We weren’t ready for omicron—by choice—and we’re paying in lost lives and livelihoods. What will convince our leaders to prepare for the next, inevitable surge?
On May 27, 2020, the United States passed what was then an unthinkable milestone: 100,000 Americans dead from Covid-19. The losses felt at once intangible and deeply personal to me. Twelve days earlier, my youngest brother had died—not from Covid, but from another preventable cause. I hadn’t seen him in months because of the pandemic, and I spent his funeral apart from the rest of my family: no hugs, no tears together, only distance. When the country passed 100,000 deaths, I felt the intense agony of so many families who were never able to say goodbye.
Joe Biden released a video that day criticizing the Trump administration for allowing the virus to spread and expressing grief over the incalculable loss. “The day will come when the memory of your loved one will bring a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eyes,” he said. The line reverberated through me. For a moment, I forgot I was watching a political ad; my grief and despair felt seen. Here was a politician who finally seemed to get it.
On Thursday, the U.S. shattered the previous day’s record high in daily Covid cases, and tomorrow will be worse. Read more at The New Republic.
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