A Different Country is the name of my blog. Probably thought the title was apt as I am a Scot living in Florida. But as the 21st century progressed I saw it as more of a commentary on the internal malaise in the USA than the difference between two nations. America certainly is a different country and the change has been swift. Not by default but by pragmatic forces or events that have left ordinary working class Americans wondering what kind of country they are now living in.
It’s not 1950 anymore when the church pew and delayed gratification were part of the American way of life. People just knew right from wrong and intuitively chose the right way, aware that the wrong way always had negative repercussions. It’s a country that embraces multiculturalism and people with opposing political views. So what’s different? The virus? The coronavirus came without warning.
A year before the general election. We watched as a man in Wuhan basically dropped dead in the street, which was to then happen in nearly every other country in the world. Collapsing in the street, home, work, hospital, ending up in ICU units. With no solution in sight. In March, 2021, there were 15 cases of coronavirus in the USA but The President assured us that they were fine and would recover quickly. Tens of thousands of deaths later this statement was at the very least, flawed and America was a very much changed country. There were lockdowns and rules put in place that forbade us from coming in contact with our neighbors or families and it was like a dystopian movie had come to life and we were unprepared actors stumbling to read our lines. We were not in the least bit prepared for it.
The election in November was controversial for accusations of voter fraud but I believe Trump blew it by downplaying the pandemic from the very start. As the medical experts stressed the importance of wearing a mask, Trump made it clear that masks were not needed. DeSantos, the Florida Governor refused to mandate the wearing of masks and kept bars and shops and sports events open and accessible to Floridians. The cases in Florida soared but still DeSantos would not mandate the wearing of face coverings.
Therefore, it is 2021 and we are now going through lockdowns interspersed with the forlorn hope that the vaccinations will eliminate this virus once and for all. Of course no one actually believes that will happen. There really is no light at the end of the tunnel but what you have is a different country. One that will never return to its original familiar state. It’s a different country and we will have to adapt to a different way of life. Yet I fear we will hanker for the way things were but now that the pandemic has turned into a political football that is now very unlikely.