Let COVID-19 change your life

For the average person, it is impossible to not let COVID-19 dominate your life. That is okay.

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Photo A. Foster

President Donald Trump’s tweet about the coronavirus, showing off his privilege.

Amelia Foster, Print Managing Editor

COVID-19 in America is inescapable. 200 thousand people are dead. Supplies have fluctuated between sparse and plentiful. Movie theaters are dead and so was the economy for a while. Some restaurants have been shut down permanently and millions of people lost their jobs because of the virus. The president doesn’t want people to let the virus change their life, but it should.

On October 5, Trump tweeted that he was leaving the hospital after being admitted for treatment for COVID-19, telling people, “Don’t let it [COVID-19] dominate your life.” There is so much I could say about the president’s social media habits, completely disregarding my thoughts on him as a president and as a person. But, this tweet is an irrefutable symbol of his privilege and ignorance. He doesn’t want COVID-19 to change his life, because his life was fine before.

The only people who can truly not let themselves be dominated by the virus are the rich, white and able-bodied. If you are all of those, good for you, but know that others don’t have your privilege. The virus disproportionately impacts black people. The lack of access to proper healthcare for Native Americans is killing the Navajo tribe. Disabled people have to listen to people claim the virus is a way to weed out the weak. [Add source] This pandemic brings to light many preexisting problems, and it should be used as an opportunity to solve them, not ignore them.

Some of the biggest responses to the pandemic have already solved problems, even if it doesn’t seem like it. Disabled people who have a hard time physically going to work or school can now work from home. Frequently wearing masks and cleaning public surfaces has helped reduce the spread of the flu. These issues may seem trivial to those who weren’t previously impacted, but can be life-changing for those who were.

This is a pandemic, and to get through it, people can’t act only for themselves. The best parts of human kindness can come out in times of duress. Let the virus change your behavior for the better.