Rage Against The Broken Machine

We have reach the in-fighting stage of the pandemic, and I have to say, I’m not a fan.

People in my town have started lashing out at each other over school and business restrictions. The comments section of any news outlet is pretty gnarly. Lotsa name calling. I keep thinking they should refocus their anger on the real enemy: our inadequate social safety net and the kind of politicians that created the problem.

Instead, I keep seeing rage-filled criticism of covid mitigation policies – particularly about schools. In those screeds, people talk about the pandemic as of it’s been going on for years and it will never end.

I’ll hear statements like “Schools in X have been open since December but schools in Y are lagging behind with a March opening! How can the district deliberately hurt kids that way!”

Thats’s, like, 12 weeks difference. It’s not an eternity. It’s shorter than the 2021 Major League Hockey season.

I know it’s all frustrating. I know it’s hard to watch someone else get the thing you want. I know. But y’all. It hasn’t been that long.

The virus is 15 months old. Some of the science about opening school buildings is under 6 months old. That science is different than science that is 9 months old and also different from science that is 3 months old. There may be new science tomorrow.

This entire experience has been built on shifting sand. There is no security for anyone.

And THAT is the biggest problem.

The most egregious wrong of the covid era is the lack of support the government has given the people. There should have been childcare subsidies. There should have been increased access to mental health services. There should have been bail-outs for business owners and furloughed workers.

That’s what we should be really mad about: we have no safety nets for working families, business owners, or people in mental health crisis. That should be the target our collective rage.

We all have to live in our communities after the pandemic ends. Fighting about dates and phases won’t solve anything. Instead, let’s plan for making it better when this crisis ends.

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