The United States has only 4% of the world population but almost 1/3 of the covid cases. When comparing countries, we should take into consideration their population. For instance Italy, which suffered so much in the beginning, has less than a quarter-million cases but a smaller population. Italy has 370 cases per 100,000 residents. New Zealand, with a population similar to Louisiana, clamped down early. They have 30 cases/100,000 residents. This country has 450 cases/100,000 — more than hard-hit Italy, and 15 times the infection rate of New Zealand.
I look at numbers like this and get discouraged. And I don’t see any hope coming from our national leadership. They seem to be too busy blaming others while filling their pockets and those of their cronies. Anyone who disagrees is fired or discredited. Heavily armed protesters stop the Michigan legislature from meeting and the national administration sends encouragement. Unemployment is at Depression-era levels while work continues to unravel the safety net. The administration continues its efforts to cut food stamps and abolish the limited healthcare program we do have. It appears the virus isn’t our biggest threat.
My surface reading of Viktor Frankl points me to imagine the positives and work toward those. Confined to our homes, we are in contact with distant family more often now than before. And perhaps we will come out of this stronger, more resilient, and more caring. I would at least hope that we are more aware of how interconnected we are. Your health and well-being affect mine. But with the way things are going today, I don’t see how we are going to get there. Perhaps Frankl would tell me to set that aside and just live today with the positive idea of the future.
At our little micro level, things are well. Andrea and I are still healthy and the people we know are no less healthy than they were before the virus. Andrea and I spent yesterday afternoon with her brother Tom, part of the time at a winery south of here. It was a beautiful day with sun between the rain showers. We were socially-distancing with others but we are less careful with Tom. I feel very lucky to be able to spend time with him. And to live with his sister Andrea.