The COVID-19 or coronavirus has truly left a mark on this generation. No matter what age we are, I’m sure we’re all too young to remember anything like we are facing today. Not even the fateful day of September 11, 2001, compares to the dramatic changes in life that we are facing. During 9-11 and the following days, there was an ominous presence in the atmosphere. But even then, we knew, or sort of knew, who the enemy was and how best to defeat them.
With this virus, we have been forced to shut down normal operations and even shut-in to avoid the possibility of contaminating not only ourselves but possibly our loved ones. Anyone who has been watching the news has undoubtedly heard some very difficult stories of these trying times. I’ve heard stories of overrun hospitals and even ambulance companies being ordered not to bring heart attack victims to hospitals if they can’t get pulses on the scene.
I think the most difficult stories that I have are those concerning the conditions of many susceptible populations. No doubt many have become familiar with the stories of students who are suffering from the digital divide in this country. Those more affluent citizens who have access to the internet are able to make sure their children do not fall behind. But what about those students who live in rural locations who do not have broadband? These less affluent students will no doubt suffer in the long run if they don’t get access to not only the internet but a machine to complete their assignments. In case anyone thinks that this problem has only come to light during this pandemic, they need to rethink their opinions. This problem has been well documented and discussed.
This begs the question, where have we been? What have we as a country been doing? Have we really had our heads in the sand? Or are we just that self-centered as a country in which we truly are not concerned with how well others are doing? Does it not occur to us that the very people we walk past, refuse to help, ensure get a proper education, may very well be the people they meet while on a shopping spree? What type of person and interaction do you want that to be? If that thought scares you, then now is the time to do something about it.
Of even more difficult news is that many experts believe that because many students are home there may be an increase in sexual abuse. Not to mention the number of children who have to have their meals supplemented because they aren’t going to school. We have also seen a spike in domestic violence not only here in the US, but also in the world.
Truly this pandemic has revealed some very disturbing things about the human race. Our lack of opportunity, lack of access to modern amenities, lack of health care, and just a general lack of empathy is …. well…appalling.
I sincerely hope that many of us truly reflect on these times, take the time to love one another, and make an effort to do and be better. Nice stories of welcoming home nurses and other front line and first-line supervisors are truly heartwarming. But in these times let’s not forget about those who are incarcerated, homeless, poor, mentally ills, elderly and just plain vulnerable. The rock that the Coronavirus has flipped over has revealed a disgusting underbelly of greed and apathy. I hope we look in the proverbial mirror, take note and take action to do and be better.
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