COVID-19 could have been our unifying moment

  • Bonnie Jean Feldkamp

    Bonnie Jean Feldkamp

 
By Bonnie Jean Feldkamp
Posted9/19/2021 1:00 AM

We blew it. And at this point, I'm not interested in pointing fingers and declaring who's at fault or why. WE collectively botched this.

An Alabama man died after 43 hospitals turned him away. Overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases, they weren't able to help him with his cardiac emergency, according to a Washington Post report.

 

Southern Ohio Medical Center posted a Facebook announcement saying their intensive care unit was at capacity. They wrote, "The dramatic increase in COVID hospitalizations means there may not be a bed available for those who wake up with chest pains. Or those who suffer a stroke. Or those involved in a car crash."

No more room. Not for anybody. They're full.

Lewis County General Hospital in upstate New York is closing its maternity ward because staff members refuse to get vaccinated. The hospital can no longer safely provide maternity services to our most vulnerable humans -- newborn babies.

The National Guard has arrived in many states to help with administrative duties and logistics because COVID-19 has overwhelmed hospitals.

Meanwhile, we fight. Not the virus, but each other. We fight about masks and about vaccines. About politics. How individual freedoms are more important than the greater good. And we argue about who's to blame and who's right or wrong.

We fight. We refuse. And then we die.

This could have been our moment. COVID-19 was an opportunity to put our vitriol away and stand next to our fellow human beings in a fight for all of humanity. We've watched it in blockbuster films. We know how it's supposed to go. In the movie "Armageddon," the world joined together as a meteor came hurtling through space toward Earth. In the film "Independence Day," countries banded together to outwit aliens invading from outer space.

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These works of fiction, and many more like them, show a resilient human ideal. Coming together to face a common enemy because one thing is abundantly clear: At the end of the day, we are all human beings. Something we supposedly value in our culture. Like it or not, we are in this world together, and COVID-19 should have been the common enemy that united us. No lone cowboy will ride off into the sunset having defeated this deadly virus with his six-shooter.

Social media has allowed us to posture and pontificate. Unfriend, unfollow and block those who disagree with us. That's fine. I support your removal of toxic content from your feed. Please, do it. But know that removing people who disagree with you from your social media feed does not remove them from your life. People who disagree with you still live in your neighborhood. Their children still get on the bus with your children and empty out into the same school. The same classroom.

We live together, and we die together. In these COVID-19 times, if you go down, you will take others down with you. We will also survive this pandemic together by following the sound advice of the same medical professionals who will treat us when we fall ill. If you trust them to treat you when you are sick, then trust them to prevent your illness now with a vaccine. Then, we can live to fight about politics, religion and personal freedoms another day.

I want us all to live. Cue Aerosmith.

© 2021, Creators

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