New Disease, Old Disease

I enjoy writing about what inspires me. However, any subject for a post is inappropriate if I ignore what must be addressed at this time. My conscious requires me to stray from lighter themes.

Who’d have guessed worldwide contamination of a disease would hit in the year 2020? Science fiction enthusiasts, for sure. Who knew social inequality would still be so fatal in 2020 that people need to protest during a pandemic? Americans who are more at risk of bullets and suffocation than a rapidly spreading, potentially deadly disease.

As surgical masks burn in protest, people die from COVID-19. People carry assault weapons to demonstrate their right to bear arms, while unarmed Americans are killed by law enforcement. Injustice towards someone because of their appearance can kill faster than COVID-19. We're swirling in a social maelstrom. 

I’m ashamed to admit I never heard of Juneteenth until this year. Maybe because I’m watching the news more now than I ever have. But, more likely, it’s because I’m white. When I saw people protesting George Floyd’s death, I thought it best to wait to protest until the pandemic passed, to prevent spreading the coronavirus. Demonstrators wearing masks shook my understanding that for a large population of Americans the threat of catching the virus and dying from it, is less likely than dying like Mr. Floyd.

On the other side of the pandemic, will the US have stamped out COVID-19? History shows science can produce vaccines to prevent people from catching a disease. As children, my four siblings and I had mumps and chicken pox. They were common then. By the time I started having children, there was a vaccine for mumps. While pregnant with my third child, my other two children had chicken pox. Between the 18 months of my second child’s birth and my third child’s birth, a vaccine for chicken pox was being administered to children. Since then, I don’t know anyone who has had chicken pox. Progress in science doesn’t necessarily take generations to happen.

Which disease will be controlled and stopped first in the US? The new virus, COVID-19, or an old bias that breeds from generation to generation? COVID-19 is physical, so it probably will be curtailed or stopped. What stops social illness from spreading? Not a serum. Not a mask.

I’m suggesting bias is a disease because I don’t understand why it exists. How it keeps reproducing. I see it in those I care for, so it doesn’t come from people who are pure evil. But it’s deadly. To a body. To a soul. To happiness and peace. It dominoes back to its source. In an endless setting up and knocking down.

I’m non-violent and want to end this post with a suggestion of hope. But watching the news has made it clear that violence and theft by those following peaceful protestors has done the most towards forcing positive changes. Changes that should’ve taken place generations ago. Peaceful marchers along American streets since before I was born haven’t gotten the attention of lawmakers and law enforcement as strongly as looters and arsonists have. The threat of anarchy seems to force those in power to act humanely because anarchy takes away their power.

However, anarchy erases civilization. Has our government’s system of checks and balances come to this? That civil order needs to be at risk for them to understand their responsibilities to those whom they have promised to serve?

The only small bit of hope I can strongly urge right now is, vote.



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