Thursday, October 1, 2020

Summer 2020: A Trilogy of Tragedy.

September 13, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Money, News, Opinion, Politics, Tech/Internet, Weekly Columns

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( The summer of 2020: one thousand lives a day lost to COVID-19, one million jobs lost a week, with the police murder of George Floyd and shooting of Jacob Blake serving as bookends.  None of this needed to happen, should have happened.  But it did.

Summer surge

As we now know, the leadership of our country knew that the coronavirus was “deadly stuff” early on. Yet they squandered the late winter into the spring without preparing a nationwide plan to stop its spread.  Instead, like everything else, mask wearing was politicized along with social distancing.  The result was a summer where we saw COVID-19 cases surge and then plateau at twice the spring rate.

And what did congress do?  After passing the CARES Act, they went off on summer recess.  The Senate suddenly became more concerned about deficits than food insecurity sweeping the nation.  People spent the entire summer moving from one line to another: food, unemployment claims and coronavirus tests.

covid 19 - economic battle

All summer while new weekly unemployment numbers hovered just above, or below, one million, Wall Street was happy.  Big tech was showing how companies could do more with less (employees) and that augured well for future profitability.  Meanwhile, the jobs that were being created were in Amazon warehouses and Walmart and Target stores, where fulltime workers still qualify for public assistance.

Law and order

Police violence was unchecked.  The names of all the victims too numerous for champion Naomi Osaka to place on the masks she wore as she won her seven matches at the U.S. Open.  The lawless were calling for “law and order”, but more cops have died from COVID-19 in 2020 than all other causes of death.  Fox News hosts cheered an underage vigilante for killing two protestors against rogue officers.

One political party held a convention where its first vote was to not adopt a platform.  I guess that’s apropos for a party that stands for nothing and believes in nothing.  The other party’s most memorable convention moment was a roll call of the states, featuring a dish of calamari.  How far we have fallen.

The best thing about the summer of 2020 is that it’s over.  For those of us who made it, we give thanks. While we mourn for those who didn’t.  And for some who made it, we still mourn for their lost jobs, businesses, homes and hope.

We’ve already seen schools and universities open and close in a week due to spiking coronavirus cases.  The return of the NFL brought boos when teams lined up before the game in a show of unity.  Such is the state of our country where there is no joy even in moments of celebration.  The Senate tried, and failed, to pass more relief for those still suffering the worst effects of the pandemic.  Oh well…

The virus of ‘isms’

There is an infection in the body politic and the virus of ‘isms’ (racism, sexism, materialism) is rampant.  Now we know why Lady Justice wears a blindfold: She is a hostage.  Truth has been discredited and discarded, replaced by falsehoods and conspiracies.  QAnon followers are about to join congress.

Hope, thy name is “Election.”  There will be no change, no joy or unity, until we change direction.  And we won’t change direction until we change who’s at the helm of the ship of state.  The change must be total and complete.  Out with all the sycophants and enablers, the liars and the cheats.

Anything less and we will continue down the road to ruin.  Anything less and there will be more of the “American carnage” the current occupant of the White House foretold when he was sworn in.  If we believe in America we must try to save her, for she is gravely ill, and could go the way of past empires.

We have been here before and stepped back from the abyss.  Changed direction and charted a new course headed for “a more perfect union.”  It’s going to take all of us, however.  We know that Trump won every white demographic in the 2016 election.  But that cannot deter us from what we have to do.  This fall is our chance to make things right.  November is do or die.

Staff Writer; Harry Sewell

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