Jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis said of his hometown after the destruction of Hurricane Katrina: “At this moment all New Orleans need the nation to join in a deafening crescendo of encouragement to silence the desperate scream that is this catastrophe.” It’s the same with coronavirus now.
Fifteen years later, a new tragedy caused by a new epidemic. Now comes a distress cry from every part of the world. But not everybody is shouting and not everybody is as desperate.
A persistent resistance to early stay-at-home measures among ordinary people everywhere — and in particular some Republican governors — only partly explains why United states has not yet managed to beat back the new coronavirus.
Why US can’t deal with coronavirus
The reason America has struggled to gain power of this new virus can be found at the intersection of politics, money and society, embedded in two defining characteristics of our coronavirus-age society: extreme political discord and rising inequality.
The former involves not only partisanship, but also relevant topics such as media, research, and public servants’ hostility; the latter concerns the interaction of race and cultural-economic status and access to coverage of health care.
According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. The US is one of the most unequal nations in the world. Dominated by only a smattering of countries — Bulgaria, Turkey, Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica and South Africa. The coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent economic shutdown are likely to increase the gap between the haves and the have-nots, and doctors and public health experts say socio-economic status plays a role in whether an individual can survive the disease.
The new virus doesn’t care of your race or economic status. But data released by many states indicates your race and socioeconomic status. And all that goes with it, like access to quality health care. It might make a significant difference in whether you are contracting the virus and surviving it.