On Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, The Pentagon and on board a high jacked United Airlines Flight 93 over Shanksville, Penn. took the lives 3,996 in a single morning. As of this week, the death toll for Americans who contracted the coronavirus surpassed 150,000 — or roughly the equivalent of 50 days of 9/11 and counting.

Three days after 9/11, President George W. Bush stood at the World Trade Center site with a bullhorn and declared, “I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you! And the people – and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.” That single attack brought our country together in way that hadn’t been seen since perhaps Dec. 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor Day. American flags flew from nearly every front porch across the country as a show of support and patriotism. Ten years later Osama Bin Laden was killed by US Navy SEALS on May 2nd, 2011.

On March 13,  2020, the White House issued a Proclamation declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak. Donald Trump proclaimed, “,,,that the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States constitutes a national emergency, beginning March 1, 2020.” By contrast the reaction by the White House and our nation as a whole wasn’t a call for unity and action as was with 9/11, but instead was the beginning of a social rift that continues to divide us between those supporting basic safety measures like masking, sanitizing and social distancing and those who believe the pandemic to be overstated and therefor refuse to follow any safety measures in the name of Freedom.

One of those Americans who dismissed the severity of COVID-19 was Herman Cain, who died two days ago after testing positive for COVID-19 just weeks ago. I personally find his death especially tragic because it could’ve been avoided had he practiced basic safety measures prescribed by the CDC. Although I took issue with many of Mr. Cain’s political views, he caught my attention in his 2012 presidential run by the basic premise of his 9-9-9 tax plan, so for that and other reasons, he had my respect. What I struggle with is trying to understand how intelligent people regardless of who they are, can so easily dismiss the severity of this deadly pandemic.

The COVID-19 virus is an invisible enemy with no regard for whom it’s victims may be, it simply exists for a single deadly reason, nothing else.  So please do all you can do to fight back against this invisible enemy. Wear a mask, sanitize, practice social distancing and maybe even raise an American flag at your front porch just because.

I leave you with this final thought.

By comparison for desert residents, the death toll of 150,000 is equivalent to the loss of life of every man, woman and child in the collective cities of Cathedral City (55,007), Palm Springs (48,518), Desert Hot Springs (28,878) and Rancho Mirage (18,528).



Image Sources

  • Coronavirus Death Toll: Shutterstock