We’re In This Together — Why COVID-19 May Reshape What Democracy Means

Before COVID-19 became the headline story of the news daily, in the United States, we were preparing for the election season, but that suddenly shifted with the arrival of a virulent virus. But here is what I hope is not lost on what happened before the 2016 election and what I hope will happen at the upcoming 2020 election. It’s the story of how COVID-19 may be what unites what has been divided among all of us over the past 30 plus years.

As patriotic as the United States is, what didn’t seem quite patriotic was how divided and fractured we had become relating to politics and our compassion for one another. Scarily and eerily, those lines of division were demarcated along the lines of where you live, your socioeconomics, race, gender, sexual preference, and religion, to name a few.

How COVID-19 Is Changing Us

However, amid this crisis, something changed in a big way. Being in this crisis together has lowered our guard from fighting with one another. It has shifted our focus to fight against this virus, which has taken many unnecessary lives.

COVID-19 started in China, a country in which the United States has a close yet contentious relationship. Yet in giving some respect that is lacking, China has resourced us with many of the products and resources we use daily and of whom we rely on a good deal. When COVID-19 appeared in their country, many outside of the country weren’t paying close attention, similar to when there is a crisis in Africa or Europe unless you live within those regions or someone you know or are related to is affected.

However, as this endemic shifted into a pandemic, we started paying a bit more closer attention. When a young Physician, Dr. Li Wenliang, exposed the danger of this virus in a government that tried to censor his words, it even shook the core of communism that exists in China where the government exercises more control over what they communicate to the general public.

Dr. Li Wenliang’s bravery continued as he documented what he was learning about COVID-19 until his death from the coronavirus provoked dialogue about the political landscape in China too. Dr. Li Wenliang became a hero both revered, respected, and mourned by many Chinese who found ways to communicate with one another via social media about this virus sharing ideas as to how they could protect themselves, observations of symptoms, and so forth. I share this because there is a common thread that is happening worldwide that relates to both the United States and other countries, too, who have been impacted by the coronavirus.

We’re In This Together

You may be wondering what that has to do with the United States and our political landscape? A lot. While we are in a Democratic landscape, the last several years have not felt that way. The tug of war happening in our courts, laws, and financial ecosystems that seemed to some way or another be somewhat open area have started to fall to the extreme right or left.

Left to suffer have been those who have been unable to have their voice heard. Often ignored as they tried their best to survive, get through, and make it amid everything else they have had to manage during the fight. While some who may not have been in as dire of a situation felt twinges of this when we went through the economic collapse in 2008, some did not recover from this financial and economic downfall.

Humanity and empathy lessened as a result of these various economic crises. And here we sit again at the eclipse of another economic recession where we are unsure of what will happen. We are trying to manage a deadly virus while attempting to keep things steady economically and mentally too.

There’s a shift yet again. We are more aware and more attune to all of the things that are happening because we are in this crisis together. While we may have looked at and longed to escape from our lives beforehand via reality tv shows, mindless entertainment, social media glimpses into the rich and famous lives, there’s a shift and understanding that we failed to get on the table before.

All Lives Matter

All of your lives matter. It is regardless of your race, gender, socioeconomics, or religion. Each one of us, whether we are a grocery clerk, amazon delivery driver, healthcare worker, Physician, small business owner, and so forth, have an impact on one another. We need one another to thrive. Each builds on the other. Large businesses need small businesses. Small businesses need their workers. Companies, in general, need consumers. And each of us, regardless of your work, job title and responsibilities, need one another.

It is more evident more so now than ever. With grocery store workers and delivery personnel threatening to strike, it’s become abundantly clear that the way we choose our political affiliation and choices should take into consideration the entire picture of how we are all impacted. It’s not the smart way to only look at ourselves singularly.

I keep hearing the term, We are all in this together.” We are. But, let’s practice this perspective not just in crisis, but at all times. By doing so, it will help to create a more connected and environment for all of us. And that means we all win the total sum.

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