Read a WSJ/NBC poll results. Posted today, the poll was conducted during 11 – 13 March 2019. It was about the coronavirus. The surprising results weren’t about support for the POTUS (not much changed there). No, more surprising was that most polled, particularly Republicans, didn’t think COVID-19 would have a major impact on their lives.
The poll was conducted as the NBA was shuttering the season for a while. The POTUS mad a speech that Wednesday and the stock exchanges showed a brief rebound. Since then…well, the news speaks for itself about what’s been shut down. It’s easier to list what isn’t shut down or impacted by the coronavirus. I guess it isn’t a surprise, then, as the POTUS has previously denounced COVID-19 as a hoax, or overblown as fake news by the media. Fox News happily supported those points for a while.
I then read another commentary on Italy’s situation (over twenty-five thousand cases now, and twenty-one hundred deaths). Then came an article that the U.S. (with over four thousand cases today) is where Italy was two weeks ago.
Finally, I read about Patient 31. She’s a woman in South Korea who carried on life as usual, attending church, eating at a lunch buffet, and working through a fever, a carrier who didn’t go and get tested, a woman now identified with a spike in South Korea’s coronavirus cases, a woman now considered a super-carrier.
Then I thought back to all the Americans who plan to continue business as usual, just as Patient 31 did.
From that came an old Bob Seger melody, “American Storm” (1986). Seger’s song was about a different epidemic, the increasing use of cocaine. But all the warning signs were ignored, and it spread. Feels like another song, about another storm, is due.