I’ve tried to take in as many different perspectives on America’s COVID-19 experience as I can because I know that there are a lot of variations to how individuals are going through this.
For example, at 10:30pm last night one of the schools that my kids attend announced that they were switching to virtual school immediately because a staff member had tested positive for COVID. We’re still waiting for more information, but understandably a lot of parents are frustrated and upset because they have to work outside of the home during the day and can’t stay home to supervise kids in virtual school.
My wife and I are very lucky in this regard because I can work from home and she only works part-time on the weekends.
That said, when I look across the measures that we’re still taking to prevent the spread of the virus – everything from masks to some businesses being closed to quarantines – I can’t help but think that the reason why we’re still having to endure these invasive measures is because, quite frankly, we didn’t do a very good job of facing this virus as a whole from the very beginning.
- Medical personnel spent the first month struggling to get their hands on basic safety equipment for their staff.
- Political leaders shrugged off the seriousness of the pandemic and downplayed its potential instead of making critical early steps.
- The financial support offered by Congress was rife with abuse and often went to people and corporations who didn’t need it, and archaic unemployment systems left even more Americans begging for relief.
- Some Americans fought tooth and nail against restrictions aimed at keeping people safe, and even today chatter about the virus being a hoax is common.
- Testing never really went mainstream by being too confusing, unreliable, and an undue burden to establish a regular testing cycle needed to truly monitor the population.
- Speaking of monitoring, contact tracing never really took off here, either, because vocal Americans determined that privacy was more important than safety. Case in point – for my son’s school, we don’t know if the employee ever had contact with Christopher or not, which makes it difficult for us to manage his potential exposure here at home.
- Despite the importance stressed on opening schools, many were never given safety equipment that they needed, with some schools here in the Tampa Bay Area giving each teacher only “a rag and a spray bottle” to keep their classrooms clean.
I know it feels like we’ve all been through a lot in the last six months, and we have, but it’s hard to not ask ourselves if we really did everything that we could when you look at other countries that experienced a curve back in the spring and basically have it more or less stabilized at this point.
If America is supposed to be the greatest country in the world, or the richest, or whatever, why are we struggling with this so much?