Tags: Coronavirus | Health Topics | essential | social | distancing | virtual

Coronavirus Reality Harsh But We'll Endure

surviving coronavirus during its harsh reality

(Ivan Kokoulin/Dreamstime)

By Thursday, 02 April 2020 11:19 AM Current | Bio | Archive

April 1, 2020 was April’s Fool’s Day, but who has time to even think about that nonsense nowadays. Two weeks and one day have passed since America has come to a standstill.

Schools and restaurants are closed until further notice, no more going to the mall, or hanging out with friends for happy hour. Instead, virtual meetings and virtual happy hours is the new "it" thing. It’s the era of social distancing.

It’s a new world. No more freedom of movement.

No more feeling like we are in control of our lives.

State and local government issuing stay at home orders. Only "essential" workers (i.e. medical personnel, construction workers, or law enforcement) should leave their homes.

People who don’t fall into that category can only go to gas stations, grocery stores, pharmacies, or to see their doctor. Each day you are bombarded with recommendations on the news and social media: Stay away from your elderly family members, wash your hands for 20 seconds, take your temperature, etc.

Preparing to go to the grocery store is like scene from a post-apocalyptic movie.

Face mask? None. Let’s start using scarfs. Gloves? Check? Wipes? Check.

The list of mental reminders goes on and on. Remember don’t touch your face. Stay six feet away from people.

Don’t cough or sneeze in the grocery store or people will stare at you like you carry the plague.

Then, reality hits you when you arrive at the grocery store.

My usually well-stocked local grocery store is now a labyrinth of empty shelves. I can’t find bottled water, rice, canned foods, meat, and of course toilet paper is as evasive as the abominable snow man.

It’s scary and at the same time sobering.

Here in America, we are so accustomed to abundance. The idea of not having 10 or more options of the same product at the grocery store is foreign to us.

We have been spoiled. We have been cuddled by prosperity and peace.

Of course, we know what is responsible for this scarcity: COVID-19.

A respiratory virus originating in late 2019 and soon spread across the globe. President Trump calls it an "invisible enemy" and that is good way to describe it.

It has no political affiliation, no nationality, and cannot be seen unless through a microscope. Its only goal is to continue to survive by jumping from host to host.

It most lethal to the weakest among us: Our elders and those with pre-existing conditions.

As of today, the U.S. death toll has topped 4,011 with over number of infected quickly approaching 200,000. On March 1, 2020, President Trump along with his task force announced that even with continued mitigation measures America should prepare itself to lose between 100,000 -240,000 people to this virus.

There is no cure and any viable vaccine is still a year away from fruition.

My mother and father are in their late sixties and late seventies.

My father has a pre-existing lung condition. My parents are considered high risk. I have not seen my parents in over three weeks. Every day, I facetime with mom and dad.

I ask how they are doing. Do they need anything? How are they feeling? My dad does not like to show it, but he is scared. I can see the apprehension in his face as his tells me about the stories his sister in Barcelona tells him about the death toll in Spain.

He's afraid that will happen here, but he puts up a brave front.

Here in the Miami area, it’s almost like a ghost town.

I look out my home office window to gaze at my creepily still neighborhood.

A gentle breeze caresses the palm trees in the garden down below. No kids. Driveways are packed with cars. A usually loud and vibrant city is silent. To think that only a couple of months ago the city was buzzing with excitement and happy tourists in town for the Super Bowl.

J.Lo's and Shakira’s halftime show is like a distant memory now. An extravaganza emblematic of happier times. No one knows when we will be able to attend a sporting event of that magnitude again.

My husband and I are lucky. We both can work remotely from home.

For millions of Americans this virus has not only imprisoned them in their homes but has also left them without a job. So far, 3.8 million Americans have filed for unemployment due to the Coronavirus. Americans in retail and the hospitality industry have been furloughed.

The passage of the CARES ACT promises to bring some relief to displaced American workers and struggling business, but the damage done to our nation’s economy cannot be overstated.

I am a "political person." Let me disclose my biases:

I have been political columnist/blogger for over six years and have been in active in local politics since high school. I have written speeches for candidates and have delivered a few myself. I am a lifelong Republican and voted for President Trump and campaigned for President Trump. I don’t want to sit here and politicize this crisis, but I feel I need to respond to the unbridled hatred I observe every day on television, podcast, and social media from those that loathe President Trump. So, the following message is for those people:

  • This is not the time for politics. You hate President Trump? Got it. Right now, that doesn't matter. We need to unite behind our leaders and support them because we are living in unprecedented times. We need their leadership now more than ever.

  • Give credit where credit is due. Don’t malign the president for the good things he has done and attribute ulterior motives to those good deeds.

  • To the media, do not lampoon President Trump for having hope and trying to inspire hope in the American people. During these difficult times, people need hope more than ever. Fear and hysteria only fuels discontent. This virus already brings the ultimate form of discontent — death. We need light in this darkness.

Finally, I want to ask every American to have patience and never lose hold of our American resilience. Good times are ahead. Use this pause to learn new skills, spend time with family, re-connect with your spouse, impart knowledge to your children.

Get back to basics.

Its tough, but this is nothing compared to the Civil War, World War I or World War II.

We need to confront this challenge understanding this is just another chapter in our American journey. We will overcome, coming out stronger on the other side.

So, I am taking my own advice, being patient and returning to basics.

I need a way to channel all this nervous energy, so I am going learn how to bake bread at home.

I always wanted to learn, but never had the time. Now I have the time. Wish me luck!

So, my friend, stay safe.

Go back to basics and remember we will get through this. God bless you and your families.

As always, may God continue to bless the United States of America.

When she is not writing political speeches and articles, Arianna Mendez is finishing her third year of law school focusing on criminal litigation and constitutional law. To read more of her reports — Click Here Now.

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Its tough, but this is nothing compared to the Civil War, World War I or World War II. We need to confront this challenge understanding this is just another chapter in our American journey. We will overcome, coming out stronger on the other side.
essential, social, distancing, virtual
Thursday, 02 April 2020 11:19 AM
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