• Chris Banks

On COVID-19

Updated: May 23

Now full warning at the fore : I am libra, and the more I grow the more I realize that I indeed embody that scale that represent us libras. I need things to be in balance. So what I’m struggling with right now is the far end of either extreme-their reaction to the current pandemic the world is experiencing. On one hand you have a refusal to acknowledge what is going on, or worse, a dismissal, and on the other you have the hyperexpression of fear.

It’s ironic that I find myself in the business but I have a bone to pick with my own business over how they have exasperated the fear among some of the population.

Hollywood, over the last decade, has preyed on people’s fascination that border on fetishizing White House infiltration, presidents being assassinated, marital law - just over the top all kinds of crazy shit. And i get it, we need to make money. But playing with people’s fears aren’t ok. And Post Boston marathon bombing I experienced this first hand when my city used its most aggressive measures to ensure they caught who they were looking for. But I also remember people using that experience as well as means to project fear of government playing into these themes they saw in movies, uncertainty over practices, but all of the fear, generally speaking was just a lack of knowledge about its use. So tie this pack of knowledge in with having a steady dose of anti-government, apocalyptic movies from Hollywood and you start to see why this fear of government world pop up again during a global health emergency. The skepticism and the doubt around what to do about it is also explained here. Public fear and distrust is already palpable, so when a crises occurs and you must make decisions the skepticism and the doubt lend itself to not trusting government or straight up fearing it (clenching your gun).

In people when crises occur it elicits to expression of either an inherent fear or inherent skepticism. A true moment of cirses is how anyone can appraise someone’s true intent, their true patriotism, their true kindness, their true love. Crises, moments of danger, extreme situations - these moments in life are where we learn who we really are, what our strengths and weaknesses really are. What I am seeing around me right now, on social media, in the news media, at the damn White House - actually truly terrifies me.

Here why

I’m not even 30 but I have never in my life experienced the kind of confusing experience with such conflicting information. You know why? Because during my entire life I have had the benefit of having a strong federal government. One that worked everyday, wether we liked it or not, to protect us and to keep us safe. That’s why 9/11 touched on so many nerves. It was truly a terrifying event that shook the conscious of every American, it embedded fear in every American. And we have never been the same since. But what I find myself thinking right now, in a moment of pure national importance, is how absent my federal government is. It was the governors of my states and my mayors of my cities who I looked to for guidance. Not my President. How fucking horrifying is that? We are the United States of America, and we are void of leadership. President Obama, say what you will about his personally, but politically and in service he was the first person in the country to declare health emergencies. He didn’t allow virus to come in to the country, spread around, form concentrations, then allow mayors and governors to inform their citizens first and to then confer as to whether or not to close schools or eventually the need to entirely upend life as we know it. We’ve never gone through something like this before, and we’re effectively doing it without any leadership at the top. He just wants to look like a president, he doesn’t want to actually do the job (After all he cut the damn office his predecessor created to contain this mess). But I’m not writing this as a piece for election season- I’m writing it because I’m having a tough time balancing these extremes in my life. A virus outbreak, to whatever the degree, in my mind should shake everyone to put down their favorite channels and tune in to the right channels. Isn’t now the time to talk to each other? Isn’t now the time to trust the experts? If not now, when?

The world, let me repeat that, THE WORLD is going through a global health emergency, which means it’s a question of public health. The last thing we saw that’s as close to this was smallpox. But this thing, COVID19, is attacking with even less regard for who or condition, and travels even easier than the flu. Now, let me slow down and express the fact that I know some people are not science inclined. I’m not math inclined. But I love math, I love people who can explain math to me- that’s why I listen to experts in economics accounting finance, you name it. I love learning from the best. And I surely am not the smartest person who will explain to you that this virus is almost 3x more potent than the flu. Which means it will kill 3x as many people. Moreover, this virus is brand new in the world- no one has immunity to it because no one has been exposed to it. This is the risk we are all living with right now. And it’s all uncertain. That’s why the government of China ordered all persons to remain inside of their home, that’s why Russia unleashed lions on their streets to keep people inside of their home, Britain is enforcing a stay at home order - and that’s why in this country our leaders are (politely) telling us to either stay away from people or remain inside entirely. If everyone in America stopped living life for 2 weeks and stayed inside of our homes - the virus would be gone. That, I think, is what frustrates me the most. If we just had a sense of our collective- we would defeat the enemy in no time. But our country was founded on self governance and freedom. And a certain media outlet prioritizes information attractive to a particular ideology. So it’s hard to have one message anymore. It’s hard to tell Americans to stay inside their homes. But for our neighbors we should, for our mothers we should, for our grandmothers. For everyone. The whole world is in this together..

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