It was a depressing morning. The news is not that good these days. And it was raining. And it is still raining steadily outside as I edit this blog in the afternoon. It feels damp and nasty. You feel like nothing good can happen on a day like today.
I went out early in the morning to the grocery store, just after it had opened. I thought that I had the crowd beaten, especially since the store was supposed to be open only for people above a certain age. Instead, I found a line of customers already waiting to enter. The inside of the store was also more crowded than I had expected. Folks, in masks, were gamely trying practice physical distancing as they did their shopping. It was so crowded that I even managed to crash my cart into another person’s at a busy intersection!
I feel depressed because of the way things are going in our country related to the pandemic. I feel we are headed towards a medical disaster. We are already setting records in terms of the numbers of people infected by the coronavirus, and also the dying. We are Number 1 in a bad sense. We don’t seem to recognize the irony of one of the most advanced nations on earth faring the worst when dealing with the pandemic. Politics leads rather than science, and we are totally inept when it comes to acting in a united way as a nation. And the pandemic is revealing all our flaws rather than high-lighting the positive attributes. One of the great positives is the way some of our citizens have come out to do the front-line work in dealing with this pandemic. People are traveling across the state lines to be of assistance to others. Surely our leaders owe them much more than their current efforts, helping them rather than making their work, and their lives, more difficult.
We are still in the middle of the battle. Even as the numbers of the victims of the contagion increase, and even as we continue to break records (in a very bad way), some of our leaders, some even in charge of places with high risk factors, are ready to declare victory and open up places to business as usual. Some are even willing to call our response to the pandemic so far a great success story. (Statements like these are almost Orwellian in nature.) In reality, our chaotic and confusing approach to confronting the pandemic is only going to increase the time we have with this disease, and also increase the numbers of the dead. It does not seem to matter to the reckless leaders. If you are fortunate, you live in a state with a sensible leader. Other leaders play with the lives of the people. You can also forget about national leadership in the present situation.
I expect that it will take a while for the world to recover from the pandemic. Life will not be the same for many people after the worst of the disease is over, even if some leaders promote the idea of a quick and complete recovery. It is a high stakes con game that is going on.