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  • Writer's pictureAaron Braxton

The Downsizing of America

Some people are upset that some states are opening up their economies again. I've even seen some post online that are making this a devious, racial issue. I'm trying to figure out why.

It is true that African Americans, in some states, are dying at a disproportionate rate relative to their population, but there are factors and pre-existing conditions like; high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease that play into that equation. Covid-19 is an opportunistic virus that plays on a weakened immune system. Also there are some African Americans who do not have an absolute trust in the healthcare system and tend to go to the hospital at much later stages in the disease. These all factor into why African Americans are dying at higher rates. That is something that most media outlets will not explain because it does not create the sensational soundbites most people are listening to and regurgitating on social media.

What this disease does do is expose deeper issues and disparages in African American health and the mentality of an already broken trust in the healthcare system. But that is somewhat different than inferring that African Americans are purposely being infected with a deadly virus or that doctors are somehow letting people die on gurneys.

With that being said, I don't put anything passed the U.S. government and healthcare system in regards to a devious medical history with the experimentation of African Americans. However, based on the data of this virus being deadly to those with weakened immune systems and the fact that African Americans are seeking medical attention at later stages in the disease, I don't think this is the case.

The more pressing message that really needs to get out to the African American community is to seek medical attention at the first sign of sickness. That's way more important, in my opinion. It is way more beneficial than just repeating soundbites heard on the news without any attempt to ask, "Why is this happening?" All while more and more African Americans are dying, people are becoming enraged, and no one is doing anything to rectify the problem.

At some point the world must go on. Our country must move forward and people need to get back to running their businesses and feeding their families. Just like other viruses, many experts believe Covid-19 doesn't survive well in temperatures above 80 degrees. (I'm not saying it doesn't survive at all. I'm saying it doesn't survive, "well.") Just as other viruses tamper down during the spring and summer months, many experts believe, so will this one.

Even though there's probably a viable vaccine already in existence, it probably won't be available for a year or so. What is the country supposed to do in the meantime? Enforce marshall law and have everyone stay inside indefinitely? Rely on the government to pay people to stay home? (Isn't that socialism?) Rely on billionaires to pay people to stay home? We know that is never going to happen.

While people are staying home, corporations are figuring out ways to merge positions, cut jobs and take advantage of stimulus packaging. Our society is becoming more and more like the futuristic movies we've seen where people are replaced by robots. Corporations like Sprint and T-Mobil are merging to create massive monopolies on markets right under our noses, with the government's approval. This will have a gross affect on our bottom line as more and more corporations squeeze out small businesses in order to control market shares and reap massive profits, while continuing to downsize America.

Millions of people are out of work. Hundreds of thousands of small businesses, without sufficient capital, will never recover. Even after the stay-at-home mandate is lifted, it is possible the hemorrhaging of our society will not stop. We may begin to see massive amounts of evictions and foreclosures as people who took advantage of the forbearances are simply incapable of catching up. (With the onset of increased evictions, the atmosphere becomes ripe for unscrupulous and/or struggling landlords to increase rents. Thus creating another wave of homelessness.)

Our country needs to get back to work...responsibly. Our youth needs to get their butts back in the seats of classrooms. Students don't need to be "passed on." They've had their "summer vacation." They need to be back in classrooms where they make up for lost time well into the fall. (Parents, now that you know how difficult it is to educate your kids, you need to get on the bandwagon of paying teachers more.) Small businesses, which are the backbone of our society, need to vigoruously open again. Congress needs to reinstate the NSC Pandemic Unit and we need to focus on a change within our administration.

Most importantly, we need to practice social responsibility as we emerge from our quarantined cocoons and embark on our new normal. That may mean mandating the wearing of mask for a little while longer. It also means taking full control of our humanity, compassion, personal responsibility, comparing

data and continuing to ask the pertinent questions.

If you are sick, stay home. If you can't stay home, wear a mask and gloves, practice social distancing, and integrity, and by all means, stay safe.

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