I’m not one to talk politics, but because our nation’s response to the worldwide pandemic is affecting our nation’s health, I can’t help myself. I’ve been tweeting my views and yes, now, because I care about my friends, family and my community, I’m publishing this blog, one that took me a month to edit while I worked to soothe the fire that’s been burning in my blood. I am frustrated and angry, not only because we are in a global pandemic, but because the United States of America hasn’t had a consistent, united response to COVID-19, which has made things even worse.
There are a lot of confusing facts out there, but one fact that can’t be denied is that the United States is doing a terrible job with controlling the spread of the virus. And as the virus continues to spread across the nation, hundreds of thousands of people are dying. As of today, September 4th, 2020, over 187,000 Americans have died. Imagine if one of those deaths were your mother, your father, your sister, your brother, or your best friend.
My message today is please, for your health, the health of your friends and family, and the health of our nation as a whole, please, please, social distance and wear a mask. It’s not that difficult, and it’s exactly what other nations are doing so that they can live a new normal life.
The fact that the president of the United States doesn’t scream this message just baffles me. It’s like we are living in a dystopian world here in the USA. I don’t understand Trump’s response to COVID-19 (or lack there of), just like I don’t understand how it’s okay for him, the president of the United States, to bully-tweet and lie, to encourage white supremacy, to attack honored Veterans, and to call strong women nasty women. Of course, I’ve never been a fan. I care about women’s rights, the environment and healthcare so he didn’t have my vote four years ago, especially after bragging about grabbing women by the pussy. But now my blood is boiling over, as he ignores science, touts an alternate reality and stirs the pot of hatred.
Time after time, Trump has denied that there is a problem with COVID-19 and as days and deaths have gone by he seems to have forgotten that there is even a pandemic. We’ve had to listen to statements such as:
- “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control” (January 22, 2020 – 1 case)
- “Looks like by April, you know, in theory, when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away.” (February 10, 2020 – 11 cases)
- “When you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.” (February 26, 2020 – 57 cases)
- “This was unexpected. …And it hit the world. And we’re prepared, and we’re doing a great job with it. And it will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.” (March 10, 2020 – 1000 cases / 31 deaths)
- After CDC recommends Americans wear masks… “It’s going to be, really, a voluntary thing. You can do it. You don’t have to do it. I’m choosing not to do it, but some people may want to do it, and that’s OK. It may be good. Probably will. They’re making a recommendation.” (April 3, 2020 – 275,367 cases / 7,090 deaths)
- The pandemic is “fading away. It’s going to fade away.” (Tulsa, Oklahoma rally) (June 17, 2020 2,127,047 cases / 110,695deaths)
It’s now the end of August and the virus has not miraculously gone away. Even with over 6.17 million cases and 187,000 deaths Trump continues to ignore the science behind the spread of COVID-19. Just last week, Trump held the Republican National Convention with an audience that was not social distancing or wearing masks. The President of the United States should set a good example. Instead Trump has pushed COVID-19 aside moving on to things that benefit him and his election, not our country. How can a world wide pandemic not be a top priority?
Had Trump followed the science, made good decisions early, and encouraged social distancing and masks, the number of deaths in the United States would have been much lower. Yes, there would be deaths, but like many countries that have taken the pandemic seriously, the deaths here could have been minimized and our country could be opening in a safe manner. Look at Taiwan, New Zealand, Finland, and many other countries that have trusted and followed science.
I have been keeping a close eye on Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, because my daughter lives there, and it’s close to Wuhan, China, where the pandemic started in early 2020. I used to check the news and Coronavirus numbers every morning. It drove my husband crazy. I was nervous. I watched the virus start to spread, when it entered Taiwan, their leaders took action. They lengthened the New Years holiday by two weeks, keeping some adults home from work and kids out of school. They required masks and temperature checks in public places. They tested, traced, and quarenteened cases. I was afraid. I talked to my daughter about her coming home to the United States. Thank God she stayed put, as Taiwan only has 490 total cases. Their leaders took COVID-19 seriously.
Doctors are beginning to understand ways to treat COVID-19, which has helped to reduce deaths as long as hospitals don’t get overrun. Researchers are getting a better understanding of how this Coronavirus is spread, and though the message has changed a bit over time they do agree that social distancing and masks will help stop the spread. In the United States there has been almost no message. Not a consistant one for sure. And that’s because of our president. When a president ignores science, it is dangerous, especially during a pandemic. Trump’s message has been haphazard at best, and his disregard for the nation’s well being by encouraging large gatherings, pushing for churches to open and schools to proceed with in-person classes, is appalling. We would be safely opening the economy right now if Trump had supported science and encouraged social distancing and masks from the start. Trump didn’t even wear a mask in public until July 12, nearly six months after the first case of COVID-19 in the U.S., and he wore the mask wrong and made a joke about it.
A worldwide pandemic is not a joke!
It’s as if COVID-19 is just a hoax Trump. Many people believe COVID-19 will not affect them, until it does. And because of this attitude, and a leader who encourages it, America is overrun with the virus. So much so that Americans can’t even leave the country if we want to. If I want to visit my family in Europe, I can’t. If I want to pop up to Canada, I can’t, and more important, if I need to get to my daughter in Taiwan, I can’t.
Had Trump followed science, encouraged Americans to do what is best for the nation and not his reelection, more businesses and schools would be re-opening now because it was safe to do so. We would be living a new normal life, which consisted of masks and caution, but less fear. Had Trump followed science, implemented a consistent message and set a good example, many lives would have been saved.
For now, I’m trying to do my part, staying home as much as possible, social distancing, wearing a mask, and now I’m writing this blog to encourage you to do the same. I have friends and family who are vulnerable, as are millions of Americans. So I ask you to think about the choices you make, because until we have a vaccine, the choices you make can help save lives and help heal this country.
Also, I urge you to vote. If you made it this far into my blog, you know my opinion (which is another blog in itself), but my personal values and beliefs are my own, so I encourage you to research varied news sources and do your own soul searching. (I have included an AllSides Media Bias Chart as well as links to several of the news sources that rank as not having a left or right bias as a start). This is an important time to understand where we are headed as a nation. Go out and vote in November, and for now, for the health of your family, your friends, your community, this nation and the world, please social distance and wear a mask.
Stay Safe, and Stay Healthy
Links to some center news channels: