New year, new normal: Everything America has done wrong when dealing with COVID-19


Illustration by K. Gorsuch

Kaita Gorsuch, Staff Writer

As the ball dropped at 12:00 am on January 1st, 2020, millions of people cheered and shouted “New Year, New Decade, New Me.” Little did everyone know that three short months later, on March 13th, everything would change. The country went into quarantine after the coronavirus entered America, and everything has gone downhill since.

Everyone began counting down the days until the lockdown was over, when we could go back to normal. Once summer came around and there was a plateau in the number of cases, people assumed that everything was normal, and continued to go out with their friends, party, and not care about the fact that there was still a deadly virus going around. It was the calm before the storm.

Soon enough, school was beginning and cases were rising. Being around people everyday was not the only cause of the rise in cases though; people all across America did not take the virus seriously. Instead of listening to the scientists and numerous amounts of research, people chose to make the virus political, despite the fact that there is nothing political about it. Instead of caring about the millions of people dying all around the world, the nonbelievers chose to focus on the 99% survival rate, ignoring the fact that if every person in America got COVID, 3.31 million people could potentially die. Instead of taking the virus seriously, the skeptics claimed that the virus was a glorified version of the flu and that it was a hoax to distract people from the upcoming election.

The most surprising bit of this whole mess is that it is mainly the adults who are acting like children and refusing to follow the rules. Everywhere you go you will see adults not wearing masks properly, if at all. They are the ones who complain about needing to wear masks to go out, who were so desperate to get haircuts during lockdown that they were willing to risk their lives and the lives of those around them, and whose children take after them. Not only do the adults not wear masks because it “goes against their rights” (which it doesn’t, by the way–have you heard of the “no shirt, no shoes, no service” rule?), but they are ignoring science. It isn’t “the-world-is-flat” ignoring-science-in-a-funny way, it’s a this-is-deadly-serious way that has already cost nearly 400,000 lives and counting in the United States alone. You would think that if doubters refuse to wear a mask, then surely they would be the first to get the vaccine because then it would get rid of the need for masks, right? Wrong. These people actually believe that vaccines cause autism, or that the government could microchip them and track their every move, as if they don’t carry around a technological device with them everywhere that tracks what they do. 

Their children aren’t any better. They go to parties every weekend, without masks and jam-packed into a room together, spreading germs and making this worse. You’ve heard about all of the fraternities and sororities that have gotten shut down because of back-to-school superspreader parties, but it’s not just college students. People everywhere are meeting in massive groups, spreading the virus, and actually bragging about it on social media. Every weekend people scroll through the stories on Snapchat and Instagram, and see pages upon pages of groups of friends, not a mask in sight, nor a thought in their head. And these people are bragging about the fact that everyone else’s lives are on pause while they have their little party, and they don’t even care. This is the thing that is difficult to understand, the fact they could be back to their normal lives if they followed the rules like everyone else, but apparently rules don’t apply to them. They don’t care that their party could potentially kill dozens, or even hundreds.

It’s understandable, you’re tired of this whole pandemic, we all are. But if you wore your mask, socially distanced, and only went out when absolutely necessary, everything would be over much sooner. If Americans took the pandemic seriously from the start and didn’t make it political, we could have been back to normal within a few short months like New Zealand, who was almost COVID-free by June. Yet here we are, coming up on the one year COVID anniversary and nothing has changed. Get better America.