Coronavirus Day #20
The invisible enemy.
A war is fought between two or more enemies. Soldiers fight for their countries wearing uniforms to distinguish enemies from friends. These soldiers identify themselves by the color of their uniforms and the patches attached, displaying their country’s insignia. Everyone involved knows who the enemy is.
The President of the United States says we are at war.
The enemy of this war is invisible. A disease, the coronavirus, revealed itself at the beginning of January. The president did not recognize or deal with the enemy until the end of February. The enemy entered the country with very little trouble.
The soldiers fighting this war are the nurses, doctors, and other health care workers who are fighting on the front lines with no weapons. They were not prepared. The weapons they need are ventilators, face masks, protective gowns, vaccines, and virus tests. These weapons are not available. They are being held up in government warehouses and have been hoarded by people who rushed to the store to buy more masks and sanitizers than they needed for their homes. Mayors and Governors must order supplies from foreign countries such as China. Imagine this scenario in an on the ground war with a physical enemy.
These soldiers are dying on the front lines. As of today, more than 60,000 have lost their lives, and more are on their death beds. There are not enough hospitals to house the people who are suffering from the symptoms of the virus. People can’t be tested for the virus because there are not enough tests. The president has refused help from other countries. He “alone” can take care of the problem.
Governors have asked the president to dig into the stockpile of equipment and send it to those who need it the most. Ventilators are in short supply. Older people and people with underlying conditions are left to die.
The president is of no help. No one is directing the distribution of the necessary equipment, which leads to chaos. The president was not prepared or equipped to guide us through this “war.”
We don’t know who the enemy is. It does not wear a uniform or carry a gun. We are in fear of those around us. Does the lady who just used the self-checkout in front of me have the disease? Is she going to kill me? Am I going to kill the person behind me?
People can walk around with the disease for a week without any symptoms. The supermarkets are trying to keep the carts and self- check out screens wiped down for safety. There are red squares on the floor, six feet apart. A shopper is not allowed to advance until the customer before them has bagged their groceries and left the counter. If you fail to follow any of these rules, you will get a glare from the cashier. You can only see the eyes because the cashier is wearing a mask.
No one talks to each other while standing in line. No one shakes hands or gives hugs. I don’t wear gloves or a mask, but I put on hand sanitizer, which I found at the bottom of one of my travel bags, before I go into a place and apply another coat when I get into the car. I got to the store too late to buy hand sanitizer and haven’t seen it in stock again.
Once the coronavirus became a real thing in the states, everyone rushed to the store to stock up on toilet paper, paper towels, and sanitary wipes. I missed out on the message and didn’t get any of those things. I have eight rolls of toilet paper in my closet. I am only one person, so it should last for another month. I have rationed myself to three sheets each time.
War has a beginning and an end. The end is not always clear. The purpose of this war is not clear either. Some people, including the president, think it will end in another month. Most of the doctors are calling for another three months. This idea doesn’t sit well with the president or his cronies, who are billionaire business owners. They want it to end now. Many were calling for Easter when all of the people could get together, hold hands, and celebrate Easter. Yeah! Sure.
In a war, we pray for our soldiers and know that the government will keep them safe. In this war, the government is holding back supplies and not providing for the essential needs of our soldiers on the front line. The government is not keeping them safe. It is throwing them in harm’s way because they don’t know what the hell they are doing. Doctors, nurses, and other health care workers can’t go home and put their arms around their families. They take up residence in their garages, basements, and RVs parked in their driveways. They wash their clothes as soon as they get home. Their families serve their food set outside of the door to their home; they eat from paper plates and plastic disposable utensils and communicate with their families on their phones and computers. These are our soldiers.
Six cruise ships are still floating around in the seas because no state or country wants them to land. This enemy is no fault of the people on these ships. Countries, including the USA, do not want them to dock on their shores in fear they will bring the disease with them. Instead, they spend more time at sea, and more of them get sick.
We protect ourselves from this enemy by staying in our homes and waiting for the enemy to leave.
When will this invisible enemy leave?