Pandem(ania)

I really don’t recall the last time I woke up on a Sunday morning without the word pandemic being uttered or written. It’s a word I would surely like to forget. Instead, I would love to be writing about the Yankees and whether Judge will start to hit homers and whether Cole will get out of his pitching slum. I would even prefer writing about Jamal Adams and whether the Jets should renegotiate his contract or just let him stew?

Sadly, the Yankees haven’t even started playing, and the Jets are a long way from the start of their season.

Despite that Major League Baseball is due to start in July as are the NBA and NHL along with the NFL reporting to camp, the return of live sports seems as distant to me as a vaccine for COVID.

Perhaps it is the fact that states that had looked at New York and New Yorkers with disdain as their COVID numbers soared are now seeing their own explosion of cases? Maybe it’s because wearing a mask is considered  Un-American by some?

Blue States v Red States. Democrats v Republicans. Fauci v Trump.

Politicizing a disease seems a bit out there, but it is not the first time we have seen this,

AIDS spread over the world and through America, and to many, it was considered the Gay disease because it hit the Gay community the hardest. We learned differently as scientists grappled with ways to curtail its spread.

Some of the recommendations these scientists made were controversial to many. Promoting safe sex and clean needle exchanges were deemed immoral as if allowing thousands to suffer an agonizing death was acceptable.

Fortunately, society has learned to avoid the mistake of sacrificing lives for misguided theology.

Even in the nineteenth century, as our nation was expanding and industrializing, a new plague ravaged our shores. Cholera struck the poor harder than other populations. So, it was easy to blame the poor for this disease. Instead of looking at the conditions under which they lived, especially poor sanitation, the afflicted were deemed responsible for their own demise.

Today, COVID and our nation’s response has been colored by our politics. If you are a Trumper, you’re more likely to shun the mask. If you are a Democrat, you want the nation to shut down once again.

It’s a disease. It recognizes no party affiliation. It’s not even respectful of age, gender, or race.

If there is one thing we should all be able to agree on it is that it is a disease that needs a cure. But, before we get the cure, we need to take precautions.

Going to bars. Going to baseball games. Going to see Macy’s fireworks on the Fourth of July are all things that anyone would want to do on a summer day. But this year we really have to stay home. It’s a tremendous sacrifice to do so, and many people are losing money because of this. But Americans have made sacrifices before.

Thinking of others is what many Americans have done best.

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