While many argue over the conflict between government stimulus and opening up the economy, nobody I have heard has bothered to acknowledge one fact. That the effects of the economy are worsening the effects of the pandemic in the US.
Stress and malnutrition weaken the immune system, which results in higher susceptibility to major negative effects from the pandemic. Or any other infection, illness, chronic condition or injury. Stress in and of itself uses biological resources the body needs to maintain itself, heal and fight infection.
We can discuss vaccines all day and night. To date, it is appearing that it will be months before vaccines are widely available and not really known how much good they will do. When they are widely available, there is no indication that they will be truly available for those of low income, with estimated cost being up to $37 a dose before paying for a doctor’s office or clinic visit. For many in current economic conditions, that $37 is out of reach, especially considering more than one dose will be required.
This situation is going to get worse very soon. Unemployment benefits for millions will run out on December 26th, considering no new stimulus has been passed and looks increasingly unlikely. By January 1st eviction moratoriums will end, leaving many with outrageous debt and looming eviction.
The combination of long-term anxiety, malnutrition and risk of homelessness is already causing significant widespread physical and mental health issues across the country. When unemployment benefits and for millions of Americans and tens of millions are evicted, what we can expect to see is a public health crisis beyond anything we have seen or imagined in this country.
This coming week is the final week of the year for Congress to be in session. The only stimulus bill being considered at this point includes no individual stimulus checks for those millions and no extension of the eviction moratorium. Meaning the worst is yet to manifest as a reality.
This country has no contingency plan for this and the effects will be profound. I do believe it will result in mass protests and possibly rioting in some cases.
Many people have been stocking up on guns and ammo. I think this is sad and inappropriate. The money being used to buy these things could be donated to food banks and homeless shelters to help their fellow Americans. Instead we have people not just willingly but eagerly preparing to shoot and kill fellow Americans who are desperate. I think that the guns will be basically useless and not needed.
The people who will be suffering are not a criminal element, they are our own family members, neighbors, friends, coworkers and acquaintances. These are people who have been laid off from their jobs, meaning that they were working and earning their way until forced into this position. They are not going to take out their anger on you but on the system. They do not want to take what you have. They want our government to do it’s job and protect them.
To make it worse, Congress just passed a new NDAA for 2021, with another increase in the military budget to $740 billion. Yet not a penny for our own citizens. As a nation, we all now see that any talk of defending our security or way of life is false. The things placing our people in danger right now lies not in some foreign adversary whose military capabilities even fall far short of a threat to the US. The threats to this country are illness, hunger, poverty and homelessness.
This paints a truly ugly picture of this country. Our government preparing to kill desperate people in countries where the people were made desperate by the actions of our government. American citizens preparing to kill desperate fellow citizens who were made desperate by the inactions of our government.
Is this what we have become? Is this what America is about now?
It seems to me the weapons needed right now are compassion, humanity, caring, charity, civility, unity and community.
I understand the anxiety and fear. It is fed to us, rammed down our throats on a daily, hourly basis. The media never lets up. I’ve said many times Americans have become addicted to fear, anxiety, anger and hatred. There has never been a time when this was so clearly illustrated. People are conditioned to responding with negative emotions because if you react emotionally, you cease to think critically. That is the goal and when you respond in the way they dictate, you let them win, while we all lose in every way.
On the other hand, millions of us have stepped up where we can. Donating and volunteering at food banks and homeless shelters. These are the true heroes, never recognized, the actions never reported on the news. Without these heroes, the food banks would be empty. There would be no lines for the food banks because there would be no point. Medical professionals face danger every day. We always have and always will. It’s just more obvious in these times.
More of us need to step up and try to be heroes for our fellow human beings instead of reacting with fear, anger, hatred and greed. I’m up for it. Are you?