Where is American Patriotism?
On infamous 9/11, nineteen terrorists killed 2,977 Americans on our own soil, and our people came together in a wave of patriotism not seen since the Second World War. Flags sold out in days. Political affiliations and differences evaporated. We were united and unanimously defiant in the face of the common enemy.
In 2020 a new deadly enemy has attacked us everywhere, except this time it is mindless and microscopic. In ten months of terrorism it has infected over 13 million of us and killed over 267,000 of us. For some perspective, that’s 90 times more than those killed on 9/11. It’s 55 times more than our combat deaths in the Gulf War, the Afghan fighting, and Iraq combined. In ten months the toll has been six times the number of American combat deaths in all 19 years of the Vietnam War. Within a week or so the toll will exceed the horrific number of American World War Two combat deaths.
We have only four percent of the planet’s population, yet we have 19 percent of the global deaths. The curve of infection and death across our nation is nearly vertical, setting terrible records with no end in sight. An American is felled by the virus now every minute of every day. The killer continues to ravage our people and our economy.
Yet where is American patriotism in the face of this murderous enemy?
Spring breakers and normally patriotic bikers and political rally attendees and college and neighborhood party goers have continually flouted the best advice of the experts like immunologist Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx and have defied the imposed state and city restrictions in the name of personal freedom, only deepening the crisis and prolonging economic recovery for all of us.
Severely stressed health care workers and medical science experts recently begged us not to travel and gather this Thanksgiving. Millions of us traveled and gathered anyway.
Naomi and I decided to watch the Macy’s parade for some uplifting entertainment. The company had scaled it back because, they said, safety was of paramount concern. But none of the parade participants were masked or practicing distancing. There was a heavy police presence, most likely to deter any potential terrorist attack. But not one officer we saw mingling with the crowd was wearing a mask to thwart the invisible killer that stalks across America. Not one. Very few of the thousands of spectators wore masks or bothered to distance. Most cheered loudly. We turned off the coverage in frustration and dismay well before the parade ended.
Vaccines are on the way, but we’ll need to get through several more months before they can help defeat this invader.
We have the simple weapons needed to fight the enemy and cut the death toll right now, and we know from examples the world over that they work. Avoiding all unnecessary gatherings. Wearing effective masks. Keeping our distances. Washing our hands. If we will only do these things we can save thousands of lives. Regardless of our individual views, we are all Americans first. And together we can beat this common enemy that is sickening and killing us.
Please spread this simple life-saving message among family and friends. It’s more important than ever.