/ Posts / On this Memorial Day Weekend, The New York Times’ front page memorialized 1,000 people who died from Covid-19
On this Memorial Day Weekend, The New York Times’ front page memorialized 1,000 people who died from Covid-19, approximately 1/100 of the the total lives currently lost. With each name came a short sentence about the deceased; the purpose was to remember that death should never be merely counted and graphed, but instead mourned, remembering the incalculable sadness to the deceased’s family.
We can’t normalize this huge loss of life, especially because much of it was preventable. A study has shown over a third, 36K of these deaths, could have been prevented by proper preparedness and decisive action from our federal government.
That fact is worth pausing and contemplating for a bit.
Here in my tourist town of Minocqua, Wisconsin, 9 days after my Assemblyman Rob Swearingen and his Republican colleagues, along with a Republican-activist state Supreme Court, decided to strike down the emergency order to shelter at home, tourists are here en masse. Normally restaurant owners like me would be jumping for joy. Finally after a long winter, we can start making some money again.
Instead, the scene was right out of a horror movie. Although Wisconsin saw its highest new infection number just yesterday (665), people were shoulder to shoulder at bars, and workers were not wearing masks to protect themselves. Other than tables being further apart from each other, one would never suspect we were living through a deadly global pandemic if they spent this holiday weekend in Minocqua.
Neighbors, don’t blame the tourists. Much of the American media available to them—unregulated Fox News, unregulated right-wing fringe websites, as well as their own president—tells them it’s perfectly safe. We have to put blame squarely where it resides, on our state republican government leaders, who tossed out every sensible regulation we had in place to keep us safe.
The closest one we have to us that put us in harm’s way is Rob Swearingen. Hold him accountable this November and vote him out of office.
If you agree with these sentiments, please share widely...and stay safe.
Written by Kirk Bangstad on 05/24/20