Coronavirus (COVID19) has impacted virtually every aspect of our society and our daily life.
But unlike most threats to this nation, America, as a nation has not united to fight the Coronavirus, but rather it has pulled itself further apart. The reason that it has divided is that it is predominately seen as only infecting segments of the society rather than all of it, and this is helped along by the mass media. Both the Coronavirus and the government’s response to it, have had a very disproportionate impact on various segments of the country.
At first, the virus and its effects were seen as more of a New York or big city problem, as it didn’t seem to impact much on the rural populations. Then, there was a shift. Published health concerns switched from an area and population density related issue to an age and health issue. For the young and healthy the symptoms, if they get the virus, are normally mild and of only a minor concern; whereas, for the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions the Coronavirus is not only a serious issue, it can and often is fatal. The government’s responses have also had the greatest and most devastating impact on almost all businesses and people who are the most financially vulnerable. That includes locally-owned small businesses, restaurants, hotels, motels, B&Bs, resorts, theaters, and the people that they employ, many of whom are the most financially vulnerable and the first affected by layoffs. For those with a secure source of income, however, it is more of an inconvenience than a real hardship. The disparity of the concern for the impact on oneself versus others is at the heart of the problem, and it’s not about the Coronavirus but about us as a nation.
Are we a nation in which we care for each other or one in which we care for ourselves? What unites a nation is an emotional bond of caring for one another. If that care and concern for others breaks down in a nation, and our own as well, it can completely fall apart. So, as the country faces the coming flu season this fall, and the full impact of the Coronavirus at that time, and the still distant impact of the steps that the governments (federal, state & local) have taken reach out and touch us all, what will be the result? Will the nation come together in winter or will the cold weather only add to the distancing affect the current and coming wedges, being slowly driven between us, cause our dissolution?
Can the country be united behind any individual or force in order to bring itself together enough to survive and thrive once again?
Cartoon of the Week