’s not just Donald Trump and his desperate-for-a-haircut automatic-weapon-brandishing followers pushing this far-too-soon reopening anymore. Even the most careful governors have relented to political pressure. In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom has moved to open society, and the state’s cases are predictably shooting upward.
That’s to say nothing of Arizona, where hospitals are being overrun, or Texas, where everyday brings a new record number of cases.
The virus doesn’t care what political party you support. It doesn’t care in what state you live. It doesn’t care that you’re bored. It doesn’t care if you’re protesting a righteous cause. It doesn’t care that you desperately want to sample Wendy’s new delicious breakfast options.
At least most of the demonstrators nationwide seem smart enough to be wearing masks, but that’s hardly the case everywhere. Vice President Mike Pence posted a photo on social media yesterday showing office staff working on Trump’s reelection campaign in which nobody was wearing a mask or social distancing indoors. This is from the man who leads the virus task force, which has publicly disappeared in the last month.
Incredibly, after nearly 115,000 people have died in about three months, there are still many people -- mostly poorly informed Trump supporters -- who believe this is just the flu. The flu does not kill this many people in this short amount of time, not unless it’s some kind of superflu like in 1918-19. And the flu wouldn’t kill this many people after an entire nation isolates themselves.
The World Health Organization certainly didn’t help this week when it announced that spreading the virus was extremely rare among asymptomatic individuals, a claim it almost immediately walked back. National treasure Dr. Anthony Fauci debunked that claim right away and described this virus as his “worst nightmare,” because of its virulent nature.
Today, the Dow Jones Industrial Index dropped 1,862 points, or almost seven percent. It appears traders on Wall Street once again see the reality of the situation, that the virus isn’t going away anytime soon.
Governments don’t care. Professional sports circuits don’t care. Local businesses don’t care. The average person cooped up in their house doesn’t care. People are desperate to return to normal, and now everyone seems ready to roll the dice even though tens of thousands more people will likely die.
The disastrous end result could not be more predictable.