Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Whose Fault is It?


Yesterday, I heard the most viscerally offensive defense of the failed governmental COVID-19 policy yet. 

It was simply, if nothing had been done then the projections were that 2,000,000 Americans would have died. And that is supposed to be a defense? The experts are saying that if something had been done sooner perhaps 60,000 less people would have died.

The Atlantic postulated that: 

A Failure of Empathy Led to 200,000 Deaths. It Has Deep Roots.

And I can agree with that statement. 

The article I referenced is eye opening and saddening as it recounts studies which help to understand why we have become less energized to the magnitude of the losses.

The article contains this paragraph:

It’s hard for anyone to comprehend the sheer horror of mass death. As I [Olga Kazan, the author of the article] wrote in April, “compassion fade” sets in when victims are no longer individuals but statistics, and few Americans have witnessed something of this scale before. But there’s an additional explanation for this empathy deficit: Part of the reason this majority-white, majority-non-elderly country has been so blasé about COVID-19 deaths is that mostly Black people and old people are dying. Eight out of 10 American COVID-19 deaths have been among people older than 65; the rest of the dead are disproportionately Black. White people’s brains psychologically sort minorities as “out-groups” that stir less empathy. Segregated neighborhoods have also helped insulate white Americans from the horror Black Americans face, because the ambulance sirens and the packed hospital wards are typically far from their own zip codes. “We literally don’t see those deaths in the same way we might if we didn’t experience segregation,” says Nour Kteily, a management professor at Northwestern University who studies hierarchies.

What I see is that the United States is the world leader in cases and deaths and that after a small dip in the positivity rate during the past few weeks the daily number of new cases continues to rise even as testing has been reduced or even strangled in some areas. 

We are going in the wrong direction and it appears that no one is committed to combatting the proliferation of the disease.

It is similar to the situation where the Congress cannot get relief to people in need from the economic disaster that COVID-19 has caused in the country.

Change is needed! We can argue about who is at fault, but it really doesn't matter--everyone is at fault. Each of us is at fault if we have not taken the time to communicate to our elected representatives that sober plans, answers, and actions are needed now. The time for partisan politics has passed. 200,000 Americans are dead and more are dying daily. 

Whose fault is it? 

It doesn't matter whose fault it is. What we need is leadership that will take charge and work to solve the problem rather than denying that there is a problem or blaming it on someone else.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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