While the coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate the U.S. with a record-breaking spread of disease, experts are concerned about public apathy about it.
People want to return to their pre-COVID-19 lives, attending school, ball games and going to bars, without thinking about the consequences, The Hill reports.
“It’s an absolute disconnect between our perceived reality and our actual reality,” said Craig Spencer, director of global health in emergency medicine at New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center.
“To look at the COVID case count and the surge of cases and to think we can have these discussions as we have uncontrolled spread, to think we can have some national strategy for reopening schools when we don’t even have one for reopening the country, it’s just crazy.”
The statistics are grim and getting worse, not better, as time goes by, according to The Hill. Case counts and deaths are on the rise across the nation with only two states, Maine and New Jersey, seeing their numbers decline recently.
Experts fear that reopening schools and ignoring critical safety measures such as continuing lockdowns, mandating the wearing of face masks and increasing testing will result in a new normal of serious and widespread illness and death in America.
“None of this was inevitable,” said Spencer, according to The Hill. “None of this should be acceptable. There are ways we can do better. This will continue to be our reality for as long as we don’t take it seriously.”
Actor Tom Hanks, who, along with his wife, was infected by the coronavirus earlier this year, had harsh words for Americans who don’t adhere to COVID-19 safety policies.
“The idea of doing one’s part should be so simple,” he said. “Wear a mask, social distance and wash your hands,” he said on the Today show. “That alone means you are contributing to the betterment of your house, your work, your society as a whole, and it’s such a small thing. It’s mystery to me how somehow that has been wiped out of what should be ingrained in the behavior of us all.”
He compared the coronavirus battle to World War II. “There was a sensibility that permeated all of society, which was to do your part, we’re all in this together.”
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