Opinion: Lack of national coordination on COVID-19 stalls reopening

(Image courtesy of PIRO4D | Pixabay)
By Erik Galicia

It has been seven months since businesses shut down, people began suffocating to death and the world changed for the long run.

Yes, COVID-19 is here to stay. One of the main reasons it seems like it will never die is our uncoordinated response. 

Take a look around the world. Several developed countries, even ones hit hard by coronavirus early on, began a coordinated reopening long ago. 

Germany, like the United States, runs on a federal system that delegates much of its governmental decisions to provinces and local municipalities. Like in the U.S., there was bickering and blame thrown around. But Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a science-based emergency federal mandate on COVID-19 safety all the way back in March.

German children were back in school at the start of the fall 2020 semester.

But there’s no place like home, where the president calls a virus that has killed over one million people worldwide a “Democratic hoax” and ends up catching it himself — don’t take his word for it though, he’d fake a heart attack to get you to forget about the $750 he paid in taxes a few years ago.

The problem here is the rise of the fringes of society into the mainstream. While the left and right exist everywhere, science is not as politicized in other countries as it is here. For example, scientists in other countries can lean right and still agree that climate change is real. In the good ol’ USA, “science is the devil” is now a prevalent belief.

President Donald Trump — the demagogue with a personality cult comparable to that of Jim Jones — failed to issue a federal mandate on masks, social distancing and other precautionary measures, instead allowing states, counties and cities to decide for themselves. The move was well-played when considering his motives: reinforce that Trump means freedom and Democrats mean totalitarianism.

Different states have taken different paths, as have cities and counties, due to the lack of leadership from the top. The fear of an overbearing federal government is perfectly rational and exists on both sides of the political aisle, but we are living through a pandemic. If anything should have united our country, it should have been our COVID-19 response.

No one wants to be home. It is a fact that working class people are struggling financially and we should be finding ways to return to work as quickly as possible. But, without a uniform effort — and with winter around the corner —  experts say we will continue to see setbacks.

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