Our Test

We are being watched.  Our adversaries are observing how we respond to the COVID-19 crisis, which in a sense is a test of our ability and willingness to defend ourselves in biological and conventional warfare.  It would be naïve to believe our enemies are not paying attention.  What lessons have they learned?

We were not prepared.

We don’t have credible, effective, decisive leadership at the top.

We were slow to respond.

Our partisan divide is so extreme that it permeates messaging to and communication with the general public and even among public officials.

There has been panic and hoarding.

We didn’t have and still don’t have adequate stockpiles of basic medical gear such as masks, gowns, gloves, and respirators.

The federal government is incapable of coordinating the response and distributing medical assets among the states and major cities.

Far too many of us don’t pay attention to credible news sources.  Far too many of us don’t do what we are asked to do to stop community spread.

Some state governors have delayed issuing orders that would save lives based upon political partisanship.  For example, the Governor of Florida resisted issuing a stay at home order until Trump either gave his permission or told him to do it.

There is acrimony in some instances between Trump and some governors depending upon the party affiliation of the governors.

I could go further with the negatives, but I think most people would agree we are not passing the test.  If you were a sinister enemy of the United States, wouldn’t you conclude that the United States is vulnerable in many ways?

There are bright spots.  I am not trying to overlook the leaders and heroes that have been identified by the crisis.  For example, our local mayors, our County Judge, and our health department have done very well.

I recall that in school we (I) always wanted to know if a test would be graded “on the curve”.  If the answer was “Yes”, it meant average students like me had a chance of a passing grade.  We are taking a test that is being graded on the curve, but this time the curve proves our rates of infection and death are greater than other countries, which means our grade is “F”.  That is just a fact, not an opinion.

We learned today that Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s most credible source of information about the pandemic, is receiving death threats.  His security detail has been increased as a result.  That is disgusting, but totally believable and maybe even to be expected.

It was also reported today that gun and ammo sales are “surging”.  That is a clear sign that a substantial number of people are sensing that this pandemic could push us into chaos and societal breakdown.  I believe that won’t happen, but it is some evidence that some people are becoming very jumpy.  I suspect that when this is over, the people buying guns and ammo will wonder why they now own a bunch of assault rifles and thousands of rounds of ammo they will never use, just like the people who will not have to buy toilet paper for the rest of their lives.

Stay home, stay safe, and stay well.