Witness who we are. There are those who think they know more than the scientists and doctors who have dedicated their lives to the study and care of infectious diseases. How is it that our leaders, having comprehensive information and advice at their fingertips, ignore and fail to take the decisions necessary to insure the safety of their societies? Witness the United States and almost every nation on the planet today, developed or undeveloped as it were. How is it that certain populations like Igualada, Spain, who purportedly has the highest mortality rate in Europe due to the virus, carry the brunt and burden of inaction, non-preparedness and inaction by their governments? How is it that in the 21st Century, given our commercial and financial resources, free from wars in all of the robust economies of the world, we can still only offer a floor to lie down on for those who are sick and suffering and debating between life and death? And this does not even address the fact that the unawareness of our societies in this crisis borders on the criminal in not being able to provide the necessary equipment to confront the pandemic.
Our political climate everywhere today is and has been characterized by months and years of consolidating power for the ends of power, but unable to analyze possible outcomes that are common to us all in a world of global travel, economic interdependence and, now, global spread of infectious disease. Someone should have stepped forward well before now and said, “I am the one who is responsible for those who have chosen me to act on their behalf. I must be worthy of their trust.”
This crisis is showing our defects as a humane society. Out of the crisis sweeping our lands and our borders must come a new leadership. One that is based on compassion, empathy and action like the mayor of Zahara de la Sierra in Spain, Santiago Galván (https://edition.cnn.com/2020/04/03/europe/zahara-de-la-sierra-coronavirus-intl/index.html), or the mayor of New York, Andrew Cuomo who has been a vocal cry in the darkness of the perils facing us all. We must take our hats off to all the doctors and nurses who are daily risking their lives to honor the code of ethics they assumed when becoming medical professionals. Or what about the police and workers keeping our streets safe and clean, or the people in the supply chain so that we have food and medicine. We have a lot to be thankful for. There are many who only think of their duty and service to society in these critical and crucial times.
The time of our hypocrisy must come to an end. We close borders but now have no one to harvest our food critical to our survival in these dire times. We mandate country-wide lockdowns but cannot think of the impact on the poor and displaced. Witness what is happening in India and probably many more places around the world. We are petty instead of being magnanimous, especially as shown by our elected officials.
Let each of us do what is within our power to do. To raise our voices in protest and but too in the strengthening of our values as a people. Let us continue to teach our classes online, to stay connected with messages of gratitude and hope. Let us support one another in our effort to rise above what has confined us to our homes and perhaps changed our lives forever. We will come out of our current situation with renewed conviction and a greater sense of love and unity. We are hopeful.