Back in 2019, SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus2) COVID-19’s caused virus was discovered. Hold on to that for a second. In the summer of 2019, we all were still gathering; attending concerts; happy hours; family reunions and traveling. We took for granted just walking outside and taking a breath of air. Something as simple holding hands, greeting someone with a hug or handshake was commonplace. Now back to December 2019. Researchers discovered the virus that causes COVID-19. Researchers warned that an international response was needed to prepare for an outbreak and develop a vaccine to combat COVID-19.
As early as 2016, President Obama’s administration created a playbook; a guide to emerging infectious disease threats and biological incidents. According to reports, that unit was created in part in response to criticism of how President Obama’s administration managed the Ebola outbreak in 2014-15, according to USA TODAY.
U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) created a timeline of responses by President Donald Trump and his administration to the COVID-19. The virus first reported in China December 31, 2019, found its way to the U.S. on January 15, 2020. According to the CDC, 14 U.S. coronavirus cases were noted by public health agencies between January 21 and February 23, 2020. The first U.S. death was reported on February 29, 2020. While many of us in the U.S. and around the world continued enjoying life before COVID; never did we imagine in less than two years, we would be in the position we are today.
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I remember traveling to Florida to visit my newborn grandson in late February 2020. On my arrival to Florida, reports of people on cruise ships were being detained from returning home for fear of spreading the virus. On one hand you had Health officials warning about the virus; on the other hand, you had President Trump say, “We have it totally under control. It’s one person from China. It’s going to be just fine.” The weaponization of COVID-19 was in place. You have health officials versus elected officials. You have health officials versus health officials. Add in misinformation from social media sites, and now there’s controversy. As of this writing, the U.S. is up to 547,613 new cases daily and 828,436 deaths.
Despite all the warnings: wear a mask; wash your hands; get vaccinated, we cannot agree to be on the same page. As humans, we still want to do all the things we used to do. We want to still gather. We want to attend concerts; happy hours; family reunions; Church; greet each other with a hug or handshake. In many cases it’s not only impossible; it dangerous. I cannot see it (COVID-19), smell it, hear it or know when I’ve touched it.
What I do want and hope for is to de-weaponize how we move forward to deal with COVID-19 before more lives are lost, including mine and those I love.
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