As European countries including France, Germany, and England enter a second COVID lock down, America hums along like nothing’s wrong
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues unabated, some European countries including France, Germany, and Great Britain are entering yet another period of lock down in response to rising case levels. In France, deaths are at a high not seen since April. Germany is closing restaurants, bars, theaters, cinemas, gyms and other leisure facilities for four weeks to get new infections back to manageable levels. England will enact similar crackdowns this week.
Now you may be wondering — what about America? — land of the free, home of the anti-masker looney bin who throws fits at Costco. Welp, looks like we’re just continuing on our path of unspeakable death and illness as President Trump whines at every rally about how we won’t hear about COVID anymore “on November 4” as though the virus is a personal affront to him and not a thing that’s taken the lives of over 230,000 of his constituents.
Due in large part to his attitude and lack of real action, we are now in our tenth month of pandemic madness and cases nationwide are climbing to all-time highs, but is that stopping Americans from their usual ding-dong behavior? Absolutely not. My neighborhood on Halloween was AWASH in humans, not a mask in sight, and my Facebook feed was full of smiling people living it up at INDOOR parties also with no masks. During a pandemic. That spreads via respiratory droplet.
In my (frankly terrifying) southern state, restaurants are open at 100 percent capacity, gyms don’t require members to mask up (and trust, they largely attend bare-faced), youth sports are up and running, and people on my local mom boards are asking for advice on holiday vacation locales. Seriously. During a pandemic that’s rapidly merging with flu season.
As we head into what will undoubtedly be a very dark and death-filled winter (per Dr. Fauci, not being hyperbolic here) I know in my heart of hearts that Americans will still press on amid rising COVID cases, “not letting it dominate” their lives, as Fearless Leader bellows. Never mind the fact that there’s no such thing as a personal decision that only effects the person making it when it can mean a domino effect of cases leading to a lack of hospital beds in their community. There is literally no such thing as conducting yourself mid-pandemic in a vacuum — your actions can and will have deadly consequences on your neighbors and beyond. It is proven. It is real.
We watched like big, dumb idiots this past spring when COVID ravaged European countries and apparently learned absolutely nothing, because here we are, 10 months later, and they’re locking down again and Trump is yelping that we’ve “rounded the corner” and lists ending the pandemic as one of his accomplishments. No seriously, he did that.
Now, the holiday season is here and Aunt Karen is probably going to invite your whole family for a nice, cozy, potentially COVID-laced Thanksgiving get-together, because America, in its infinite optimism and dumbassery, simply doesn’t learn from pain.
At this point, it’s all up to us as individuals who believe in science (I mean, it has been all along, really) to lock ourselves down as much as reasonably possible. Work and school are one thing — a family BBQ with 50 of your nearest and dearest (and no masks) is another. Every choice we make now has the potential to help or hurt. Let’s all do our best in the face of the idiots who will keep doing their worst.