The United States prides itself on being the ‘best of the best’, but anyone who pays even a little attention to world politics knows this country is far from perfect. Just take a look at our so called American Dream. Now, during the Coronavirus pandemic, each country is demonstrating its strengths and displaying weaknesses as we all face the same threat. Fast, empathetic and rigorous responses with an understanding of the importance of community continue to be the most effective tactics and the least embraced here in the States. 

While countries like Tibet, Germany and New Zealand seem to have a grip on the virus, the United States spins ever faster out of control. How exactly are these countries handling COVID-19 in such a monumentally better way? The answer lies, if you have not guessed, in politics. America doesn’t do so well with the love your neighbor concept. So when it comes to coronavirus, everyone has their own opinion and you’re damn well going to hear it. While this is something we pride ourselves on during actual political conversations, when it comes to the health and safety of millions of people, it’s better to have a unified action plan. This unification is what we are seeing in countries where cases are almost non-existent. Whereas here, our President contradicts himself sometimes in the space of a single sentence. He routinely disregards direct guidelines from reputable medical professionals and spreads false or untested solutions paving the way for chaos (think hydroxychloroquine and ingesting disinfectants).

This is how masks have become political in America; our elected officials undermine our medical professionals and their words directly influence the actions of Americans. It spreads doubt and confusion leading to heated debates across kitchen counters and senate floors over something as simple as a mask. The ever changing information streaming out of the White House and the mouths of other state officials has left America utterly confused and divided. While many Americans comply with social distancing and mask wearing guidelines, a startling amount of the population are at a total loss from all the contradictions. This leads to beliefs in conspiracy theories and arguments over how their constitutional rights are being trampled. Either way American leadership has led to the barely controlled spread of the coronavirus in this country. 

Additionally, many Amercans are infuriated by the state of our economy and unfathomably high unemployment rates. People want to see a return to business as normal to get the GDP and employment rates back up. Obviously, the economy needs to be a priority, but we will never have the ability to focus on it if we do not first take control of the virus. In other countries, particularly those with female leaders, cases are low and their countries are much more stable. A feat that we would have achieved under leadership like theirs.  

America’s disjointed handling of the virus has produced the high infection and death rates we continue to experience several months after the initial outbreak. It’s scary and irresponsible. Wearing a mask and social distancing are two very easy steps to take for preventing the spread of the virus. Sure, these might not be 100% virus proof, but it makes it a lot harder to get and spread COVID with distance and masks between you and other people. And if not for others, protect yourself. The virus isn’t pleasant and no one wants extra medical bills. Diseases aren’t politics, arguing about a virus doesn’t protect you from getting it. So if not for others, please protect yourself by wearing a mask.