People struggle every day to survive, some more than others. Some people are unemployed, underemployed and overemployed and and cannot afford to live a comfortable life. Many cannot afford a home. Some people work one, two or three jobs and are still struggling. Others have enough money to pay their bills, but any change in the economy could affect their livelihoods overnight. Most U.S. American's lives are potentially unstable. So living at this moment in a major health crisis highlights and exacerbates the economic instability we face. One's social status, gender, ethnicity, race, gender identity are determiners in how people will be affected by the crisis.
As Covid-19 spread in Asia and Europe, the president and his cabinet tried to convince us that it was a "Chinese" problem and European problem, suggesting that we wouldn't be affected. In other words, implying that we shouldn't care. The U.S. medical community has been pointing out that we would be affected in a much greater degree where large numbers of people will most likely suffer from the virus, especially elderly people. Suddenly, due to mass concern, we are receiving more information and overdue plans to deal with the crisis are being unveiled. I remember feeling in the beginning that there was not an official medical response based on science and research as to what we should do to protect ourselves. I also wondered what would happen to people who are the most vulnerable: homeless, immigrants, the working poor and elderly people living in senior facilities.
The overall lack of direction gave people a sense of being on their own. Every person or family for themselves. It gave way to an attitude of fending for yourselves and not being concerned for the needs of others, especially the people who are most vulnerable. The media flooded the airwaves and internet with stories of hoarding an supermarkets running out of necessary products like toilet paper, hand sanitizer and water. The president and his administration were trying to convince us that we'd be fine because we're a strong nation. They offered hope, prayer, propaganda and nationalism. They allowed us to guess and rely on rumors.
Only recently, finally paying attention to other countries like China and South Korea, where officials have taken steps to stem the spread of Covid-19, are we seeing some leadership, information and direction, as it dribbles down to us in declaration and news bites. Now the president and cabinet are concocting a plan with Senate Republicans to bail out corporations because they are suffering, with economic packages. As a side thought working families will receive some type of economic package to help with the loss of pay and increased medical expenses.
Meanwhile the most vulnerable people, with the least means to take care of themselves, and in the case of homeless people, lack basic sanitary and hygienic facilities needed to wash regularly, are not part of the plan for helping the people of this nation. It is only due to advocates and local government agencies that the most vulnerable sector of the population is receiving any assistance. In the midst of this crisis is the most glaring problem of all, which is the insufficient accessible medical facilities to serve everyone. This more than anything demonstrates the need for a universal health care plan, so that everyone can receive medical attention.
We are at the crossroad of stemming the spread of a major medical crises or prolonging it and allowing it to spread on a wider scale. Humanitarian values, common sense, compassion and cooperation and coordination with other nations will make a monumental difference. The president's path only continues the legacy of privileging health care, encouraging greed and places profits over human lives.