Pandemic season in the United States: how the world’s leading power feels six months of coronavirus

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On Friday, March 13, 2020, a coronavirus curtain descended on the United States and a new season was born, one of pandemic. The country with the highest number of deaths and infections in the world, has already been in the swamp for half a year. How does the world’s leading power handle this “adventure”? Accustomed, some, in some respects; resistant in others; afflicted because of what happened, wonderingand now that?

The pandemic brought new conflicts and causes in its pocket. Anger and death are in the front row of daily life. There is a feeling of uncertainty. Much of the national emotional infrastructure is collapsing. They are caught in a nationwide conversation about control: who has it and who should have it.

And as the more controversial Of the presidential elections, the very notion of what it means to be an American, and to be the United States of America, is perhaps the biggest point of discussion of all.

“Six months later, we are in a different place,” says Alicia Hinds Ward, a businesswoman in Washington, DC “We don’t want to stay in this place. ugly, it’s dark and we know we have to change. “

Almost 200,000 Americans who were on March 13 among their own are no longer. A debate on pandemic policy has been rigorously aligned between already sharply drawn political lines. The “crack”, North American version.

And at the same time another (equally serious) issue is developing vigorously: a reckoning on the Avalanche of black Americans who are killed by the police; in a debate with much deeper and more systemic roots.

School district by school district, neighborhood by neighborhood, sometimes house by house, those who tell American history to each other are spinning very different tales about the country and its purpose.

“We are in a pitched battle between narratives,” says Evan Cornog, a political historian who has written about how presidents and candidates assemble and manage their stories.

Times of uncertainty often produce people insecure. But a strange paradox also tends to arise: in moments of uncertainty, human nature seek certainty. That points to politics, where being absolutely sure is a feature, not a mistake.

There is a certainty that Donald Trump is right and has managed the pandemic skilfully, and that a Joe Biden victory in November would end the United States as it is known. There is the same certainty, among others, that otherwise is indisputably true.

There is a certainty that Black Lives Matter is on the side of history and justice, riding a wave of much-needed change, and also the certainty that those who protest are part of a violent leftist movement to undermine the police, sow disorder and overthrow the country.

In the midst of all that intransigence, Frederick Gooding Jr. sees an opportunity to understand. Gooding, an associate professor of African American studies at Texas Christian University, finds an irrefutable link between a spring of coronavirus and a summer of protests against racial injustice.

The arrival of COVID-19, he says, created an overlay of apprehension in millions of American lives: the fear of harm if it gets out, the general unease built into everyday life, that black Americans have found familiar. for a long time.

“I think many people were able to experience what people of color experienced more often as normal interactions were compounded through the additional layers of anxiety and stress,” says Gooding.

This period of uncertainty “provides more points of connection with other people,” Gooding says. “Perhaps this current time period can be seized as a time when more people can understand and appreciate where we want to move society forward in terms of sustained racial progress. “

What’s more, for blacks, the weeks of sitting at home watching the virus disproportionately affect Americans of color, and then experiencing the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the murder of Jacob Blake, proved pivotal.

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