USA har i over en uge registreret mere end 100.000 Coronasmittede om dagen. Fredag lå tallet på over 180.000. Flere delstater indfører nu voldsomme restriktioner for deres befolkninger.
When even the school psychologist is about to break down, you know the nation has reached a limit of how much it can endure
For more than a week, the United States has registered more than 100,000 Corona infections a day. On Friday, the number was over 180,000. Several states are now imposing severe restrictions on their populations.
Sunday afternoon, my family and I went for a walk in our neighborhood. Here we met the father of a child, our children in normal times play sports with. The father is a daily school psychologist at a local high school, but the schools here have been closed since the beginning of March, so he has been working from home for almost 7 months.
After the initial courtesies, he said, “Sorry, but I just heard the announcement from the governor and I’m angry. Do you have a weakened immune system? – I have! I have diabetes, but I would go back to work tomorrow. And now we can not gather for Thanksgiving! The old must make their own choices, it cannot be right that the many should suffer for the few. ” It was clear that he was upset. We talked a little and then parted.
When I got home, I checked what restrictions the governor here in the state of Washington has imposed on us.
From tomorrow and four weeks onwards, you must not be seen with people who do not live at the same address as yourself, unless they have been quarantined. Restaurants and bars may not have indoor dining, outdoor dining may not apply to a maximum of 5 people. Grocery stores and other stores must operate at 25% capacity, fitness centers, museums and cinemas must remain closed.
In the absence of federal control from Trump and his Corona Task Force, the governors of individual states have had to take the handling of the Corona crisis into their own hands. This means that the handling has been very different in the individual states.
The population is thin, the nerves are on the outside of the clothes. It’s hard for the kids who go to school from home, the young people who can’t see their friends, parents who have to have a homework day to work while helping the kids with schooling and packed lunches, old people who miss their kids and grandchildren and singles who sit alone at home month after month. But it is, of course, hardest for the thousands of Americans who have lost their jobs or family businesses and do not know how to pay rent and get food on the table and risk having to leave home.
Everyone pays a high price each, and the fact that there is no prospect of any improvement for the next many months erodes the psyche. The conversation with my usually happy and welcoming neighbor shows the cracks that are beginning to appear in American society.
But the conversation shows more than the price that the individual citizen pays mentally. It also represents the division that the United States is in the midst of.
The presidential election in the United States almost 2 weeks ago, stood between many extremes. Among other things, it represented a fundamental difference in how the individual citizen views the individual and society and their roles in relation to each other.
Roughly speaking, the conversation illustrates two attitudes. One argues that the needs of the individual are above those of the community. The other the opposite. The presidential candidates became the personification of these extremes.
How should the individual be able to thrive if society as a whole does not? Americans’ belief in their own individual strength and ability to make crucial choices for themselves that matters to society constantly surprises me.
When I see and hear news from Denmark, I see cracks that remind of what has here become large craters of disagreement and division. I hope Denmark can stand together and not make choices that divide the population, as has happened here. What the world is looking at here in the United States is certainly not an example to follow.
I understand my neighbor’s frustration. He was ready to cry, angry and frustrated – and he is even professionally trained to help young people who are in crisis, how can not ordinary Americans have it? Hopefully, on 20 January, we will have a new administration in the White House, which also has a major task ahead of it in terms of uniting the nation.