As I am sure you know, Chris, our federal government (as well as my state government) is doing very little to combat the virus. In fact, testing is way down per Trump’s orders to the CDC that asymptomatic people do not need testing even if they were in close and prolonged contact with a virus-carrier. And, in Florida, numbers are being manipulated. The number of cases are greatly under-reported. It’s been quite a scandal here but, other than investigative reporting and one whistle-blower, nothing else is being done about it. The numbers we see are not close to what the real numbers are.
Many Trump supporters are still refusing to wear masks and large gatherings of unmasked people are common. My county passed an ordinance this week that all gatherings of 10 or more people must have a permit. The uproar was certainly heard in Europe - "our rights are being stolen", "we are living in a communist county", "the liberals are stealing our freedoms", etc., etc. ad nauseam.
People unemployed or under-employed due to the virus receive very little financial or medical assistance. The two houses of Congress (one with a majority of Democrats and the other with a Republican majority) fight constantly over aid for those negatively affected by the virus. Trump threatens to veto any aid bill that the Democrats pass. Meanwhile, people wait in long lines in the summer heat to get food from local ministries and food banks, all of which are running on private donations.
Although Trump said that anyone without insurance would get free Covid hospital care, that has been far from the truth. If you are diabetic and Covid complicates your diabetes to the point of hospitalization, the government won’t pay for your treatment because the cause is listed as “diabetes complicated by Covid”, not just Covid. Same is true with any other underlying health issues. If the cause of your treatment is not specifically and only Covid, you leave the hospital owing tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Now schools are back in session in most places and the federal government is refusing to help with the costs of virus mitigation. The CDC was providing masks for schools, when few were actually in the schools, but has now stopped that benefit, leaving it up to local school districts to figure out a way to pay for masks for teachers, students, and school personnel, in addition to all the other virus costs.
9.2 percent of American families and almost 50% in Florida are below the poverty level and many don't own computers or don't have internet services, so remote learning is not an option for children in those homes. Not to mention, that we have no government-assisted childcare, so parents have no option but to send their children to school. In fact, many parents, particularly mothers, lost their jobs because they had to stay home with children when the schools closed in April. But, they can't afford the computers and internet service necessary to teach their children at home. Hell, they are waiting in long lines for food to feed their children. We also have many vast rural areas throughout the country where internet is not available at all or not reliable enough for remote learning.
The Covid rent moratorium ended this month and thousand upon thousands face eviction.
Most people I know who are still working live their lives as though there isn’t a virus with the only change being the wearing of a mask in stores that require them. I work in an office with 15 employees where the space is not large enough to social distance. Yet, masks are only worn when meeting with clients. I am the only one who wears a mask all the time. One employee is a mask rebel and never wears one, even in stores where they are required, unless she is approached and forced to do so.
That same employee, as well as many others in the U.S., say they will not take a vaccine when one is available. In fact, many conspiracy-theorists are saying that the vaccine will contain a Microsoft chip so the government can control us. With idiocy like that, how will we beat the virus?