This Is Not a Hoax

Back in April, my sister fell deathly ill to the Coronavirus for a few weeks. She couldn’t sleep. She couldn’t breathe. She was constantly tired. She had never been so sick in her life. Had she not sought medical attention on my dad’s recommendation, she might’ve ended up on a ventilator. But when she did, she had a doctor check on her through tele-medicine every day. Now where did she get the Coronavirus? We’re not sure. After all, her boyfriend also got it, but he only had a cough and nothing else. My sister had asthma as a child and it’s part of why she experienced symptoms (despite being 26 at the time). But she also said a lot of people in Charlotte didn’t wear masks. And this was during the lockdown. Nonetheless, she made a full recovery. Now my sister might’ve had a milder case of Covid-19 compared to many cases (and I’m using “mild” loosely), but what she experienced was pretty damn serious and her symptoms might’ve gotten worse had she not sought medical care when she did. 

I held off talking about my sister for months because I didn’t want to disrespect her privacy. Yet, given that schools are opening at this moment when we’re in the middle of a pandemic, the worst I can experience from disclosing her time with Covid-19 is enduring her angry outbursts. But if hearing about my sister can convince anyone reading to wear a mask in and reconsider sending their kid to back school, I’ll gladly endure her constantly yelling at me. However, given that too many Americans don’t see why Coronavirus is such a big deal and why they should take it seriously, I feel compelled to use what I can.  And perhaps sharing what my sister went through can convince some people in my audience that I’m not just trying to score political points. I personally know someone who contracted Covid-19 and while following CDC guidelines is a bitch, but it could save other people’s lives. 

Now while Covid-19 may kill you, the root problem isn’t the disease itself. After all, diseases come and go. It’s that we have Cheetofascist in the White House who’s responded to the pandemic in perhaps the worst way possible. If you support Donald Trump as president, then for the good of our country, please stop. Bad Coronavirus policy is one thing. But Trump’s PR strategy is just plain unforgivable.  Whether it’s claiming it’s a hoax, that it’s disappearing, that it’s not as serious as Dr. Fauci claims, and that hydroxychloroquine is a very useful Coronavirus remedy is proving deeply damaging in this country. Because his Republican cult followers will blindly go along with whatever he says. As of August 2020, Covid-19 has killed over 180,000 Americans and the infection rate is higher than it was back when my sister contracted the virus. Our medical establishments don’t have the resources or the government support to combat high case numbers (thanks a lot for-profit system that shouldn’t exist).  

And yet, despite that the coronavirus outbreak is far from over, facilities and businesses have already reopened. While we debate whether to start school or sports back up, we must understand that fighting this thing depends on all of us. And if our leaders and our neighbors don’t take this pandemic seriously and put on a mask, we have no shot in hell in combating this virus in order so it’s under control. Complying with CDC guidelines during Covid-19 shouldn’t be controversial. Though we may expect some nutjobs not to comply, Donald Trump’s willingness to embrace wackjob conspiracy theories and his influence on a significant chunk of the American public has led to so much unnecessary harm, especially in red states with Republican governors and legislatures. And in an election year, the Trump administration is currently attacking the US Postal Service in order to prevent millions of Americans from voting by mail. Despite that people have mailed in their votes for decades. Anti-mask protestors call mask mandates a form of tyranny. Except mandates on stuff to keep other people safe aren’t tyranny, especially if they’re less fortunate than ourselves and/or can’t stay home. Take our essential workers who put their lives on the line every day to meet our basic needs and treat patients who contract the virus. If they get sick, many of them can’t get the treatment they need without running a massive bill. Hell, unless they’re doctors, nurses, or work for the government, most of them work paycheck to paycheck with no health benefits or paid sick leave. But if a pregnant woman can wear a mask giving birth, so can you. Unless you have any serious respiratory problems or are under two years old. 

If we want a possible end to the Coronavirus crisis, we must elect former Vice President Joe Biden in the next presidential election. Should Donald Trump be reelected, expect the Coronavirus pandemic to continue given his rhetoric, actions, and policies that botched the US response. Trump has no interest or capability in leading our country during a crisis like this and things will get worse. Though recovery may be long and hard under Biden, it will be virtually non-existent under Trump. Since it’s very clear that he’d rather have people die under his woeful mismanagement if it means retaining his own power. Even his own supporters who run a high risk dying from Covid 19 and depend on the postal service for their Social Security checks and prescription drugs. You can see this during the Republican National Convention when Trump incoherently spoke in front of a crowd not wearing masks and not sitting six feet apart from each other. At this point, we must accept that the Republican Party has ceased from being a functional political party and has transformed into a fascist cult of personality. And as long as Trump is in office, the Covid 19 pandemic will keep festering in the United States. There will be more infections and more people will die. We can’t afford four more years with this piece of shit in the White House.  

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