Saturday, May 9, 2020

Chained to Freedom

The perfect analogy today made by a NYTimes reporter: America’s response to Covid19 is equal to our response to guns; somehow dozens of other countries are able to control the problem but the US is too chained to it’s freedoms to allow control to actually happen.

Chained to our freedom might seem an oxymoron but it’s true. Our freedom is more important to us than our safety and even our lives.

More than that our addiction to money and capitalism supersedes any call to health. “Some people will die if we open the economy? Let them die. It’s a risk we have to take - thousands of lives for millions of jobs.” Fair trade? Hell no.

They say the disease doesn’t discriminate but that’s bullshit too. Some people can hide from the “invisible enemy” on one of their yacht in the South Pacific while another person tries to figure out where he can lay his tent for the night without being told by cops to “move along.” And even when the virus takes us down it is the rich who will have the private care needed to come back from the beast. Nobody is going to tell the largest donor to the hospital that there isn’t a ventilator available. They’ll pull it from the older uninsured vagrant who “probably would have died anyway. Right?”

The virus is not an “equalizer” and this is not the “great pause.” Romanticizing these months perpetuates a myth that will fool generations. Can we call it what it is? A screeching halt made toxic by a lack of unifying leadership over a divide that this virus has pushed to the limit.

I’m not seeing any good way out of this. But I remain curious to see how it unfolds. To be clear: I did not say hopeful. I said curious and I mean that in a myriad of ways.

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