What do you get when you take a virus from China and send it to the U.S. besides millions of sick people and awful premature deaths? You get a lot of panicked, frustrated, locked-up, unemployed adults and unhappy kids including students out of school on nice spring days. As bad as the virus is to our health, it works on our psyche because we are people who like to work, socialize, travel, shop, play and be with our family and friends. It damages our finances and wrecks government budgets trying to control the fallout to save our economy.
A fire needs more than fuel and oxygen to start. It must also have a spark to get things going. The fire will take off and continue until all the fuel is consumed. A police killing in Minneapolis provided this spark. The unfortunate results were terrible civil unrest, resulting in further loss of life, wrecking of businesses and destruction of property.
It is not surprising that most of this unrest is in cities, as the higher density of people no doubt contributes to the problem just like more logs make for a bigger fire.
Likely some of the recent protests were driven by deep-rooted frustrations compounded by the virus. Furthermore, many others were brought into this whirlwind by their own frustrations, economic difficulties, social discomfort or the overwhelming fear and uncertainty of when this will all end. Wearing masks only helps encourage animosity and anonymity, and mitigates the risk of being caught in unlawful acts.
While the virus is the cause of many of our difficulties, it will likely also hold a solution as it departs or is defeated. The evidence shows social distancing is working since infections are falling. Deaths are declining because of this as well as improved medical treatments. There are more than 100 medicines and billions of dollars in virus cures and vaccines on the way.
The good news is summer is coming and likely social distancing, cures and vaccines will prevail before too much longer. Once we remove frustrations about the virus, economic pressures from unemployment, social pressures from being alone, and get kids back to school, life will be a lot better. With these overwhelming virus problems behind us, we can look forward to the restoration of civil order and prosperity for our citizens in a happier and more peaceful life.
G.A. Ben Binninger