Home Coronavirus Pandemic OPINION: Democrats Discuss — Coronavirus and its impact on the perception of our leaders

OPINION: Democrats Discuss — Coronavirus and its impact on the perception of our leaders

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Lucy Thompson will be the Ohio University College Democrats’ 2020-21 communications director. She is a freshman double majoring in geography and environmental studies. The following article reflects the opinion and views of the author and does not present those of the Ohio University College Democrats. 

Please note that these views and opinions do not reflect those of The New Political.

 

I’ve felt lucky even as COVID-19 has upended all of our lives. In this hectic and scary time, I’ve been able to go home and, for the most part, continue living my life without a hitch. I do not need to make any hard decisions right now. 

Regardless, I can’t stop thinking about the people forced to make incredibly difficult choices. I worry about my boyfriend’s father who owns a small business and my mother’s coworkers who cried when the shelter-in-place order in Ohio was announced. Many of our friends and neighbors are facing impossible situations that force them to balance health, supporting their families and being a good community member. 

Society feels very fragile right now. People always talk about how “times like these bring out the best in us,” and every news outlet covers stories about charitable individuals giving money and supplies to those in need. These stories deserve the spotlight, but the kindness and community that arises is possibly a reaction to the ugliness of the world. It could be a reaction to the failings of our government and leaders. 

How can we praise the good nature of humans, while also quietly returning to the systems that make citizens helpless in the face of calamity? Unemployment, healthcare, insurance and food security are issues that society deals with every day. Despite this, after every disaster that exacerbates these detrimental problems, there is no lasting change to help our neighbors. 

I can’t say these issues haunt me because I have the luxury of commenting on them from the outside. However, they still make me angry, sad and confused. 

A generous relief package for unemployed workers still wouldn’t balance the scales. It is what workers deserve, but it does not take away the feeling of abandonment from our leaders. It would not erase the repeated neglect of workers that happens every day, regardless of COVID-19. 

The coronavirus is testing all of us. In every way, it has invaded our daily lives and wrought people with anxiety. My hope is that this worry, and hopefully a clearer view of the state of our society, can help inform all voters for the upcoming presidential election, congressional elections and voters in the states with upcoming gubernatorial elections. This is the perfect time to take a close look at the candidates you are supporting and assess whether you are happy with how they speak about the pandemic, propose solutions and treat their constituents. 

I hope that the novel coronavirus has brought out the best in these leaders. If not, you have the power to make sure they know that they have let you down. November seems distant right now, but it is my wish that everyone keeps the events of this health crisis in mind at the voting booth.

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