Amerikanerne er på udmattelsens rand
Everyday life in the United States with corona , forest fires, social unrest and a dirty election campaign
Americans are on the brink of exhaustion.
We are only halfway through the month of September, but I am already SO done with this year! Corona, homeschooled children, isolation, social unrest, forest fires and an election campaign that brings out the worst in politicians and ordinary citizens.
In the spring, we thought homeschooling was temporary, so we stuck our noses in the track, tightened our buttocks, and lived with online education that made the youngest child’s ADHD spin out of control and stress and mood swings vibrate on the eldest child’s high nails . Corona was new, we bought a lot, decorated home-made jobs, ate a lot of sweets and chips and told each other that we should probably get through the crisis. We wanted to hold weekly family meetings, provide space, show understanding and embrace – we were a strong family with lots of profits. Wearing the yes hat, no need to whine.
But now it’s autumn and the kids are still home from school, and they should be until at least February 1st, probably longer. They log on to their computers every morning, and then one zoom session after another begins. There are no sports activities due to Corona, the children have virtually no social life outside the four walls of the home. What long-term consequences does it have for their mental health? Not to mention that it matters to the level of activity and their overall physical health. We’re doing what we can to keep them going, but it’s not easy.
In this Corona era, where one cannot go to football or meet with friends and run around, especially my son burns gunpowder off alone several times a day. We send him out on bike rides in the neighborhood, up and down the mountain hills, four of a kind it happens a day, “the body needs to get rid of my crowds inside,” as he says.
First Corona and now forest fires
But that was before the forest fires that are ravaging the west coast of the United States right now. Our city is shrouded in a greasy, gray soup-like smog . It is decidedly dangerous to stay outdoors and the authorities have closed parks and public recreation areas, Seattle is these days the world’s third most polluted city. It scratches the throat and tastes of smoke when you breathe. We need to stay indoors, close windows and doors and people are encouraged not to exercise. Unfortunately, the exercise bike that I and the rest of the US have ordered online is delayed, so we try to be creative with the exercise exercises we ask our son to do on the living room floor.
“It’s getting colder, believe me,” Trump said hovering with his characteristic protruding jaw, the expression he uses when annoyed at the person he’s talking to. On Monday, Trump visited California, where he met with politicians who argued that, in addition to looking at better forest maintenance, climate change must also be addressed.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden backs the governors of California, Oregon and Washington, all of whom have highlighted climate change as the reason fires are out of control.
Each week brings new revelations of Trump’s incompetence and lack of empathy
Every week there is a new scandal. This week it’s about Trump’s reaction to the taped interviews, which can now be read in the well-known Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward’s book “Rage”. On the tapes, it is clear that from the beginning of the Corona pandemic, Trump has known how contagious the virus was and what enormous consequences it could possibly have for the American people he, as the country’s president, heads. Trump defends himself, saying that his handling of the Corona crisis is an expression of good leadership and that he would not panic.
All the while, the Corona is overshadowing our free lives. We are here in King County in the Seattle area at level 2 in the opening phase , so far from a normalization. We thus lived in advance, before the fires, with restrictions on many activities. Even though you can go out to eat, the desire is almost not there when you can see in the news how the Corona death toll is rising every day and this week rounds 200,000. Until recently, one of the few activities that we were still able to undertake without risk was to cycle or go for a walk. In God’s own country, where the freedom of the individual is praised, we are locked inside our house while looking out at a world that is hard to understand has changed so much since February.
Lootings and riots
The news is so full of the latest developments in forest fires and Corona that the demonstrations that have taken place across the United States for over 100 days since the assassination of African-American George Floyd are largely unmentioned. But demonstrations continue, primarily for social and racial equality and for less police brutality. That is the main message, and that is what most Americans support. The looting and riots that frighten the average American and obscure the original message have few sympathies.
Should I not just dry my eyes or pack the southern fruits and turn my nose home towards Denmark? Well, you might think so. But what I experience is not unique to me and mine. There are millions of Americans living right now like we do. And who alternate between on the one hand giving their best to maintain a positive attitude to make the family work and who on the other hand at the same time struggle with loneliness, anxiety, fear – it is not healthy for mental health to live in conditions that are so unpredictable. I’m lucky I have a roof over my head and stable conditions. It’s far from easy for everyone here in the United States. Many are struggling with unemployment and lack of health insurance – I’m sure that those like me share the view of 2020 as a decidedly shitty year , we can not quickly flush down the toilet.