OUR TRUE SIDE (part of the COVID-19 RESPONSE series) by Andrew Tate

April 10, 2020

Like millions of Americans and fellow citizens around the world, I am nervous about the overall threat COVID-19 presents to our society. While this disease might not be as deadly as some other pandemics we have had in the past, the rapid spread of this disease is worrisome if we do not unite under a common goal of eradicating this disease in the least costly way possible.

I believe we as a country did not take the correct measures to ensure our citizens were protected prior to COVID-19 arriving in our country. We should have seen from the ongoing threat the virus was already presenting in nations such as China, Iran, and South Korea that this virus had the potential to directly impact not only a large percentage of the population, but also cause untold damage to the economy. Our country failed to make sure we were adequately prepared to deal with an outbreak of this magnitude. The national emergency stockpile was not replenished, even when it was known by this Administration and the previous one that supplies needed to be restocked. If our federal government had done a greater job of resupplying its emergency stockpile it is likely to infer we would not be dealing with as widespread of a shortage in medical supplies as we are currently experiencing. However, I do believe that the federal government has been responding fairly well to this ongoing issue in recent days. Trying to ensure citizens get paid during business closures, as well as injecting money directly into the market to ensure a depression does not occur, are necessary steps that have been taken by the federal government in recent days. However, it will be interesting to see if they continue to take such measures as these to ensure its citizens are protected from homelessness, loss of savings, and ultimately free of disease.

I believe our state and local entities have responded more effectively to this ongoing crisis than our federal government has. The social distancing policies, along with closing indoor dining in restaurants, I believe, have greatly reduced the potential for citizens to come into contact with the pathogen, helping to slow its growth throughout the nation. These policies have been implemented as a measure to try and ensure we stay healthy, even if it means sacrificing our temporary wants and desires for long term longevity. The medical field and their staffs have been doing a tremendous job responding to this outbreak and deserve all of the praise in the world for their tireless pursuit in working towards a vaccine and helping those stricken by the virus recover. It is impervious that the individuals receive the praise and adoration they deserve not only throughout this issue, but after it is done to ensure they are never taken for granted.

I am nervous, however, that this situation will continue to get worse and people will begin to show their true side. We have already seen the lengths people will go to, including hoarding, price gouging commonly used items, and fighting others over simple goods and services. If this situation does spiral out of control, I find it difficult to infer people will not devolve into more ruthless versions of themselves. Rather than fighting for the good of society, I fear a majority, or at least a substantial portion of the population, will fight for themselves, without worrying what effects their actions might have on the general population (case in point, the spring breakers in Florida).

We must do what is right, as a city, county, state, and country, to ensure this crisis is resolved as quickly as possible with the fewest number of lives lost. However, we cannot destroy our economy and our very way of life in order to do this. There are necessary steps that will need to be taken if this outbreak continues to get worse, I just hope we as a country and a society do not devolve into a less civilized version of ourselves because of the strain this virus is placing on our society. I desire for us to learn from this outbreak, and take the necessary steps to ensure the likelihood of something of this magnitude does not happen again, or happens again at a much more mild level than it presently is.


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