It’s Time to Accept That We’re the Problem

One year later, the COVID-19 pandemic rages on

The first case of the Novel Coronavirus was identified in the United States exactly one year ago today. Shortly after, Americans began saluting healthcare workers as they went off to war. The hashtags #qauranteam and #pod were trending on social media. Paper products disappeared from grocery store shelves.

The Republicans and Democrates invested spring, summer and fall focused on sorting out the details of which party they should blame while civil unrest swelled.

Meanwhile, COVID-19, a deadly virus that never officially took a stance with either political party, was destroying everything in its path and spreading, and spreading.

Here we are, a year later. Battling a new variant of the virus, averaging over 3,000 deaths per day and leading the world in positive case numbers. Perhaps our ‘Run toward the fire to save the economy’ approach isn’t working?

The best thing we can do at this point is to take responsibility for ourselves and accountability for our actions. It’s time to accept that we’re the problem.

We can choose to be angry over Former President Donald Trump’s horrific leadership, but the fact is, we are the ones who have refused to follow the public health guidance. They provided us with the tools. We chose not to use them, and the pandemic rages on.

I noticed a hopeful change of tone in America this morning, as if more people woke with an awareness that a Novel Coronavirus has no affiliation with a political party.

It’s day two of his presidency and Biden declared a “full scale wartime effort” while launching a national response and signing common sense executive orders that should have been in effect since day one, but day 365 is better late than never. In fact, better late than never is the only option we have.

This holds true for the American people, as well. We have a responsibility to ourselves, our families, communities, country and planet to wash our hands, wear a mask, socially distance, refrain from gathering and stay home when we’re sick.

We have a responsibility to work together for the greater good and to ensure we leave a thriving country for incoming generations. It is our duty to be part of the solution, yet we perpetuate the problem by refusing to do simple things that save lives. Instead, we see it as an inconvenience and cry “Freedom!”

There’s no more time to squander. We need to accept that we’re the problem, find a solution and move forward. Presidential executive orders won’t have an effective impact unless We the People step up.

Here’s to another year of a raging pandemic and to it getting worse before it gets better. Here’s to the hope that we, as individuals, do our part and use this time to become the very best versions of ourselves.

Here’s to doing what we’re asked, not because we’re being controlled by the government, but because we have the power to take control of our current situation.

Until we do, we only have ourselves to blame.

Newspaper reporter in Eastern Iowa. The views expressed are mine alone.

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