Letter: Virus is nonpartisan



How did the COVID crisis become so polarizing? As of May 13, Indiana had 25,473 cases and 1,482 deaths. You might say more people die of heart disease, that’s true. But your right to eat that hamburger that’s high in saturated fat doesn’t infringe on my choice to choose a plant-based diet. Bad example, as factory farms contribute to the rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria and the demise of our environment but that’s a letter for a different day. The coronavirus conversation has somehow morphed into a “rights” issue. While so many are protesting for haircuts and fighting for their right to party, have we lost sight of the reasons for sheltering and masks?

The virus doesn’t care if you’re a Republican or Democrat. Agreed, the economy is important. But can we at least acknowledge that we live in one the wealthiest countries in the world and we are massively failing at taking care of our people? Crops are going unused while there are shortages in our stores. Huge corporations are taking bailouts in the longest Bull Market in history. Our corporatized healthcare system is ill-equipped to provide basic healthcare while posting record profits.

While so many want to vilify science, the media, natural rights and compassion itself, I ask you, for what? Yes, change is hard. My husband lost his job, and I like cutting hair and drinking in bars as much as the next guy. But for now, can we at least heed the recommendations coming from the scientific experts? In order to survive, we must adapt. Can we please learn from our mistakes, respect our neighbors and evolve with a little more humility?

Jennifer Barker, Westfield