the nation was burying its dead, while toilet paper got narrower in
width, while storage companies tripled their rental fees, while Big
Pharma scurried to produce a COVID-19 vaccine, while we struggle to
hold onto our sanity, the U.S. hit the grim milestone of 500,000
thousand deaths. And counting.
been about a year since the uninvited coronavirus first came into our
lives. Thanks to the reckless fool who got kicked out of the White
House, the U.S. leads the entire world in the number of COVID-19
cases - 28 million. And counting.
person masquerading as the U.S. president at the advent of the
pandemic told us everything was under control and soon, the virus
would go away. The irresponsible assurance in the face of science
wasted valuable time needed to plan an appropriate response. The
negligent approach opened the door to non-scientific conspiracy
theories. It allowed COVID-19 to be politicized, right down to the
wearing of a simple mask. This led to unnecessary deaths.
has dramatically shown us how interconnected our lives are in this
country. It put floodlights on the vulnerability of particular
populations like African Americans and the elderly. It also exposed
the systemic inequities already known to us from healthcare to
housing. Those disparities were intensified under the pandemic,
adding to the inability to contain the virus and deal a final blow.
is estimated that nearly eight million businesses could close because
of the virus. The National Restaurant Association has reported that
60 percent of restaurants will never re-open. Unemployment claims are
at an all-time high. Three million women have been knocked out of the
workforce to stay at home with young children mainly due to daycare
and school closings. Nationwide, nearly 51 million public school
students are being negatively impacted by virtual learning (aka
virtually no learning) and are showing signs of stress and obesity.
Although there has been temporary relief from rent and mortgage
payments, evictions and foreclosures are now looming. The government
relief packages, including the historic $2 trillion CARES Act, will
triple the deficit for the next decade. This unprecedented burden has
led to mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and even
have seen COVID’s devastation and are humbled by its mighty
power. What the U.S. is facing are conditions reminiscent of the
Great Depression. The situation is sobering but we must rise to the
challenge if we are to get to the other side of the pandemic.
are three areas to consider.
we must get our heads right. Sure, we all are suffering from COVID
fatigue - longing for the good ole’ days where we could hug
people, party hearty, and send our kids to school. We are up against
a deadly enemy that requires that we be in tip-top mental and
physical shape for the protracted battle ahead.
our families and communities must show some extra love and patience
with one another. Be there to listen, share what you can, and
advocate when you need to. We are being pitted against one another in
many ways so that our time is wasted, and our fears and anger have
we must be laser-focused and strategic in pushing for what our
families and communities need. If we are going to be in deep debt on
a personal and federal level for generations, let’s make sure
our tax dollars count for addressing long-term solutions. To do this,
we must be organized in ways that we have never been before and with
people we don’t know but who share both our plight and our
vaccine is a welcome sight, but it is not a panacea. We can’t
depend on politicians whose self-interests are often in conflict with
ours. We can’t depend on the capitalist system to respond to
our human needs. Magical thinking will not get us past the pandemic,
only the person in the mirror.