By Eduardo Stanley
The Covid-19 pandemic is putting us to the test as human beings and as citizens. And the results aren’t good. While Fresno and California were doing well implementing the quarantine—excepting so-called essential workers, such as farmworkers, supermarket employees and health workers—with residents using masks and social distancing, the pressures to “open” society for business reversed the initial effort and now the cases are going through the roof.
For instance, in Fresno hospitals now are almost at full capacity. The irresponsibility of those who oppose health officials’ recommendations got us to this point. Cases are going up and possibilities to control the pandemic are declining. We have seen over and over videos and photos of out-of-control people insulting and even assaulting supermarket employees when they ask those people to use masks while shopping.
In Miami, mad participants at a forum attacked doctors and scientists when they were asked to comply with health protocols to stop the increase of Covid-19 cases.
States such as Florida, Arizona and Texas, ruled by Republicans, promoted noncompliance with those health protocols, following the example of Trump and Pence.
Ironically, ahead of Trump’s rally in Tulsa on June 21—where only 6,000 people attended when 40,000 were expected—several members of the Trump campaign tested positive for Covid-19. Also, a group of his supporters were spotted pulling down posters asking attendees to social distance.
On June 26, Vice President Mike Pence hailed the “remarkable progress” the Trump administration has had in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak as a surge across the South and West sent the number of confirmed new infections per day to an all-time high of 40,000.
He later cancelled political rallies in Texas and Florida due to the increase of Covid-19 cases in those states. Trump and his base of White nationalists established a message of rejection and hate toward scientists who advise us. A message that his base assimilated and repeated endlessly.
Like in the Middle Ages.
This hate against knowledge is here to stay, and we witness it everyday. Anti-vaccine and anti-mask groups are part of this reactionary movement. It’s like we went back in time a hundred years. Now, California has closed bars in several counties—including some in the Central Valley.
And to add more drama to the current national health situation, on June 30, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned that the United States could see 100,000 new coronavirus cases a day, citing surges that put “the entire country at risk.”
Before this panorama, we have to act cautiously. We should take care of ourselves and the others. Keep on using masks when in public places, avoid agglomerations and keep social distance. And educate those around us. This pandemic is not a hoax, it’s not a Bill Gates plot and it’s not a joke.
Ignorance and fanaticism kill, like the Covid-19.