Some thoughts and a whole lot of smarmy over COVID-19.

FIRST – To my friends who demand a government so small you could flush it down the toilet, be careful what you wish for. Your hearts’ desire is upon us and it is killing people.

That is partly because President Donald Trump’s White House has been keen on cutting the size of government particularly its science sector and anything bearing his predecessor’s name.

Case in point was the 2018 closing of the National Security Council’s pandemic preparedness office created by President Barack Obama after complaints the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak could have been handled better and more quickly.

At the time, President Obama eerily noted the U.S. Ebola outbreak was “dangerous and chaotic and let’s not do that again.” 

Job of that pandemic preparedness team was to coordinate government health agencies and deploy resources in the event of another pandemic. But in 2018 President Trump fired the pandemic team’s leadership then the team itself.

And here we are a scant two years later smack dab in the belly of the beast.

SECOND – Remember back a few years ago when some of you railed against Obamacare because you so disliked its namesake? The Affordable Care Act - its official name - was gutted and left for dead.

Well now the Trump White House is thinking about opening the Affordable Care Act for a special enrollment period for the still-uninsured and potential victims of COVID-19.

THIRD – To those who confuse “democratic socialism” with the zombie apocalypse, now’s the time to pull the covers over your head because they are on the move. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. These are helpful zombies.

Democratic socialism lives in the heart of those soon-to-be-mailed government checks which will help jobless Americans and American businesses who could not survive this pandemic without economic help.

There will be other social programs initiated before and following this pandemic in the U.S. Prepare yourselves.

FOURTH – We have learned a lot in this Age of COVID beginning with the truth that it is not possible to keep the hands away from the face.

Hands to face is an involuntary response to an itch, wipe a tear or when a particle of dust takes up residence under out eyelid.

This is a natural reaction and inbred human thing to do. Did you ever see the image of a fetus invitro? Where are its hands? I rest my case.

FIFTH – Until a scant two months ago, before COVID19 dropped into our lives and changed everything, America was the “land of more than enough” of everything to satisfy our wants and needs until it was not.

Another lesson learned is even in a worldwide health crisis, there are people who still try to make a buck from human misery.

Case in point is the online sales scammers with the nerve to sell hand sanitizer for $50 a bottle. He was not alone. There were many others, but I wrote to this one. It was a righteously indignant note about how we should work together in a time of need not take advantage of little old ladies and signed off by telling him I hoped his bowels locked.

We went through toilet paper and hand sanitizer like a swarm of locusts. We acted like jerks too and now stores are rationing the sought-after toilet paper and anything that has the word “sanitizes” in its description.

No doubt, store managers across the region heard complaints about the new practice. We entitled Americans aren’t used to limits on anything.

Management of some stores have done a good thing in raising the hourly rate of pay or bonuses to their employees. Others have shortened its customer hours so employees can sanitize the stores and restock the shelves then go home early to get the rest they will need for their next shift .

SIXTH – For some, the cry for “smaller government” is the answer to everything? Well, take a look around, this is what small government looks like – scared people with no paycheck or health insurance, crowded hospitals and health care workers with less than adequate supplies and lots of questions but no one in charge of answering them coherently.

So let’s stop looking at small government as a virtue because it won’t work in a vast country of 330 million people and a shortage of bootstraps.

Government is all about service to its citizens Not the other way around. Until we get our priorities straight we could start looking like one of those third world countries we see on the news.

A veteran reporter and columnist, Barbara Christian has been covering Chagrin Falls since 1967 and is currently responsible for Chagrin Falls village events, government and school board news along with her weekly column "Window on Main Street."

(1) comment


Right on Barbara. Could not have said it better in these difficult times of our Nations life and as world citizens. We are numbed and need words of wisdom to find hope again, together with the work of our first responders and healthcare community, our warriors and heroes.

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