The high anxiety I felt in March and again in the summer hasn’t materialized in the same way with the latest, even greater peak of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, which may reflect complacency and exhaustion during this never-ending pandemic. My outrage and despair that much of the Federal government, several state governments, and many fellow Americans have totally abandoned us, however, has never been more acute. It’s a stab to the heart and the collapse of my stomach every time I fathom the true scale of this inhumanity.
A relative recently told another relative that it’s sad, but the percentage of people who have died is actually really low considering how many people live in the United States. This is a thing a human told another human about deaths during a pandemic. This is a relative who also considers themselves a devout Christian. The cruelty of this statement hurts my heart, too, and I want to ask this relative how many people have to die before they keep such deplorable comments to themselves.
Meanwhile, our oldest citizens and BIPOC bear the brunt of the pandemic, healthcare workers and first responders face overwhelming odds while 911 approaches collapse, a President rants and lies, those in his circle ask for pardons before their many crimes are revealed, and I watch even my most progressive friends and family take more chances, give more justifications for being out and about.
During this endless season of death, suffering, and despair, even the reckoning I hope we will all someday have feels out of reach.