Business First, Bury the Dead.

In the name of the stock market, the United States has all but given up in the fight against the spread of covid 19.

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Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

It’s difficult to even know where to begin when considering all the ways the coronavirus has impacted our lives. Whether it be the toll of the disease itself, or the manner in which it laid bare nearly every fundamental flaw in America’s healthcare, economic, and even electoral system, there’s no denying that the vast majority of us have had our lives negatively impacted in a variety of ways by this seemingly never-ending pandemic. In spite of all of that however, perhaps one of the most disturbing aspects of the dystopian nightmare we find ourselves in is the fact that it only grows more clearer by the day that the United States has given up the fight against the spread of covid 19, all in the name of capitalism and the stock market.

In the Texas Tribune, Patrick Svitek writes:

“Gov. Greg Abbott struck a newly urgent tone Monday about rising coronavirus numbers in Texas but said “closing down Texas again will always be the last option.”

“To state the obvious, COVID-19 is now spreading at an unacceptable rate in Texas, and it must be corralled,” Abbott said during a news conference at the Texas Capitol in Austin.

However, he stopped short of introducing any new policies or pulling back on the reopening of Texas businesses, instead emphasizing long-established voluntary guidelines encouraging people to stay home if they can, use hand sanitizer, keep 6 feet of distance from others and wear masks. He also promised that Texas has strategies to address the rising numbers “without having to return to stay-at-home policies."’

As former Texas senatorial candidate Sema Hernandez said on Twitter:

“Business first, bury the dead.”

When profit and the stock portfolios of the wealthy matter more than the safety of the American people, can we really deny that this state is failing? When the American people and what I would argue after all of this is their pathological need to be served trumps the health and safety of those working in restaurants, hair salons, and nail salons, what does that say about the culture here that’s been fostered over the decades?

That being said, the fact that government inaction has left countless individuals so desperate that they are willing to put their lives unnecessarily on the line in order to provide for themselves and their families is nothing less than criminal.

Business first, bury the dead.

I can’t exactly put my finger on it, but there’s something sort of haunting about those five little words, and how with them Ms. Hernandez was able to so easily encompass the totality of these unprecedented, devastating circumstances.

As I watch cases spike in nearly half the states in the Union and businesses, lawmakers, and citizens alike still acting as though we shouldn’t believe our lying eyes has left me more convinced than ever that we are nothing but collateral damage. Not only that, some have spent this entire time convincing us that we should be honored by that. It wasn’t all that long ago that Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick was on national television arguing that senior citizens should be given the option to sacrifice themselves for the good of the American economy.

Meanwhile, countries like New Zealand have all but eradicated the virus.

As human beings, oftentimes we have a tendency to not learn from our mistakes. Continuing to put business over the lives of human beings is what got us in to this mess in the first place. What is it going to take for people to wake up and realize something’s got to give?

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Lauren is a writer & leftist with analysis on topics related to politics & policy. She can be reached at LaurenMartinchek@gmail.com or Twitter @xlauren_mx

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