We hoped it was just a fantasy or that it would never get to us. But no, reality woke us up and today we are confronting a devastating pandemic causing severe damage, including death and financial chaos.
The coronavirus, or COVID-19, spreads fast, and a contaminated person doesn’t feel any symptoms for days so she/he doesn’t know that the virus is being passed on to others. That’s why staying home is a safe way to limit contamination.
Unfortunately, the federal government didn’t act responsibly at the beginning of the crisis. Let’s keep in mind that President Trump and his acolytes called the pandemic “a hoax” created by Democrats to win November’s elections. Rep. Devin Nunes (R–Tulare) plays down recommendations to self-isolate in order to control the spread of the virus and even asked families to go out for dinner.
On March 16, President Trump turned his position 180 degrees and called for some measures to avoid the spread of the virus. Nevertheless, he couldn’t avoid exposing his racism referring to the “Chinese virus” instead of coronavirus. Then, Rep. Nunes showed some adjustments to his previous statement, saying he really meant people could buy food “to go.”
The City of Fresno asked residents to “shelter in place,” allowing people to leave their homes for essential services, such as grocery shopping, doctor’s appointments, picking up medications or going to work if their place of employment is deemed essential. When people do leave their homes, the order instructs them to practice social distancing, keeping at least six feet away from others. The order urges the elderly and people with illnesses to stay home as much as possible.
However, Fresno County took a completely different approach, prioritizing business over human lives.
Of course, we don’t want John’s business, or Jose’s business to go bankrupt, but for sure we want them alive and well.
Governor Gavin Newsom ordered the entire state to shelter in place.
The City of San Francisco did it a few days back. It’s sad to see photos of that always-busy, full-of-life city now with its streets empty.
Conservative elected officials continue to create more havoc than the COVID-19. Nothing new. This is why we need to vote and do it consciously.
These difficult times are important because they expose our leaders. Our Valley is still conservative. And it shows.
The situation is serious. Many businesses are adapting to it quickly. For instance, some supermarkets established special hours for elders and reduced the hours they are open to the public. So before going to a store, check its schedule. And if you go shopping, please buy what you need, don’t stockpile merchandise that could be of use for somebody else.
There is also good news amid the crisis. We know of people—some of them young folks—who are helping elders and other people with physical limitations to do their shopping and running errands for them. Nice, uplifting behavior. And also kudos to farmworkers, healthcare workers, delivery drivers, and supermarket and restaurant workers who can’t stay home and risk their health to keep doing their jobs.
In this context, our newspaper, the Community Alliance, is also a victim of the pandemic. The closing of some stores where we distribute it, and the reduced social activity pushed us to take the decision of not printing on paper but to upload our content online for the April issue at least (visit www.fresnoalliance.com). We will continue bringing stories and reliable information to our audience. We will also have special coverage about the pandemic on our Facebook page with the latest news about the health crisis.
Follow us, get informed and comment. And most of all, follow the indications to protect yourself and our people. Together we can overcome this.