As the Coronavirus continues to ravage our nation, I’m reminded of a tagline from a television show that was popular in the early 2000s: What’s next?.
During my lifetime, there have been many calamities that have threatened to upend our national psyche. There have been health crises, political dramas and economic upheavals. Yet, we continue to endure. We continue to ask, “What’s next?”.
That is the spirit that makes America great, despite the protestations of those who would say otherwise.
We have moved on from the political upheavals of Watergate, the Clinton impeachment and are in the process of moving on from the Trump impeachment as Election Day draws closer and America will truly have its say in how the past four years have been.
We have seen the economy on a roller coaster with rampant inflation during the Arab Oil Embargo of the 1970s. We recovered from the Dot.Com bubble and the Great Recession thanks to strong leadership. The current stock market, while dizzying, will recover once again, but it may be too late for those close to retirement.
There have been many health scares prior to the coronavirus pandemic. SARS, MERS, H1N1 and Ebola all threatened to destroy the fabric of our society because of the capricious nature of these illnesses. Yet, they pale in comparison to the AIDS epidemic that witnessed millions dying.
We have even come back from the devastating attacks on 9/11, when the goal of the attacks was to bring America to its knees. Instead, we endured, even united and asked “What’s next?”. And now, it was just reported today that the coronavirus death toll has exceeded that from 9/11.
Sadly, there are those who are attempting to use the current crisis to their advantage. People are hoarding supplies, touting fake cures, or attempting to re-write history to their financial or political advantage.
Coming from a Northeastern state, I’m all too familiar with people rushing to their local supermarkets to stock up on bread and milk when a snowstorm is on the horizon. Inexplicably, the thing being hoarded during the current crisis is toilet paper. It would be easy to turn this into an obscene pun on the current condition of our country, but I’m sure you get my point.
Another business seeing a massive uptick is in the sale of firearms and ammunition. It would appear the insecure Second Amendment distortionists fear a downward spiral in our society as the Coronavirus pandemic continues to spread. Either they fear rioting from those who are unable to afford the basic necessities, or they envision some sort of zombie apocalypse as those who survive will somehow turn into deformed undead after being administered some alleged cure that transformed them into a scary science fiction movie creature.
I won’t pretend to understand their paranoia.
Like all health crises, there are those who promise fake cures or encourage others to rally around the cross, predicting that this may indeed be the “rapture” the Bible has promised. Despite measures in place to encourage “social distancing”, many churches are drawing thousands of worshipers who are adhering to their faith despite numerous warnings.
And then there are politicians who, at first denied the Coronavirus was a problem, only to be stricken by the very illness they once mocked. So-called “news” outlets called called the growing epidemic a hoax. This false claim was repeated by Donald Trump, only to be walked back
and even denied later on.
As a nation, we will survive this latest crisis, as we have endured so many in the past. I can only hope we will be around to ask “What’s next?”.