COVID-19 was a test the U.S. failed

It goes without saying that the U.S. stands as a prime example of how not to handle a nationwide pandemic.

Only months ago, we were unconcerned about the effects of the novel coronavirus, proclaiming control and certainty from our nation’s president to ordinary citizens. It was beyond our conscious thought that this could turn to a world-wide pandemic; even further was the idea that the U.S. would suffer the worst.

First, we must acknowledge that a prime contributor to this failure is our president. President Trump has used this virus as a way to push an agenda for reelection, insisting on referring to the virus as the “Chinese virus.”. Some in his staff call it the “kung flu,” simultaneously paying homage to Trump’s racist rhetoric and making reckless comparisons to the well-known but far less deadly flu.

The weeks of false statements and dangerous comparisons lowered our guard to what this virus could become. Despite not nearly infecting as many people as the age-old flu, its fatality rate is twenty times that of influenza. Between 20 to 30% of all patients diagnosed with COVID-19 are hospitalized.

If we know the truth now, why is it still spreading? For once, the youth may be the ones wrecking it for the older generations. Parents beg on Facebook and neighborhood platforms to watch their teenagers as they are sighted meeting in large groups. Partially due to the false conclusion that only the elderly and compromised are at risk, teenagers feel a sense of immunity. 

Out of their part-time positions and school, young people’s social lives are being severely compromised. No fear of falling ill themselves, they continue to make plans regardless of a curfew order. They fail to consider that they can be carriers for the virus to others, or even that they themselves may be more compromised than they think. 

Years of vaping through high school does not result in lungs strong enough to combat several days to weeks of a vicious virus. 

Putting blame is the easy part. We all have our fingers pointed at one another but fear a sterner route to the solution. As nearly half million Americans are infected, President Trump retains that he will leave it to the governors to decide on full state lockdown. New York has docked ships to provide for more hospital beds and still is in dire need for more medical supplies. 

Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia issued a statewide shelter-in-place order with as many loopholes as possible. Cities that had imposed a curfew or shut down nonessential businesses were forced to release these restrictions as they did not comply with the more lax order. Despite making sense, cities that had taken proper precautions were told to step back. 

The fear of economic ruin keeps “essential’ businesses open. Little Caesars $5pizza is considered essential during a pandemic; as long as you’re wearing a handmade mask or standing six feet apart, it’ll be hot and ready. Beaches remain open under Kemp’s orders, as well as in several other states. 

As seen on Instagram, people are loving being able to boat on Lake Lanier during this stressful time to relax in close proximity to everyone in their household. The government doesn’t seem to mind either.