Do you remember when COVID first hit and health professionals insisted we all work together to “bend the curve” or slow the growth so we would not overwhelm the health system? We distanced, wore masks, and avoided large groups and to some extent we did slow the growth and total devastating impacts. The curves tracking our progress did indicate we succeeded, but the notable exceptions were largely due to a belief that the government had no place telling us what to do in this, “land of the free and home of the brave.”
Even recently, I hear constant evidence that people are getting COVID again even after full vaccination and boosters after attending weddings, funerals, and large parties. Even people who “isolate” themselves from general society fall prey to the occasional interaction with someone who is carrying the virus from a prior encounter with a carrier. We know what to do, and even our vaccines are being invalidated by a disease that keeps mutating … it is what viruses do to survive.
It is interesting to see how other cultures approach this. Totalitarian societies that track individual citizen movements shut down and purge the virus chemically to the extent they can. Others simply suggest what people should do, and the citizens naturally do what they are told … without protest or fanfare.
But where is the anger over the origins for these maladies? Why hasn’t the world come down on China like a ton of bricks for either weaponizing the virus in the lab and/or allowing unsafe “wet market” environments that breed them in the first place?
Are we that afraid of China? Why are we left to “bend a curve” that is not a natural occurrence? We know things like this are avoidable and, in this country, we act swiftly when we see an outbreak of anything in our food, water, or air systems.
If we are afraid of something as obvious as this, what hope do we have on a world stage of tackling long term existential questions that depend upon all of us working together toward a solution? Today’s grandstanding, greenwashing, and ESG claims are a modern version of the great Shakespearian play Macbeth soliloquy:
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Act 5, Scene 5