Coronavirus Exposes Four Decades of Moral Decay; Systemic Change Required
April 2, 2020
The coronavirus has exposed the depth of the rot. There’s a significant amount. Are we going to paint over it or rip it out?
There’s no moderate position when it comes to the future. During this fast-moving crisis, a significant number of Americans want to sacrifice the sick and old for green and gold. These same people and others are also willing to sacrifice our young and their future because, to them, the burning of black gold and rampant consumption are the American Way. Mom, baseball, and apple pie have been replaced by greed, ignorance, and conspiracy.
The sacrifices made by the Greatest Generation are a foreign concept, a Chinese hoax. There are very fine people on both sides. There aren’t. One side wants the Greatest Generation to sacrifice themselves again, this time for a street in New York City that pushes the new American Dream. Nazis are now protected, celebrated, and elected. They serve as advisors in the White House. Sieg heil the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
The hateful no longer even bother to hide their disdain of black, brown, LGBTQ, science, compassion, and government — at least until the free market visits the latter with its hand out. Our greatest threat isn’t a novel virus. It’s an ancient one we’ve spent the better part of 40 years resuscitating.
The nation’s top infectious-diseases expert, a 79-year-old man trying to save our lives, requires security from human threats to his life. The hateful and their “news” sources labeled him an agent of the ever-expanding deep state.
As the coronavirus piles up bodies, the opportunists spin, lie, blame, and deflect — miserable traits they have perfected denying the climate crisis. Those who want to protect the environment, their land, and their children’s future by protesting the expansion of dirty fossil-fuel infrastructure are terrorists. Those who cage brown children at the border and suggest pushing seniors into the COVID-19 fire are leaders.
Since the election of a Hollywood elite in 1980, the United States has increasingly become a mean, selfish, materialistic, and damaged nation. Finding billions of dollars for bombs, bullets, and mass destruction is never a problem. But there’s never enough money to adequately fund public health, education, senior care, and mass transit. Universal heath care will break us. Fighting to see which local government will give the best tax deal to one of the wealthiest people on the planet so he’ll build a windowless warehouse in our community will cure us.
Let’s not make the lives we have lost and will lose to this global pandemic for naught. The villainous reaction to this public-health crisis by the opportunistic pushers of hate, racism, and ignorance has exposed society’s moral decay.
When science and the selfless among us — many working without personal protective equipment or with enough support — corral the virus, it will be time to embrace systemic change. We’ll need to attack the climate crisis, inequality, and institutional racism with the same perseverance so many have exhibited batting back the coronavirus. We’ll need to repair the social safety net. We’ll need to rebuild the economy, not shareholder portfolios.
People like Anthony Fauci will need to be heeded, not threatened.
Anything less will be another failure.
Frank Carini is the ecoRI News editor.