PUBLISHER'S NOTE

COVID-19 like money – brings out best & worst

Posted

“I swear COVID-19 is like money. It brings out the best and worst in people,” said a trusted colleague in the midst of another remote work day.

Besides our own day-to-day challenges big and small, we are now challenged with coming together as a community. That will determine how we end the crisis.

Best

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams has pointed out that African Americans are at higher risk to the coronavirus due in large part to historical factors. Data reveals that African Americans are being killed by the coronavirus at a high rate. Yet they are not “biologically or genetically predisposed to get COVID-19.” Adams said poor housing and lack of jobs are contributing to more coronavirus among black and Hispanic Americans.

“They are socially predisposed to coronavirus exposure and to have a higher incidence of the very diseases that put you at risk for severe complications of coronavirus,” Adams said.

Perhaps we will as a national community we will endeavor to improve these conditions exacerbated by coronavirus. And bring out the best in us.

Worst

A Trump administration Bible study teacher says COVID-19 may be God’s punishment for lots of things. In a study guide posted to his blog, Ralph Drollinger lays out the case that the US is being punished by God for homosexuality, environmentalism, and other things conservatives generally don’t like.

Closer to home, Republican State Rep. Stephanie Borowicz, a conservative evangelical, proclaimed that the virus is “punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins.” Raised Roman Catholic although long gone, I’m familiar with venial and mortal sins, not presumptuous sins.

Borowicz’s House Resolution 835 states: “It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow; and with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truth.”

The occurrence of hideous diseases like HIV and COVID-19 are our fault. Nothing sublime there.

Best

Alarmed by disturbing warnings that racist attacks on Asian Americans are increasing in Pennsylvania and across America during the coronavirus crisis, a group of Pennsylvania lawmakers, the Pennsylvania State Police and other stakeholders urged vigilance against this rising evil.

 “We are hearing, both locally and as part of a nationwide problem, that our Asian American communities are being attacked and maligned as somehow responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny. “While ridiculous on its face, this line of thinking is dangerous, and we unfortunately know very well in my district what can happen when a community is made to be a scapegoat for society’s problems. We are here today to say to the Asian communities throughout Pennsylvania: ‘We are taking this seriously, and we have your back.’”

“It truly saddens me to hear that the Asian American community has been the target of such painful attacks. I would like to urge members of the Asian American community and people of the commonwealth to report these crimes so they can be addressed,” said Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin. “Reporting would allow us to direct resources, education and better understand what’s going on before the situation gets worse. Even though we need to keep a safe distance from each other, it’s incredibly important that we stand with the community and show our support.”

“Crimes against anyone based in their race, creed, gender, country of origin or sexual orientation are absolutely unacceptable,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa Jr., D-Allegheny. “There is no place for discrimination in Pennsylvania at any time. But as we are in the midst of a public health crisis, we need now more than ever to work together and support each other as best we can.” 

Worst

In open defiance of known science, hosts of Evangelical Christian congregations defied social distancing procedures. They willingly put themselves, their families, each other and the community at large at risk for acquiring coronavirus. That is not by anyone’s adult thinking pro-life. Other ‘Gospel of Prosperity’ preachers foisted preposterous claims on their followers. Asking them to put their hand on their television screen and receive a protective blessing and send money. At press time, not a single mega-church preacher has come forth with plans to use their wealth to combat the virus. No Balm in Gilead there.

By whatever value or belief or life experience, let’s pledge to speak to the best in each other. That’s an inoculation against hate in the future. Like my experience with HIV taught me – Silence = Death.

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