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Regardless of whether the coronavirus itself is a national crisis, Americans suddenly find themselves sinking waist-deep into recessional quicksand as quarantine and shelter-in-place orders pop up in cities across the country when only weeks ago we were treading on rock-solid ground. The fog of the pandemic war is closing in from all sides. Fear is crippling the economy with each tumble of the stock market, each business that closes, and every American that enters unemployment. We are constantly bombarded with statistics predicting doomsday – and many of those come from people thirsting for a disaster to lay at the feet of the Trump administration.
Americans with a healthy skepticism of our impending doom at the hands of the WuFlu are branded science deniers or even of being responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths. But after wailing about World War III with Iran and North Korea, the destruction of the internet over net neutrality, or the end of American democracy at the hands of Russia, then Ukraine, then Russia why should anyone blindly believe a news media or editorial board who time and again acts like the Boy Who Cried Wolf? Or who all but guaranteed a Hillary Clinton presidency? And pardons to those who think the federal government is the answer to our problems. But to borrow a phrase: the government is the problem. I’m a little suspicious when the biggest entity currently left running is the entity that runs things the worst.
It’s tempting to accept this as too big a problem to not leave to the government. While it is true the federal government can leverage powers to mobilize resources and centralize information for (relatively) quick and uniform circulation, it’s also true that any effort would be lost if not for the will of the average American to fight for survival – both economically and life itself. Americans on the ground choose how we react, and act, in times of strife. We can succumb to overwhelming panic, point fingers in a cowardly game of blame, or we can fight – together.