I, along with countless others, share a general sense of unease at the arrival of this novel coronavirus on the world stage. At the time that I write this post, over 88,000 have contracted it with 3,000 dead. 102 confirmed cases in the United States with 6 dead.
That doesn’t seem at all like pandemic territory, considering the flu has killed 16,000 this season alone. But…
COVID-19 did all that in a little over three months, not an entire season like the flu had. COVID-19 kills 2% of those infected, which is a higher rate than the flu. The global PR machine has been working overtime to spin calm and complacency, but is there any reason to be?
What I see is a rapidly expanding bubble, touching more people than the governments of the world can account for. The bubble infects some that can be explained or traced, and then others who we have no idea how they contracted the virus. These “community” infections are most troubling because they represent an unhinged aspect to the spread which could accelerate into the aforementioned pandemic territory.
I don’t fear for myself, but I do fear for others. I’m unlikely to die from COVID-19, but my parents are in jeopardy due to their age. The novel coronavirus is being downplayed in a way that is largely CYA and less about informing the public of the very real possibility of a much bigger, life-altering event that would reshape how our daily activities are conducted.
What gets me is that we have now made this arbitrary potential pandemic a political issue, like it’s somehow reflective of our absurd politics and not the result of a new infectious pathogen randomly appearing on the global stage. This is not Donald Trump’s fault, nor is it the fault of the Democratic Party. We all need to pull our heads out of our asses and look straight ahead.
Lean times might be coming soon, and we are fools for believing that the divisive rhetoric of the past conflicts will serve any propose in the epidemic to come. Right now would be the best time to pool resources, keep people informed and work logically to halt the spread of this virus as best we can. People will die because our discourse can’t be honest or rational enough to tell us the truth about the crisis looming on the horizon. We will not be pacified and deluded, only to be taken by surprise when the shit hits the fan. Wake the fuck up and start telling it like it is. We deserve your honesty; our lives are at stake.
So people: no need to horde face masks and hand sanitizer. No need to blame your political rivals. We only survive if we are smart and aware together. We will prevail if we work collectively to stay informed and safe. Sadly, this will not be the case, and our petty politics will intrude upon the truth with thousands of lives as the final consequence.