“The light at the end of the tunnel”
“Stay in your bubble”
If I never hear some of these phrases again, I’ll be satisfied. After 2020 and 2021 I may not want to blow bubbles, ride in tunnels, or even hear High School Musical’s “We’re All in This Together.” The truth of the matter is we’re not in this together and we’ve never been. In the United States, it seems everyone’s in their own pandemic and that there are layers to this.
First and foremost, capitalism was America’s feat and flaw even before the pandemic. So, when things went downhill faster than Trump’s last impeachment case, The United States had no choice but to look at the problems that we created. Capitalism gives and it takes away and this go around no one really got much. In fact, a lot of folks didn’t even that $1200 check the government promised because, logistics?
While your favorite influencers were complaining about not being able to eat at their favorite restaurant or party at their favorite club, people were lining up in Kennywood-sized lines for food distribution trying to feed their families. Lines were so long that there was plenty of time to think about the overdue rent as eviction moratoriums are a joke. They’re a bandaid when the housing crisis needs an operation and stitches. Just because you can’t be evicted doesn’t mean that rent went away.
It’s obvious that social “bubbles” have been popped and given up around the United States. Meanwhile, in New Zealand, they got the pandemic under control so long ago that they don’t even require masks and all their kids go to school in person. They followed the science even before vaccines were a reality. Just staring at photos and videos of celebratory parades (Alabama) and parties for no apparent reason beyond, “I’m tired of the pandemic,” it’ll be a while before residents of the US can gather again safely. Our individualistic culture doesn’t unite us. It divides us and it may be the thing that prolongs our pandemic. Our federal government’s disbelief in science is the very thing that led to our demise. It’s weird times when other countries are warning their citizens to not travel to the United States.
Back in December, we got vaccine news that both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were two shots and the common side effects are pain in the injection site, a mild fever, and fatigue. That sounds like a hangover to me and if that’s the only thing between me and friends hanging out safely, I’ll take it.
Peeps breathed a sigh of relief at the news of a vaccine on the horizon and then we watched the logistical nightmare ensue. Then all of our jaws dropped in awe as states controlled the rollout individually. We individually continue to screw ourselves over on a united front. Congrats America.
America has over 29 million doses of the Covid-19 Vaccine yet a little over 10 million of those have been used. Operation Warp Speed should just be named after SpongeBob’s pet because at this point it’ll be 2022 before everyone who wants a vaccination gets one. Forget light at the end of the tunnel; Americans are just sitting in the tunnel staring at each other waiting to come in to the out again. If the vaccine was an Amazon package we’d all have shots by St. Patrick’s Day.
So where do we go from here? Tis a great question. Joe Biden is entering the White House knowing the country is on fire and he can either put out the fire state by state or find a way to get everyone extinguishers at the same time. Meanwhile, rent is due, our stomachs ache, and we’re all stuck in a tunnel without the tools to get out because the people in charge can’t get along.
Every day of this pandemic I stare at my passport and consider dual citizenship because I’d rather feel safe than “free.”
I just want everyone to care more about one another is what it boils down to. Forget the, “me” attitude or we’ll all be in this pandemic forever.