When you think about plagues and pandemics you think of the dark ages; of times when they didn’t know much of anything about medicine and thought that illness was brought about by vapors and immoral living. And so it is strange to realize that here we are, right smack dab in the beginning of one.
We here in California are no strangers to being told to stay indoors, due to regular fire (and its accompanying smoke) season we get every year. But this time it’s different, since while we can go outside and walk around and not have to worry about the air quality, we can’t gather together in one place. The entire state is now under a mandatory ‘shelter in place’ order. And this makes me so incredibly glad that I live in California, where at least the government seems to get it, and is taking steps, even if it has been a crazy jumble of changes over the past few weeks. And, panic buying of toilet paper aside, it has been nice to see people rising to the challenge, forming volunteer groups to make sure the elderly and infirm have access to what they need, checking in on each other, and generally recognizing that society works best when we all chip in. Yes, there will always be those few who try to find a way to profit off the misfortune of others, but humanity could not have survived as long as it has without the vast majority of people recognizing that working together for the common good is the better way.
It would be interesting to see how this pandemic is written about in the history books, hundreds of years from now, where countries like South Korea are held up as shining examples of how to respond (mass testing, etc.), and where countries like the US are held up as prime examples of how to do everything wrong, where the government is being systematically destroyed by the GOP and their orange sock puppet, they deliberately withheld both vital information, and access to tests (offered willingly by the World Health Organization), because it was more important that Trump keep the total numbers artificially low so it wouldn’t impact the stock market, or his chances at reelection. I hope history treats him and all his despicable cronies no better than they deserve for everything they’ve done that has led up to this.