“The worst is, yes, ahead of us,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, U.S. director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
No morally healthy person likes bad news. But to ignore dangerous bad news because it’s unpleasant to hear and may necessitate getting out of one’s comfort zone, is truly foolish and irresponsible.
With well over 200,000 confirmed cases and 9,000 plus deaths, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is on a sickening and deadly march around the globe.
And in the U.S., the coronavirus is quickly picking up steam with cases surpassing 10,000 with over 150 deaths.
Due to the very slow response to this growing pandemic, the Trump administration has come under intense criticism for wasting valuable time before starting to take this crisis seriously. And Congress, which could have passed a large emergency spending bill over a month ago, did not (see: https://bit.ly/39U3gFX and https://bit.ly/2Wo8Lst).
With coronavirus test kits, other related medical supplies, and beds quickly running out, emergency ramped-up production is needed now!
With a growing number of workplaces shutdown, how will countless people make ends meet?
The laws now finally beginning to take shape need to insure that every single person – including the undocumented – who is sick will get the medical treatment they need, totally paid for by the federal government, and that ongoing sufficient help is given to everyone to keep food on their table and a roof over their heads throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
In light of all the problems we are facing during this pandemic, especially the shameful fact that more than 25 million Americans have no medical insurance and millions more are underinsured, how much clearer can it be that the U.S. needs to join the rest of the world’s economically developed nations and pass comprehensive universal health care (see: https://bit.ly/2wavi1v)!
Unlike the tremendous amount of cash Congress gave to numerous large corporations, and to Wall Street – whose unethical financial behavior largely caused the 2008 Great Recession – this time the president and Congress must fully come to the aid of Main Street, where people of far more modest means are struggling to make ends meet.
And let those of us who profess Christianity, dare not forget to press the government on behalf of the more than 500,000 homeless human beings in America – who struggle daily to survive under bridges, in tents, huddled in doorways and cramped over sidewalk heating vents – to adequately meet their dire needs both now, and in the long run.
And instead of turning our backs on desperate refugees and asylum-seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border, we should strive to provide the same concern and care for them as for ourselves, thus faithfully living Jesus’ second great commandment: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (see: https://bit.ly/2Uh8ODU).
We urgently need to be pulling together – locally, nationally and globally.
On the PBS NewsHour U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (also a physician) said, “The Chinese physicians have been outstanding in sharing medical information with the rest of the world. … Speaking now as a physician, the international collegiality among healthcare workers has been fantastic.”
And this same fantastic collegiality is inspiringly occurring all over the world, from Italian opera singers performing on their apartment balconies, to folks just like you and me reaching out – using recommended health precautions – to help our neighbors (see: https://bit.ly/33A1DuH and https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/how-art-can-soothe-us-during-times-of-crisis).
And most of all let’s remember that the Lord Jesus is with us!
So, during necessary church closures, here’s the next best way to participate in the holy Eucharist. Visit “Word on Fire” and celebrate daily Mass (see: www.wordonfire.org/daily-mass/).
Friends, stay well!
Tony Magliano is an internationally syndicated Catholic social justice and peace columnist. He is available to speak at diocesan or parish gatherings. Tony can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.