Covid-19 pandemic — causing a schism

William T. Robinson, Jr.

It isn’t questionable that the Covid-19 pandemic has been a horrific and devastating detriment reeking  pain, suffering, and death among our communities. This deleterious combatant doesn’t discriminate or offer us much information on how to curtail its unyielding presence. This is an unwanted visitor that has caught the world off guard, and we are all united in coming up with interventions to stifle or eradicate its contagious and infectious dominance.

We have the best minds in the world in terms of scientists, researchers, and health care agencies working tirelessly to find interventions or medications to fight this pernicious virus. Until testing and information from clinical trials of a litany of drugs fighting the virus are okayed (found  safe and effective), we are asked to collectively  exercise protocol to curtail and keep this unmerciful virus from affecting and killing as many people as possible.

The public must be mindful that there are many questions about this virus that are unanswered by the scientific community—which may be why we find some people speculating and forming their own unsubstantiated, subjective views contrary to those we are told to follow by experts, scientists and noted physicians. The most knowledgeable researches and scientists have given us a protocol to follow to slow down the presence of this virus and save lives. The basic protocol involves staying at home if possible, observing and practicing social distancing of at least six feet, wearing a mask (especially in public), washing your hands often and thoroughly, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth that are portals for this virus.

Everyone is affected by this non-discriminating  virus. Everyone wants this virus to go away, but when the economy is put on hold because of orders ordering quarantining. You have pandemonium taking place as some seek to defy protocol and protest against mandates by mayors and state governors. This pandemic is a discomfort to all of us, and we understand that some are more affected than others. The desperation of how to feed their families and worry over how to pay bills has made some people impervious to facts. They are anxious to go back to work, regardless of the pending cost.

Emotions are real, but reality should dictate that this pandemic is about trying to stay alive and minimize unnecessary deaths. While your personal experiences and feelings bringing about panic, anxiety, hopelessness and desperation are understandable—working together, regardless of one’s inconveniences, for the greater good of keeping people safe and alive should be paramount. We are all in this together, and we need each other working together. We should have each other’s back, but we need to be kept alive.

We have those who seem to be putting the economy above lives. Our faith tells us “this too shall pass” and the economy, given time, will resurrect. But precious lives cannot be brought back. Let’s listen to the physicians and scientists and do whatever has proven effective and necessary in combating this menace, regardless of our own personal inconveniences. Regardless of what you may feel, this Covid-19 pandemic must be put under control to save countless lives.

Let’s make saving lives a priority over the economy. If you don’t care about yourself, be mindful of not being a vector involved in the spreading of this killer virus. Just listen to the cries and pleas from doctors, nurses, and other health care providers begging the public to take this virus seriously. Follow all ordered protocol.

Better yet, those who are so eager to defy state protocol and return to work before certain measures occur should talk to someone who has lost a loved one to Covid-19. Then see if you continue to feel the same way. It’s literally a slap in the face for those essential employees who have died or put their lives on the line every day for others for the public not to adhere to the seriousness of this pernicious, treacherous, and devastating virus.

One must also look at how Covid-19 disproportionally affects African Americans (especially Black males) with pre-existing illnesses, contributing to a higher mortality rate. Disavowing established protocol (especially returning to work too early) puts African Americans at an unnecessary risk to suffer or die. Surely the health and life of fellow Americans merits waiting until guidelines are met indicating it is safe to go back to work and restart the economy. Let’s be smart and not stupid. Let it be about living, not about being infected or dying needlessly.

This disastrous pandemic should be bringing us together in love and perseverance, not acting as a divisive tool to further alienate us as a nation. Let common sense dictate our course of action. Let’s not adhere to demagogues preying on our personal emotions –devoid of facts or scientific advice. Let’s choose life over money. Life is sacred and once gone can never return. While our economy is now shut down, it will resurrect in time.

I am also asking those in a position to help someone to do so. There are many people who feel hopeless and are struggling and in dire need. Let’s be the action we want to see. We will get over this, but it will take everyone working together as a team. This is the time to unite and work together for the future of the country and the world.

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