Complacency endangers citizens


Mariama Jallow, Staff Columnist

We are still living through a pandemic, a phrase that unfortunately, many people have to be reminded of. COVID-19 may be the worst thing that has happened to all of us, our lives have taken a turn none of us have expected — people want to be back in their works spaces, college students want things to go back to how they were. However, people are dying, and we cannot forget or ignore that.

Over 210,000 Americans have died. Just last week a student at Appalachian State died from coronavirus complications. Why are there still people taking this virus as if it’s a joke? How can the “leader” of the nation invoke the myth of the American dream by alluding to “pulling yourself up by the bootstraps” and “weathering the storm of COVID” while being blind to his privilege he has that no American does. Mothers, fathers, daughters and sons are all being taken away from their loved ones. Partly because of how polarized this country has become, a mask has become a political statement rather than a healthcare issue. 

The United States is going through the worst economic downturn in history, schools have been almost entirely virtually and a record number of jobs have been lost this year because people still believe this virus is a “hoax.”

A lot of people need to debunk this idea that somehow if they get the virus they’ll be fine. Despite the systematic issues in this country, COVID-19 does not discriminate on race, class, political affiliation or religious belief. According to a CNBC report, “despite generally being low risk for severe illnesses, college-age adults have become seriously ill from COVID-19.” College campuses are now clusters of their own. 

 Arguably the most protected man in the world, the president of the United States has COVID-19.  It only took him downplaying the severity of the virus, denying scientific evidence and not utilizing recommendations from the world’s top experts in disease.

The more we think this pandemic is over and ‘go back to our normal social lives’, the worse will get.”

 He ignored the science and instead of wearing a mask all the time, he made it a political issue rather than a healthcare issue. He has continued to hold rallies with thousands of people, many of whom are shoulder to shoulder with no mask on. Trump has continuously downplayed the seriousness of the coronavirus and as a result, arguably the most powerful man in the world has COVID-19. So why do so many people think they somehow will not be affected by COVID-19? 

The president tweeted “Don’t be afraid of COVID don’t let it dominate your life,” but we should all be afraid of COVID-19 because the majority of the U.S. population will not have the greatest doctors in the world to care for us if we get infected. We will not be flown to the presidential suite of Walter Reed Medical Center, receiving round the clock care. We will not have the privilege of receiving a treatment on “compassionate use.”

For the 210,000 people that lost their lives to COVID-19, it has dominated their lives and the lives of their families. 

The White House is being labeled as a COVID-19 “hot zone” even with their access to unlimited resources. Meanwhile, Black communities are in a drought of relevant PPE and cleaning supplies and are simultaneously enduring another pandemic, anti-blackness and white supremacy. About 27.9 million people in America are uninsured and Black people are dying from COVID-19 at rates more than twice as high as the rate at which white people are dying. This is a result of systematic inequalities in the healthcare system. 

Every 80 seconds, another American dies of the virus because of a lack of responsibility by those in the federal government putting stimulus packages on hold, and not providing adequate care to disadvantaged and underserved communities. After reading this article three people may have died from COVID-19, people with families, people that should not be forgotten. Two hundred thousand isn’t just a number and we cannot forget that. Don’t ignore CDC guidelines, wear a mask, socially distance and stay safe. The more we think this pandemic is over and “go back to our normal social lives,” the worse will get. The end of this pandemic we are all yearning for will only get further away from us.

Finally, vote. Vote like your life depends on it, because it does. If you want to hear more about what I have to say, go check out my podcast The World Through Our Eyes available on Apple Podcast, Spotify and anywhere else you get your podcasts.