COVID-19 & Our Opportunity
According to ScienceDaily (2020), the epidemic originated in Wuhan, China, and the government informed the World Health Organization (WHO) on December 31, 2019, of its impact. Since the report, it has rapidly spread to over 70 countries, including the United States of America.
At first, the outbreaks weren't being taken seriously. The US government, being led by President Donald Trump, only advised precautionary measures outside of banning all flights to Europe since China and Italy were both experiencing major outbreaks and multiple deaths. The president deferred that all major decisions such as mandates and laws limiting education, business, entertainment, and social interactions to state governors on how to handle the matter.
As a result, the pandemic began to take a quick turn for the worse, affecting the hospital's capacity to service the sick and to provide testing. There were not enough tests available to gauge the severity of the situation in terms of outbreaks and spreading. It was clear that our country and health care system wasn't prepared for this kind of pandemic. We didn't have adequate PPE (personal protective equipment) such as ventilators, masks, gloves, gowns, shoe covers, alcohol, beds, and space to accommodate the overwhelming hospitals all across America. Even nursing homes were being impacted. Nursing homes were hit the hardest due to patient's preexisting conditions.
On March 22, 2020, the State of New York recommended self-quarantine due to the Corona Virus or COVID-19, a highly infectious virus, that affects the respiratory system, for those who were not experiencing symptoms because of a lack of full compliance with the rules regarding social distancing (6ft) and occupancy with large public gatherings.
The media reported, as things progressed, encouraging the general public to get essential supplies like antibacterial wipes, alcohol, bleach, toilet paper, tissue, and this created a ripple effect causing supply shortages throughout America. The temperance of America was that of uncertainty as the economy gets hit, unemployment rise, rent is back up, small businesses tank, and Americans lose their lives unnecessarily,
New York State, under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, was the epic center and amazingly we managed to get the numbers of cases and deaths down to zero in three months while southern and western states such as FL, TX, CA, and AZ increased to record breaking numbers despite of warnings. Unfortunately, these regions were pressured into reopening quickly due to it being an election year and were unwilling to comply to CDC guidelines and pace reopening. As a result, they are suffering the consequences today.
What can we do during our new norm? Even during these uncertain times, there is room for reinvention and growth. Today can be the day we decide not to allow life to happen but choose to seize the moment and be empowered. Now more than ever, we need creative minds to problem solve and create new ways of being. We must adapt in order to survive. Here's our opportunity to rise to the occasion.
ScienceDaily. (2020). Covid-19 coronavirus epidemic has a natural origin. (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200317175442.htm