While other countries are celebrating getting "back to normal" and their residents are preparing for lives "post-COVID-19," the United States is experiencing record surges in cases of the virus, and experts say it's only going to get worse in the coming weeks. There are plenty of reasons the U.S. has failed to contain the virus, and they range from the individual level all the way up to state and federal government.
While it's frustrating to see people wear masks incorrectly or refuse to wear them at all, remember that the president and other top government officials, on a much larger level, have encouraged this ignorance, facilitated the transformation of concern for public health into a partisan, political issue, and refused to give local governments and citizens the tools they need to comfortably ride out the virus while staying safe at home.
Every time you see a man in a MAGA hat wearing a mask over his eyes, remember that this is just a tiny part of a machine of hate, misinformation, and disregard for human life that has infected an influential group of Americans. So with that in mind, here are 10 reasons we'll probably be quarantined until at least 2021.
Because of people like this guy
It's true. This guy, with his mask pulled up, incorrectly, over his eyes (you know, to keep him in the dark) is such a perfect distillation of how the U.S. has failed its residents when it comes to the response to COVID-19.
Because of parties like this one
When local governments decided to start opening up restaurants and bars for Memorial Day back in May, people flocked to them without taking proper precautions to stay safe. Now, several people from this particular party have tested positive for COVID-19.
Because of people like this woman
Clearly this woman is only wearing a mask because she has to. She obviously doesn't believe in the science that says it can help her from spreading the virus, otherwise she wouldn't have cut a hole out of the front of it in order to make it "easier to breathe." The ignorance is not only astounding; it's dangerous.
Because of mayors like this one
In Los Angeles, California, Mayor Eric Garcetti opened restaurants and bars, and then days later, when cases started spiking, he chastised people for going out to restaurants and bars. Do you see the problem there? He is just one example of the intense confusion and hypocrisy in the messaging we've been getting from our leaders since day one of this thing.
Because of wealthy government officials like this one
Remember when Steve Mnuchin said $1,200 should last families 10 weeks because he's not a real person who has ever lived in the real world? This is extremely part of the reason the virus has been and will continue to be so devastating. The government is forcing people back to work and into harm's way by not providing us with sorely-needed stimulus money, rent and eviction cancelations, and bill freezes. They had the power to do so, but they decided to bail out large corporations instead.
Because of voter suppression
The U.S. government is actively trying to get people to stay home and not to vote by slashing polling stations for primaries in several states. While this move is ostensibly to keep people safer during the pandemic, in reality, it's just resulted in voters having to travel farther and stand in longer lines near way more people in order to cast their votes. It's voter suppression, plain and simple, and it puts people at risk for the virus in addition to preventing people from casting their votes in the first place.
Because of Karens like this one
Although it's been proven time and time again that wearing a mask does not inhibit the flow of oxygen, people like this woman in a Los Angeles area Trader Joe's claim that she has a breathing problem that prohibits her from wearing a mask. This is not to say that those problems don't exist. It's just that this woman clearly came in looking for a confrontation, and she was more than happy to yell into people's cameras about the perceived injustice she was facing.
And because of Karens like *this* one
And the Trader Joe's Karen is far from the only one. In this similar viral video, a woman causes a scene at a Gelson's grocery store when she's told she must wear a mask to enter. Even though she's given several alternative options, she suggests she's being discriminated against. It's so hard for some people to think of anyone but themselves, and so they yell when they believe their apparently boundless rights are being infringed upon.
Because of stores like this one
Similarly, stores, restaurants, and bars with owners who believe that wearing masks is a violation of their rights have begun banning people who want to wear masks inside their establishments. This store isn't the only one. There are actually people out there who believe COVID-19 is a hoax or is being blown out of proportion, even when they personally know people who've died from it.
Because of conspiracy theorists like these
These people are conspiracy theorists. They are unable to believe science and facts because they have a president who's been telling them constantly for four years to stop believing science and facts. We're going to be dealing with the coronavirus for many more months because the White House has successfully politicized it.
Instead of banding together and doing what we need to do to keep people safe, Donald Trump is encouraging us to test less, sabotaging our national health organizations, convincing people that wearing a mask infringes upon their rights, and even before this, he has helped create such a culture of hate that it's impossible now to ask people to simply care about each other.