We’re All Tired of COVID-19

I am tired of hearing about COVID-19, and I know that I’m not alone. As states are opening up despite record-breaking infection numbers rolling in every day, it would appear that large swaths of the population are choosing to simply ignore the pandemic.

As I write this, over 119,000 of our fellow Americans have perished from COVID-19. That’s a great deal more people than the entire population of my home town. It’s also more people that can fit in the largest sports stadium in the world.

Sacrifice Grandma to Save the Economy

We’re in a difficult time, indeed. A time that we will be judged by, not because of what we did to save lives, but what we readily endangered our fellow man to preserve.

Texas’ Lt. Governor, Dan Patrick, said in an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, “No one reached out to me and said, as a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren? And if that’s the exchange, I’m all in.”

While he was grandstanding about his willingness to risk his life for the country, he was also speaking as though he spoke for all grandparents out there. That we should, essentially, sacrifice our elderly to save the economy.

Young People are Fueling the Increase

What the Lt. Governor was not aware of, is that one day later the news would report that 38% of the 500 known hospitalizations in March involved individuals under 54 years of age.

COVID-19 doesn’t just affect the elderly. It has killed and continues to kill young people that are seemingly in perfect health.

Hays County, the county I technically live in just south of Austin, TX, is seeing the highest daily numbers of new cases since the pandemic began. The source of most of these new cases? Young people 20-29 years of age.

Is this because they’re partying and playing roulette with their health while the odds are in their favor should they become infected? Partially. A recent story about 16 friends that went to a bar to celebrate a birthday made the rounds. Every one of them came down with COVID-19, along with several members of the bar’s staff.

Is it because they’re marching and protesting in large groups for equality? Partially.

Is it because they are working essential jobs in retail, food service, and at bars around the country? Partially.

Whatever the reason for the increase, young people have become the single largest demographic of new cases.

We Have to Do This Together

The growth in cases is we’re seeing is a direct result of our relaxing the actions we took early on to save lives.

If we, as a society could take two weeks of total lockdown, we could essentially stop the virus in its tracks. If it can’t spread before its host’s immune system adapts, it can’t survive. Unfortunately, we don’t seem to be capable of such a sacrifice.

When the pandemic started, the first response of many Americans was to run to the store and stock up on toilet paper. They fled into their homes and watched the news like hawks. Many of them became unemployed practically overnight.

It was a terrible, uncertain time. Yes, politicians and economists worried that this would leave a dark stain on the economy that we could never recover from. They felt as though the America we knew was over.

In many ways, it is. It doesn’t have to be.

If we want to see the days when we can fill stadiums and go to Birthday parties return, we need to work together. We need to stop politicizing the pandemic and making face masks sound like some kind of violation of Liberty.

It isn’t rocket science. It’s simple science. Kill the virus off and don’t let it spread. Once it’s dead, we can go back to normal.

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Ryan Matthew Pierson