If Mary had asked those strangers to curb their dogs, or stop smoking, instead of asking them to wear masks, would she be met with the same frame of mind. The first guy was hostile and wasn’t going to have a woman with ‘an attitude’ telling him what to do. Moreover, he took the FOX NEWS stance, that libtards spout false science. His tone was nasty and meanspirited. The second man genuinely tried to comfort Mary, showing her the mask he wore below his chin, and telling her he had antibodies. It sounds like he had a case of coronavirus and/or tested positive for antibodies. Telling her, “not to live in fear” is another FOX NEWS, red state, Trumpist cry.
Today’s politics do not only polarize; they anger and frustrate people as well. It’s a comment on the times in which we live.
These are challenging circumstances; coronavirus is not well understood. People are getting seriously ill and dying by the tens of thousands. We’ve never had a nationwide, shelter-in-place quarantine. Suddenly, 38 million people are unemployed and the school year was cut short by three months with no clear date to reopen. There is a long, stealthy incubation period whereby asymptomatic people are spreading the disease without knowing it. There is no cure or vaccine for covid-19. The disease affects different age groups unevenly; patients over the age of seventy have a 20% chance of dying. The best we can do to protect ourselves is to live in fear if you will.
Appreciate Abraham Lincoln’s words during another time of bitter disagreement between two halves of this country,
An address given by Abraham Lincoln on June 16, 1858, at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, after he had accepted the Illinois Republican Party’s nomination as US senator.
“A house divided against itself cannot stand. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved – I do not expect the house to fall – but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.” — Abraham Lincoln
He was right. The Union did survive, and it did become entirely slave-free.
Today we face an even more significant threat than the divisions between slave and slave-free politics. Without unified Federal leadership we have no hope of controlling the covid-19 pandemic, especially if we are determined to reopen the economy.
So far, we have done everything wrong. Stopping flights from China had unintended consequences. It only managed to send travelers on a more circuitous, dangerous route through Europe to the U.S. The C.D.C. refused help from the WHO. Millions of faulty coronavirus tests were designed and distributed by the C.D.C. before the problems were discovered. This set us back weeks at a point in time when every day counted. As it was, social distancing and shelter in place quarantines were not put in place early enough. States without severe outbreaks mistakenly made less of an effort to protect themselves. While many other countries have controlled their internal covid-19 infestations and begin to reopen for business, Americans wanting to do the same have no hope of controlling the infection with this disfunctional approach and lack of leadership. The death toll is already over 100,000. We might not be at the halfway point. That’s a frightening thought.