COVID Kills 100k Citizens and America Shrugs

"Face Mask" by shibuya246 is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

America has now passed 100,000 deaths due to the deadly novel Coronavirus. It’s a harrowing day to have such a grim milestone, especially on the day we remember the veterans who have fought to protect our country this week. Our nation’s mounting death toll comes not from not a war, nor a terrorist attack, but by the pure ineptitude of American leadership. 


The struggle doesn’t show much end in sight. Many find themselves returning to work while others wonder if the government will quickly knit together another safety net in the form of legislation to save them from homelessness, starvation, or worse. This goes on as the more privileged become restless at the idea of staying home, wearing masks, or not being able to have their normal brunches. 


It shows what a mess we truly are in America today. 


The divisions among our population continue to grow as infections spread. While many remain rightly scared, there is a drum beating louder by the day from people who wish to continue life as it once was. They continue to become even more unhinged in this pursuit. The spouse of a prominent Reopen North Carolina leader has even gone as far as to threaten violence as a solution. Adam Smith said in a facebook video:


“We’re taking up arms. It’s time for us to fight against this. We’re not going to stop. If you want to go to the full force time, we have the forces to retaliate. And that’s really at the end of the day the only thing that’s going to secure our freedom is our willingness to step up and fight. Do we want to pick up arms? Do we want to kill anybody? Of course not. Nobody wants to take lives. 


We don’t want to kill anybody. But are we willing to kill people? Are willing to lay our lives down? We have to say yes. Is that violence? Is that terrorism? No. It’s not terrorism. I’m not trying to strike fear in the hearts of people by saying, ‘I’m going to kill you.’ I’m going to say: If you bring force – We’re going to bring force. If you bring guns, we’re going to bring guns. If you’re armed with this, we’ll be armed with this.”


This comes after a week of viral videos showing people puffing at their chests when asked to wear masks if only for consideration of their fellow citizen’s health and showing their anger at this simple request. 


The narrative from the far-right media has painted a picture of natural rights trampled upon, the economy going asunder, and a New World Order taking over. We’ve already seen the aggression of citizens marching with guns earlier, but as we close in on July 4th, we will continue to see these fellow citizens become more aggressive. 


While tension continues to grow among the populace, our politicians seem to be in opposition to the solutions. The Democratic-controlled House passed the Heroes Act last week, which many found as a tepid response to the GOP-controlled Senate who has no interest in passing any actual relief to Americans. They seem set to force Americans, even those most vulnerable, back into work. COVID-19 has proven that no issue in America is safe from hyper-polarization because even a public health care crisis can become a political football. 


That leaves many of us staring at the bleakness of our situation, left to our own devices because of a broken political system, a rigged economy, and a weak safety net. This is all happening during the first wave. How much worse will it get with the second?

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