Over the past several months, our country has been going through it, especially with our not-so-little COVID situation that has affected everyone’s lives.
Here’s a brief, little timeline in case you live under a rock and don’t know what I’m talking about: In the middle of March, we were sent on an early, extended spring break that lasted all the way to the end of the school year. In that time we began to realize the struggles of virtual learning. Then for the summer, our country was on lockdown and masks became mandatory in many states. Now, over nine months in, we’ve found a vaccine and still have yet to get “back to normal” like other countries like Australia where the citizens resume activities such as going to concerts.
It’s been a rough couple of months, but honestly, it could have all been sorted out if a) we had a competent president who cared more about the wellbeing of citizens rather than the economy and b) if we stayed in lockdown for a longer period of time (which kind of goes hand in hand with the previous point). Now, with the help of colder weather and a little holiday cheer, COVID-19 cases have dramatically surged, not only across the nation but in our school too. According to the Fayette County Public School website , the number of cases and the number of people in quarantine has risen significantly across the county. And according to the New York Times’s interactive graph, used by Google, on Nov. 27 the cases only skyrocketed after Thanksgiving, proving exactly what was to be expected: an explosion of cases to emerge with the holiday season. Could this have been avoided if we stayed on lockdown?
A great deal of where we are today in regards to the pandemic comes from how it was handled when Coronavirus was first introduced to the United States. From the very beginning, President Trump underestimated the impact the virus would have on our nation, thinking of it as this simple flu-like virus that would soon pass.
According to U.S. Congressman, Lloyd Doggett’s timeline of the pandemic on Jan. 22, the day after the first case was reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Trump made a public response saying: “We have it totally under control. It’s just one person coming in from China.”
Over the course of the next several months, Trump would have almost single-handedly divided the nation with the ignorance he spoke. There would be claims made by him that by April and the reintroduction of warmer weather, the virus would “miraculously” go away or uneducated hunches insisting that the virus is “very mild.” On top of that, he refused to wear a mask in public, further splitting up the nation between those who took the pandemic seriously and those who simply didn’t.
Now, though I push a lot of blame onto the Trump administration for the longevity of this pandemic, there were times where he wasn’t as disappointing. In an interview with senior Olivia Quern, she was appreciative of the financial support the Trump administration gave to her parents who both own small businesses, but also agreed that Trump’s ignorance was the catalyst to the spread of the virus, saying “Overall, I wish the Trump administration took more serious action in regards to containing the virus from the beginning. Trump could have definitely been a more unifying figure during this time of uncertainty, and if he advocated more for mask-wearing and other ways to contain the spread, I bet more of his supporters would willingly listen.”