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Viruses Do NOT Have Nationalities

We all have our favorites; whether it is Italian food, Russian literature or even Irish step-dancing. All of these refer to positive contributions that a culture has made. To attribute their countries of origin is a compliment to these nationalities.

To attribute an illness to a country is just plain racism.

(Listen to the podcast)

Over 100 years ago, soldiers returned from World War I, bringing with them an outbreak that became known as the Spanish flu. More Americans died from this than lost their lives in the war. It never really went away. The virus that caused the pandemic was later re-named H1N1 when it resurfaced in 1989.

Calling it the Spanish flu was reflective of the times. It was a time when the racist “separate but equal Jim Crow laws were still very much in effect. Women didn’t have the right to vote. Child labor laws had yet to be enacted.

Even as recently as 50 years ago, making fun of other nationalities was the fodder of AM morning DJs.

MOST of us have evolved since then.

Sadly, there are still those to whom this racism appeals. So, in deference to them, Trump and other Republicans continue to refer to the coronavirus as “the China virus” or even the “Kung Flu”.

There is even a demand from Senator Tom Cotton (R-AK) to hold China “accountable” for the coronavirus.

This obvious pandering to his base is yet another attempt at deflection as the once vaunted stock market retreats to pre-Trump levels.

We need to stop with baseless accusations and focus on the problem. Stopping the spread of this illness through education, treatment, social distancing and even isolating ourselves are the only ways we can do this successfully.

China currently has stopped the spread of the virus and is making efforts to prevent its resurgence. They deserve our admiration, not our ridicule. They have suffered greatly and are on the verge of emerging from this shadow while we are watching the disease spread exponentially, through the initial denial of the disease and now continued bungling of a coordinated response to the outbreak.

The time for name-calling is far from over. There needs to be immediate action to assist overwhelmed medical facilities.

So far, all we have are unfulfilled promises and hollow calls to act from the federal government, while state governments lead the attack with little or no guidance at the federal level.

Until there are more coordinated efforts, we risk the chance of becoming another China, or even Italy. Or, the results could be something far worse.

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Not Fake News . Bob Gatty . 2719 Scarecrow Way, Myrtle Beach, SC . 301-908-1918.