Your grandfather is sick. Coughing, fever, aching. You finally decide to take him to the hospital. He cannot be treated. A young mother is there as well, and the hospital workers had to make a decision because there is a shortage of ventilators. He will suffer without medical help; he will die.
This is not a dystopian novel. This is reality. This is already happening in Italy, and it will happen in Arizona, it will happen to a student at the University of Arizona.
The morbid, grotesque truth is that we are painfully ill-equipped to deal with a public health crisis. China set the standard. When you left the house in China and entered a building, your temperature was taken. Fever clinics were established to prevent people from going to their doctor’s offices. Infected people were taken from their families and quarantined in gymnasiums — where dance classes were held.
Ask yourself: Is America capable of any of this? Are we even trying?
The house passed a paid sick leave bill that leaves out 80% of the workforce. Big employers are exempt (McDonald’s, Amazon). And companies with less than 50 employees can seek exemption.
And then Mike Pence said: “You’re not going to miss a paycheck.”
There you have it. Both parties of our government collaborating to do nothing, practically ensuring the deaths of millions of Americans.
In Spain, people cannot leave their homes except to buy food, medicine or go to work. Most non-essential businesses are shut down in France. The death totals have risen in these countries to over 100 in each, and it is constantly growing. In the coming days our death totals are sure to exceed this. And yet we have done nothing.
All of these measures should have already been taken. I have been impressed with the university’s response and it has put in stark belief the failure of Tucson’s business community and government.
Restaurants should not be open. All travel should stop. Paid sick leave should have already passed, as well as a ban on evictions. If paid sick leave is not passed, then people should not have to pay their rents and mortgages. Free groceries should be delivered to people’s homes. This is not some socialist fantasy. These are the reasonable and necessary steps.
And something that likely deserves its own article, but I will put here: The Arizona primaries need to be postponed, like Louisiana has already done. Joe Biden encouraging people to go out and vote is a bad joke. No wonder an Arizona election official walked out of a press conference saying, “I can’t do this.”
Now that our state has failed, we must do our part. Do not go out to eat, do not go to parties. People without symptoms may be the engine of the spread.
Going out into public to eat or drink at this point is a health hazard. Everyone at this point should be aware of the risks. If you know people who are not, inform them. Find ways to socialize from the comfort of your home.
Don’t be selfish. Don’t prioritize your good times and small pleasures over the health of others. Buy groceries for your elderly neighbors. Be mature. Be responsible. Meet this moment. Stay inside.
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