The Unknown

The State of Our Country and Community


As cases continue to rise and the holidays approach, the anxiety around COVID-19 and the unknown factors are adamant. ‘Will there be another lockdown? Will families have to give up traditions and traveling? And ‘when are things going to get back to normal like officials have been saying?’ are all pressing questions indefinitely unanswered. Though ‘wear a mask’ and ‘keep social distance’ are phrases many have grown accustomed to, the urgency to get back to normal is growing (resulting in cases doing the same). 

We’re already feeling the effects of Thanksgiving Break – not only did many travel to see extended family and friends, but college students came back home as well. The holidays are all about family and congregating, which is the perfect concoction for the spread of COVID. It only takes one person to get a dozen others sick. Though tough, sacrifices must be made for the safety of the community.. But will they be? Even before break, cases have been rising – just look in the Frisco area alone. On November 26 there were around 5000 new cases according to the New York Times count. It takes 5-14 days to feel the symptoms of COVID-19, and since Thanksgiving the case count has jumped from 5000 new cases to around 15,000. Though the holidays will undoubtedly account for the future spike in cases, people getting too comfortable will as well. It’s important to distinguish the difference between taking precautions to coexist with COVID and simply being careless. To those who view COVID as ‘not a big deal’ and continue to enjoy their kickbacks and parties: you may be right. You may get over COVID like the flu – it may not be a big deal for you. But, it’s not about you! It’s about your grandparents you’re visiting after your fun weekend or the essential workers you pass by who don’t have a choice but to put themselves at risk to make a living.  High school and college students are the superspreaders who don’t always feel the effect. The anxiety around there possibly being another lockdown is rising – but, the answer to prevent one from happening is simple: slow down and make decent, common sense decisions. The inability of others to simply be rational and do what’s right – like keeping their circle small and not going to parties and large gatherings is resulting in the ideal of ‘every man for himself’. 

It’s hard seeing other countries move on. So why is America what many describe the ‘best country in the world’ still struggling and feeling the effects? We were supposed to be done with this by Easter, now Christmas is approaching! This virus has been politicised on both sides – resulting in not only confusion but division..  The lines between facts and opinions are blurred and putting real lives at risk. America, and many Americans have a strong sense of individualism. The idea of “protecting me and mine”, and the need to be ‘different from the rest’ is a mindset and custom of our culture.  This trait that many carry is one that is simply a part of our society. Though this attribute can lead to both individual success and creative innovations, it’s a threat and develops into selfishness during a crisis like COVID. The freedom of speech and entitlement to one’s own ideals and opinions is what makes America, America and our country thrive – for it’s the foundation of our democracy.  But as we get deeper into such a crisis the need for unity for the betterment of not only ourselves but the country as a whole widens.

What can be seen in this crazy year of 2020 is the danger of fear and the unknown. The power of putting a tiny seed of doubt out there and how it can grow out of control. Just look how masks became political and turned into a debate. Though this virus has highlighted things America needs to work on it’s also highlighted what happens when we come together. Though these holidays will look very different, there are things to make it a little better like supporting small businesses or attending community hosted and safe holiday events like the drive through ‘Radiance!’ light show in Frisco.