The United States has seen some of the worst coronavirus numbers out of any other developed country. Daily deaths are still in the triple digits, and cases are still rampant. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.)
While many other countries around the world are beating coronavirus and returning to normal life, the United States seems to be lagging behind the rest.
Even though the number of reported cases is slowly decreasing, America is still seeing around seven-hundred people die every day from COVID. The USA is still seeing clusters at college campuses, much of the country is still closed, and our hospitals are full.
What went so wrong in America when dealing with coronavirus?
One reason is a failure in leadership. The President did not take the virus seriously in its early stages, downplaying COVID-19 multiple times. He then discredited the top doctors and scientists that have been at the forefront of the fight. The President also spread and even amplified conspiracy theories about the virus.
Only recently has President Trump began to talk seriously about the virus, but talk doesn’t match up to his actions. He and his supporters have still been holding crowded events, some even inside. Many of his supporters don’t wear masks, Trump himself has only started to wear a mask, and has gone as far as to tell people that they shouldn’t wear masks.
In a recent town hall, President Trump suggested that servers, the people who handle your food and drink, should not have to wear a mask, saying that they have to frequently adjust them and how “that can’t be good.”
However, let’s imagine that President Trump suddenly took a shift and saw the light. Tomorrow he’s announcing a nationwide mask mandate, forced social distancing, closing congested public spaces. Would anything change?
In my opinion, not much. America would definitely see a decrease in cases and spread, but I don’t think we’d see the virus close to eradication like we have in places such as China, South Korea, and Vietnam. I don’t even think we’d get down to only a few thousand cases a day like Canada and Italy have.
American culture has rebellion ingrained into it. A successful rebellion against an oppressive monarch is the foundation of our country, and many Americans still carry that sentiment with them to this day. Think about some people’s resistance to getting vaccinated, refusal to accept any type of gun control, the pure hatred some have towards taxes to the extent where there’s a whole super-PAC whose main message is opposing candidates who raise taxes.
A large portion of Americans already hate having the government in their lives: Do we really think they’d willingly wear a mask? I’m not saying the majority of Americans would refuse to wear a mask, but I do think there will be enough that still won’t to the point where eradication is impossible. We’re a stubborn people which is detrimental during a pandemic.
It’s a scary thought but with how things are going now, I don’t think things are going to turn around for America any time soon. We’re continuously seeing state governments slowly open, even though the country as a whole is still seeing thousands of new cases every day.
I feel as though we’re going to get to a point where people have stopped caring about the virus and started caring about going back to pre-COVID life. Unless someone is personally affected, they may not care about coronavirus and may just want to go back to the gym, try clothes on in any fitting room, or just not have to wear a mask. If the United States gets to that point, the only thing that could possibly quell COVID-19 would be a vaccine, but then again not everyone may feel safe taking one.
A stubborn American culture isn’t always a bad thing, but if we all don’t learn to get over it and take this virus seriously, this country won’t be able to shake off coronavirus for a couple more years even.