New national bird

America’s national bird should be, not the eagle, but the ostrich. From the very beginning, our president has tried to minimize and deny the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Now he wants to limit testing so the numbers will be smaller. He is trying to stop the Communicable Disease Center from publishing national statistics. His press secretary says: “We shouldn’t let science get in the way” of re-opening schools.

Our representatives in Washington, terrified of appearing disloyal, kowtow to Trump any time they get the chance. They are more frightened of being insulted in his tweets than they are of seeing their constituents become ill in the pandemic.

Meanwhile, they continue to ignore the obvious. The states that have re-opened early are experiencing a huge resurgence of coronavirus cases. Cities and counties that were doing well, forced to stop taking precautions, are now hotbeds of infection. For a while it appeared that America was starting to get a handle on the pandemic, but now we are sliding backward, breaking records at an ever-increasing rate.

Numbers in Pennsylvania, decreasing until a month ago, are now starting to climb. This is true in Lycoming and surrounding counties. The rate of increase here is not as bad as in the South and West, but who knows whether that could be only temporary? Some of the southern and western states are starting to backpedal on restrictions, but it may be too late to save millions of people from disease.

The United States now leads the world in new coronavirus cases. The European Union will no longer allow us in. The same with many nations in Asia and Africa. Even our neighbors to the north and south are closing their borders to us. We are becoming a pariah nation, lumped with Brazil and Russia.

Meanwhile, our local, state and national representatives clamor, not for more safety, but for abandoning caution. Even though the evidence of what happens when things open up too soon and precautions are ignored is right under their noses. Even though they know lives are at stake.

Their heads are firmly stuck in the sand. What will it take to get them to pull them out?


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