It’s easy to see why some foreigners look at America’s response to the COVID-19 coronavirus and wonder if we’re completely sane. We’ve taken what should be a public health issue and turned it into a political one. Instead of coming together to beat this nasty little bug, we’ve allowed this little bug to drive us further apart.
I’ve seen calls to put people who will not get vaccinated in jail, or at least made to pay heavy fines. I’ve seen people who wear masks and practice social distancing called “sheep.” Such claims usually come from people who believe every lie told by former President Donald Trump. I’ve seen claims the virus was created to take away our freedoms and ensure the Democrats could steal the 2020 Presidential election.
I saw a meme posted on a Facebook group I belong to that claimed the coronavirus had a “99.985 percent” recovery rate. I replied that, based on the best information I could find from such organizations as the Arizona Department of Health Services, the Centers for Disease Control, and, most notably, the Worldometers website, the recovery rate is closer to 98 percent. I think you’d agree that’s a great recovery rate.
Boy, did I hear about it. I was told I was using “fake statistics,” and this individual knew for a fact that doctors and health care workers were inflating the number of coronavirus cases. This person said anyone who would believe the statistics I was quoting would also believe Joe Biden won the Presidential election (you mean he didn’t?).
Seriously, this just goes to show the level of misinformation about the virus that’s out there, as well as the level of mistrust and suspicion. With so many political figures playing up to the suspicions and paranoia about the virus, no wonder our national response has been a mess.
So, what do we know about this nasty little bug for a fact?
First, we know it’s survivable. The vast majority of people who get it will never feel any of the symptoms. If you’re in good overall health, it should be no problem. I suspect there may be people walking around who have it, but, because they feel no symptoms and they haven’t been tested lately, they don’t know they have it.
Second, we know that, if the virus makes you sick, it will make you very sick. This comes from people who have become sick from it and recovered. We also know it can be deadly in some cases. These are usually people who have some underlying condition that the virus makes worse.
Actress Alyssa Milano became sick from the virus. When she learned President Trump had become sick from the virus, she sent him a message hoping for a speedy recovery. She didn’t like Trump, but she added the virus made her so sick, she wouldn’t wish that on anyone.
We also know how to stop or slow down the spread of the virus. The fact is preventive measures such as face masks, social distancing and using hand sanitizers did some good at slowing things down.
What really slowed things down in recent months was the use of vaccines. When more and more people were getting their shots, the numbers of new cases declined. The vast majority of new cases these days come from people who haven’t been vaccinated.
In other words, the vaccines actually work.
Perhaps the most important thing we know about the coronavirus is it’s nothing to panic about. We know what it is and what it can do. We know that it’s survivable. We know how to slow down its spread. Now that we know so much about it, we know what to do about it.
It’s high time we as a nation started acting like this is a public health issue and not a political one. We know enough about this nasty little bug to beat it, but we won’t be able to do that as long as we’re using it to beat each other over the head with.
Come on, Americans! Let’s do what we need to do to beat this little bug. We’re tougher than it will ever be. The only way it can beat us is if we let it beat us. Sadly, that’s what we’ve been doing. It’s time we came to our senses and did what we need to do to beat it.