I’m sick of Covid
By: Nicholas Ratcliff
On Jan. 20, 2020, America’s first citizen tested positive for COVID-19, officially marking the day the pandemic made its way to our country.
Even though we heard about this new disease a few weeks prior, we were under the impression it would be contained to China. Americans were not prepared for the uphill battle we were about to climb.
At the time, the world knew little about this new virus. It had only been on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) radar for about a month and hadn’t even been declared a pandemic.
For most, this event was barely even considered noteworthy due to the lack of information that we had about Covid. Many college students were simply happy to get an extra week for spring break.
As the week went on, the public began to learn more about the virus and started to worry about how quickly it was spreading. On top of this, the death toll in China was rising at an alarming rate. This painted an ominous image in the minds of health experts across the globe.
By the end of February, case numbers had risen past the point of containment as the country began to realize Covid wasn’t going anywhere.
By March 11, 2020, the WHO officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic. President Donald Trump declared it a National Emergency just two days later.
We all know what happened next. Slowly but surely every state declared some kind of lockdown.
Misinformation about the virus began to spread faster than the virus itself and the American political parties turned the pandemic into a political debate instead of a public health one.
It has been just more than two years since the first confirmed case made its way to America. According to the New York Times, 78 million people contracted this virus. Of those, 927,000 lost their lives.
John Hopkins University recently released a study calculating the Covid mortality rate. They broke down the numbers for each country individually, so we could see how Covid was affecting the United States directly.
Even though our healthcare system has its problems, we are lucky our access to technology has provided America with one of the lower mortality rates of just 1.2%.
While this does not undermine the tragic passing of more than 927,000 Americans, I can’t help but be thankful for the fact that this disease was not as deadly as we first thought.
What I am not thankful for is how quickly our country let this topic divide and separate us.
Even today, two years after the pandemic started, our government officials cannot agree on how we should proceed with this virus.
This topic is not political and Covid does not care about the mandates we impose to prevent it, yet our politicians didn’t even hesitate to turn it into another dividing issue in America.
It could have been simple. We could have taken this as a time to realize that we were all going through this together regardless of our political parties.
Our leaders could have used this opportunity to come together during a time where political tensions were high. Covid was a new threat, and it was our political system that decided to turn it into a debate over opinion instead of legislation passed on bi-partisan facts.
That is why I am tired of talking about Covid.
Everyone who wants the vaccine has had access for months. If you haven’t gotten the vaccine, you clearly have decided you are willing to take that risk.
That should be the end of the debate. Our government has done its job by providing access to the vaccination for anyone that wants it. Anything past that is fully up to the American people to decide for themselves.
To clarify, I am not against the vaccine in anyway. I am just tired of talking about it in general.
It is not our government’s place to tell us what to do or how to think. It is their job to provide us with solutions to problems that affect the public as a whole.
The vaccine was that solution, yet even that turned into another debate.
The virus brought so many issues to light that the American public had no idea even existed. Our supply chain fell apart within weeks of the pandemic. Our economy slowed.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “The unemployment rate peaked above levels seen during the Great Recession.”
To top all this off, Gallops most recent poll indicated America’s trust in its media has fallen to its second lowest recorded number. Only 36% of the people surveyed said they trusted the news.
Our government should have been more prepared for an event like Covid to happen. However, instead of discussing this, they have chosen to call each other out over who wore a mask and when.
I am tired of talking about Covid because I am tired of being reminded that our government would rather fight with itself than unite for its people.
I will always believe in democracy, but Covid has made me realize that our current government would rather divide its people to gain more power than unite them to address the issue.
I am tired of our political system acting like our fellow Americans are the enemy when we have plenty of real issues that present a legitimate threat to this country. Tensions with China are rising, and their military is growing in power. Our economy was drastically slowed by a disease within weeks and the government struggled to ship food where it needed to go during a time of crisis.
It is time to come together as a country, and I’m tired of talking about Covid because it is only dividing us more.
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