What Saddens Me Most Right Now
Aside from the fact that the markets have not held a moratorium so that governments can better focus on managing a global crisis
This past Saturday I attended the funeral service of one of our revered and loved elders in the family in Brooklyn, NY. She died in her 93rd year on earth and out of her 7 daughters, 5 were present and openly weeping, one was hospitalized and the other unable to travel due to restrictions. My great aunt’s final resting place will be in Jamaica and right now the logistics of this has become a shaky proposition at the moment. If there is a wedding, graduation, reunion, or funeral in my family you can expect to see a minimum of hundred or more attendees who are mostly blood relatives — barely a third of that figure was present for this occasion. While her daughters that were present were briefly comforted by my presence; by sharing memorable moments of their mother’s life, and shared mourning of their loss, there was the additional eerie sadness brewing like an overarching cloud of despair that covid-19 has brought upon us too.
It saddens me how the risk and dangers of covid-19 has seemingly divided us, and has us mandatorily isolated, leaving us captive by its swift invasion.
What saddens me also is how a preponderance of us humans behave when faced with a pandemic, especially here in the U.S. that contibutes to our capture by this deadly menace. The lack of American spirit as a collective has left us vulnerable to such attacks. This lack of care is lost on many, just for example, in the way we hoard supplies (fear-based or not) creating artificial scarcity and t hen there are some who act simply out of self interest and opportunistically turn around and resell them at preposterously higher prices above retail value — further exacerbating an artificial scarcity in many instances.
Victims to misfortune or those who fall prey to unfortunate events in no way deserve what befalls them. That sort of just-world theorizing is ludicrous, and looking to cast aspersions, or lay blame on what is essentially the dualism of nature (or the yin and yang of nature, if you will), of random undesirable events that impact broader society in negative ways and outcomes, will surely and only reverberate as a Mathew effect of trial and tribulation for all of us.
Just-world theorizing and its perceptions is rooted in religiosity. It has affected the efficacy of science and is dismissive of the empathy needed to resolve a humanitarian crisis. I have noticed that diplomacy between the U.S. and China during this awful time has eroded further due to the trade war that currently precedes it. Had there been better cooperation and less competition the crisis would certainly have played out differently. But if both countries want to usurp one another for the high stakes claim of global influence we will see the wages of sinful posturing plague us by the cost of panics, and deaths worldwide.
I am taken aback by the government of China’s spin and propaganda in its delayed response to the the coronavirus when it silenced whistleblowers and withheld crucial information. That seemingly exacerbated conspiracy theories and masked the negligence of global cooperation or leadership quality.
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But the U.S. response and missteps was also terrible initially and only helped to fuel the crises to epic proportions.
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This is also not cool.
Trump claims that in using the phrase “Chinese virus,” he’s just trying to be “accurate” in describing where it’s from. But there is a difference between saying the virus is from China and saying it is a Chinese virus. In a time of unease and uncertainty, such language stokes xenophobic panic and doesn’t get us closer to eradicating this virus. Asian Americans have been assaulted or otherwise discriminated against because of such rhetoric.
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While the effect of the coronavirus will be in the trillions for the global economy, kindness, empathy, cooperation, and respect will still be free. The same shown on the most intimate familial level when someone endearing to us has passed away.
Anticipating market chaos, panic selling and a disastrous loss of value in the wake of the attacks, the NYSE and the Nasdaq remained closed until September 17, the longest shutdown since 1933.
This is why a political response to crises could never trump a humanitarian one.