How are we here…

Months ago, I had every intention of writing my way through this pandemic.

And then…. I just didn’t.

Back in March, we were in uncharted territory. The world was on edge and for a minute, it felt like we all were in this together. We were all feeling and experiencing the same thing.

Essentials were gone from grocery store shelves. Shelter-in-place orders were in order. Once busy streets barely had any traffic. Restaurants, hair salons and other places in the service industry had the lights off and “closed” signs posted.

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The goal was to stop the spread and flatten the curve so hospitals weren’t so overwhelmed to max capacity.

I had a moment where I hoped that this is when our government would put political differences aside and work together, the same way they would during a terrorist attack or natural disaster.

And then the pushback began.

A large portion of the conservative leaning population declared the stay-at-home orders as an infringement of their rights. People were tired of staying at home. Summer was coming. The weather was great. The president kept saying it would go away and that it wasn’t a big deal. It was completely under control.

I won’t forget seeing a sea of white men in militia gear, including their semi-automatic weapons, standing on their statehouse steps, protesting for their freedom. The signs that were carried that said, “I want a hair cut.”

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Then there was the point where we did start to slow the spread, and masks were becoming more available. The CDC had changed its stance on masks. Once saying we didn’t need to wear masks, mainly because they were low in inventory and we needed to save as many as possible for our healthcare workers.

So when things changed, many saw wearing masks as a sign of weakness. Giving in. It meant they were “living in fear.”

It was another infringement on their freedom.

And this time, the anger was taken out on the healthcare workers. The people that were overworked, caring for people non-stop, several of which never able to go home because it would put their families at risk.

A large part of the American population began to also put blame on the healthcare workers.

Health care workers stand in the street in counter-protest to hundreds of people who gathered at the State Capitol to demand the stay-at-home order be lifted in Denver, Colorado, U.S. April 19, 2020. REUTERS/Alyson McClaran MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

The photo above, taken by Alyson McClaran, a freelance journalist in Denver, Colorado, was taken during the Denver protests. People were outraged that their state was closed, and took to the streets.

But as they were practicing their first amendment right, they were blocking the streets around hospitals, which put lives at risk.

Health care workers stand in the street in counter-protest to hundreds of people who gathered at the State Capitol to demand the stay-at-home order be lifted in Denver, Colorado, U.S. April 19, 2020. REUTERS/Alyson McClaran MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

You had all of these conservatives tired of being held down. They viewed all of these shelter in place orders as an attack on them. Many acknowledged that COVID was real, and unfortunate for those that got it, but they didn’t care.

The impact COVID took on the economy, to them, was much worse than the virus itself.

After all, the flu kills around 650,000 a year and 1.5 million die from tuberculosis each year. Why should act afraid of this virus? Especially then this group of people repeated what the president said, that the worst of it was like a cold. You got the sniffles. Then got over it.

However for the thousands contracting COVID, the symptoms they actually got varied. I was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.

For some, it was mild. Sore throat, cough and maybe the loss of taste.

But for others, it was devastating.

Many had high fevers, a cough and difficulty breathing, since this virus gets deep within your lungs. It had symptoms that many with the flu get, such as body aches, sore throat, congestion, etc.

But for others, they literally couldn’t breathe. They had chest pain. They experienced gastrointestinal problems. Toes became red or purple, swollen and itchy. Chest pain. Extreme fatigue.

For some, they were able to experience all of these symptoms quarantined at home. For others, it was so severe they had to be hospitalized.

Because of the severity of things and how contagious COVID is, people had to go to the hospital alone. No one could be with them unless that person didn’t leave.

Families had to say goodbye to their loved ones, who just weeks before were perfectly healthy, via FaceTime thanks to their doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers. These people died completely alone, often struggling to breathe.

An nurse at a local hospital responded in a Facebook group once reminding people how dangerous the disease is, and the things she had seen were so horrific, they were hard to fathom. But essentially, people were suffocating to death. Other doctors have compared it to drowning. Because it is.

One’s lungs become inflamed, which causes more fluid. This fluid gets into the air sacs, causing pneumonia. And since the air sacs are impacted, it makes it so the body cannot perform one of its essential functions.

The group of people that were facing the worst of COVID went on ventilators, which in reality, is a toss-up on whether they’ll survive or not.

Louie, a COVID-19 patient. (Jeff Rhode/Holy Name Medical Center), image from WBUR

For those that do survive COVID, it’s not rainbows and butterflies.

It is causing a variety of lasting effects, new ones popping up the longer this goes on. Many that have permanently changed someone.

People knew this.

But this right-leaning part of the country found the economic impacts were much worse. Especially those that lost income and their businesses that they worked so hard to build. Many of these small businesses and workers were struggling to put food on the table and support their families.

So what do you have? A world of hurt.

And we haven’t even gotten to George Floyd yet. I feel that deserves it’s own separate article.

All of this tension has made this country more divided than we’ve seen in a long time. It’s bringing the worst out of us all. Or people’s true feelings.

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You have the same people that say “all lives matter” outraged that they now have to wear masks to protect others… often carrying signs that said, “my body, my choice.”

COVID numbers continue to rise by the day, and you have people saying that it’s a hoax, and a new world order conspiracy. People that continue to stay home, wear masks are called weak, and sheep – and wonder why people even care about the coronavirus because the democrat’s child sex trafficking is a much larger issue.

Many on the right are celebrating one of the most divisive president’s, arguably the most in this country’s history, every movement. They are following him to his large rallies that have been held indoors, against all guidance from scientists, local governments and medical experts.

They believe him when he says Joe Biden is on the far radical left, and if he becomes president, life as they know it will be gone. They believe him when he says the democrats want to eliminate the suburbs. This right fully thinks that a Biden presidency will lead to an elimination of the police, and therefore, complete chaos – using video footage in ads that reflects what is currently happening today in the United States under his watch, or that’s from the past in other countries.

A democratic presidency, to this group, means their guns will be taken away, their freedom of speech removed, and that we will live in a fascist society.

Meanwhile, the 162,000 Americans that have died of COVID just is what it is. They say schools need to open, business as usual, as if COVID has no impact on students, teachers or families at all. If a child gets COVID, they will be okay. Why should we even care to keep the schools closed? And there shouldn’t be any more financial support from the government to the unemployed, because it’s making this population of people not want to get jobs.

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But these people don’t have jobs because their businesses are shut down because of COVID. Schools are re-opening with students testing positive for the virus, putting not only themselves at risk, but their teachers, parents and any others that live in their household. And COVID cases continue to go up. The longer this goes on, the more lifelong effects doctors are finding many have. For some, they got COVID right at the beginning of all of this in January and February and are still feeling symptoms because of the permanent damage it caused the body.

The president says things like the following, and people believe it:

“Well, I think anybody having to do with, frankly, religion, but certainly the Catholic Church, you have to be with President Trump when it comes to pro-life, when it comes to all of the things. These people are going to take all of your rights away, including Second Amendment, because, you know, Catholics like their Second Amendment. … And pro-life is your big thing.”

Then he also had the audacity to say, “He’s following the radical-left agenda: take away your guns, destroy your Second Amendment, no religion, no anything, hurt the Bible, hurt God,” Trump said about Biden in his Cleveland speech. “He’s against God.”

The right fully believes this with all of their being, not realizing that Trump hasn’t been religious at all. Take it from his own former pastor.

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I just don’t understand how someone who is truly evil, has attracted and conned so many Americans. I honestly feel hopeless at times that Trump will find an illegal way to get re-elected. COVID will continue to kill Americans. And the right will treat dying of this disease as a patriotic act.

And yet there are so many other countries across the globe that have things under control and getting back to normal – because numbers are so low or eliminated.

The president continues to just do whatever he wants and say whatever he wants.

And gets away with it.

No one is stopping him.

A man that’s voted by mail says that the 2020 election can’t allow it, because it will then be rigged against him. He says it’s not safe… even though USPS delivery is one of the most secure form of correspondence. He’s dismantling this pillar of our country in front of our very eyes, giving donors with no experience in the industry, positions of leadership.

….and we’re just taking this. There is a portion of the American population that is okay about all of this.

I don’t understand. I often wonder how we got here and yet I know at the same time.

I just don’t know if we’ll be able to get out. I hope this isn’t the beginning of the end of our country, because someone who thrives on power will literally do anything he wants to keep it. And say whatever it takes to get people to follow him.

I’m sad about where we are. I’m sad about how much this president has divided us. I’m sad that COVID continues to infect and kill Americans. I’m sad for the small business owners and unemployed who don’t know how they’re going to make it to the next day. I’m sad we have to wear masks to keep us and those around us safe, especially those with ailments that make it even more uncomfortable than it already is. I’m sad for the domestic violence victims that have to spend more time with their abusers. I’m sad for the parents that are trying to work full time from home and teach their kids. I’m sad for the people that aren’t able to get the PPE in their workplaces. I’m sad we can’t take the vacations we planned. I’m sad we can’t have the normal experiences that we could just 365 days ago.

I think everyone is justified in their anger, sadness and frustration.

But I also think people need to believe facts, news and trust science.

I never thought I’d live in a world where the truth, facts and science didn’t matter.

They do matter, though. I hope people will eventually see that. Because our country depends on it.

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