Sunday, December 26, 2021

COVID Divides a Divided Country

For millions of Americans, the pandemic has been disastrous.  We have lost an uncountable number of Americans. We cannot even grasp the magnitude of the loss.  Have you ever stood at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the mall in Washington, DC and scanned through the uncountable number of names etched into the Wall?   We have lost well over ten times this number of Americans in the pandemic.  And it’s not over yet.  Beyond those who have died, we have to contemplate family members and friends who have been left behind.  And those who have become seriously ill or even hospitalized or even spent time in an ICU have been changed forever.   And many who escaped the virus were scared that they might become the next victim, particularly before the release of the vaccines.  And now Omicron has swept onto our shores reminding us that the pandemic still lives.  Will we go through the entire Greek alphabet?

Similarly, we cannot even calculate the economic devastation and disruption that the pandemic has wrought. And, we have all witnessed the Great Resignation, a phenomenon that we still do not entirely understand.  It appears that many Americans simply do not want to return to the grinding jobs that they had become accustomed to.  Many have resisted the lure of substantial wage increases and astronomical signing bonuses.  At first, many speculated that folks were staying home as they were enjoying government subsidies.  These payments have largely ended but there has been no migration back to the work force. Clearly, something deeper is occurring here. 



COVID-19 - Uniter or Divider?

I shudder when I contemplate the consequences of having kept our kids home for a year.  Some are still ‘learning’ virtually.  The damage has extended far beyond the educational realm and reaches into mental health, economic, nutritional and social spheres.  Did we really have sufficient scientific evidence to justify such a draconian measure?  I wonder.

And sadly, a plague that in an earlier time would have bound us together has only further divided a separating nation.  Everything seems to be a fight.  Test yourself on my thesis.  Consider half a dozen or so issues of the day and if they are uniting or fracturing the nation.  Now, test yourself again.  Can you identify a issue that is bringing us together?

Any reader who is inclined to leave an uplifting comment is strongly urged to do so.

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