The world is going through an experience that has never been seen before now. The Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has set the world on edge. We have an opportunity to correct what happens on the planet and to determine the outcome of the challenges that we are now facing. And the one thing that is certain – this is an opportunity to see up close and personal how we are all connected on the little blue-green ball that we call home.
America has been pretty fortunate. For most of our existence, we have watched as other nations have gone through hardships while we have remained relatively unscathed on these shores, that is, if we don’t consider the tragedy of slavery and the decimation of the Native American population. With that acknowledged, COVID-19 is threatening to usher in a new phase of development in this city up on the golden hill.
There are those who are comparing the unprecedented viral assault on America to the attack on the Twin Towers, which has placed an indelible imprint on the psychic fabric of the American people. There were 2,977 victims and 19 hijackers killed, and 6,000 others were injured in the most devastating event ever experienced up to that infamous date – September 11, 2001. Arguably, that was the worst event that occurred on American soil until the entrée of COVID-19. Many young adults today have no direct memory of 9-11, but the story, coming from adults in their lives, makes it rank among the chief tragedies experienced by Americans. It is because of this that some of them are questioning whether or not that was worse than the current struggle with COVID-19.
Interestingly, one of the biggest struggles connected with COVID-19 is the disinformation campaign, with some people questioning whether or not we are actually experiencing a real crisis. Without going further into it, there is no doubt a lot of smoke and mirrors surrounding the issue, and because of this, conspiracy theorists are having a field day. Exacerbating this notion is the information that possible insider trading took place when members of Congress let go of millions of dollars in stock just before the market tanked after the release of information about the spread of the virus. It has also drawn some suspicion that President Donald Trump dragged his feet about mobilizing against COVID-19, and even initially called the spread of the virus a “hoax.” This delay, no doubt, has resulted in more deaths than if he had acted sooner. It has also come out that President Trump previously dismantled a group that former President Obama had assembled to deal with a scenario that turned out to be surprisingly similar to what is actually occurring now.
There is another important matter that we must deal with regarding our current situation. It is connected with the fact that this pandemic is showing us how small our world is. The virus is said to have had its origin in China, yet in two short months it has spread all around the planet, threatening the health and well-being of all of the world’s citizens. Suddenly, China isn’t that far away anymore – it has reached into our homes and had an impact that was previously not on our personal radar. The result is that many people in the U.S. are on voluntary or involuntary quarantines, and some entire cities are in a “shelter in place” mode. In other words, in order to fight this viral scourge, we must come together and agree to separate ourselves in order to survive. Because there is no cure, no vaccines or other effective treatments, the most prudent strategy of defeating the virus is that of encouraging people to stay away from each other.
There is another element that is to be considered. Racism, partially fueled by President Trump who insists on calling the virus the “China Flu,” has emboldened people, including some Black people, to express antagonism toward Asian Americans. Some Asians have even been attacked. It brings to mind science fiction films wherein people are facing a world-ending catastrophe, and the human beings create the most havoc by misbehaving among themselves. This is what must be avoided now. People need to understand that we must pull together in our separation in order to fight a biological enemy that has the power to change life on Earth as we know it. A Luta Continua.