Although it was nearly twenty years ago, I can remember 9/11 like it was yesterday. I remember the shock of hearing about the planes crashing into towers, at first believing it was a tragic accident and quickly learning it to be otherwise. I remember being told that 19 hijackers, part of a fundamentalist plot to destroy America, were behind the attacks and that the mastermind was a man in a cave in Afghanistan named Osama bin Laden.
One of the things that sets the United States apart from the rest of the world is that we are supposed to have certain civil liberties guaranteed to us by the U.S. Constitution. Of course, the U.S. Constitution has been absolutely trampled on by many of our leaders for decades, but most Americans still deeply cherish the basic rights which are enshrined in our founding document.
America is in a haze right now. It seems like half the country is in denial of the danger while the other half is awaking from apathy and frantically trying to prepare. This is creating a fog of confusion as one side screams “it's nothing but the flu, stop buying up the grocery store...!”, and the other side just keeps stocking goods, though in an inexperienced way that prioritizes comfort over practicality.
For a while now I have been hearing it said that Americans are “in a panic” over the coronavirus outbreak in the US and that mainstream media outlets are “feeding the fear”. This is an odd conclusion to come to and something worth noting because the truth is mostly the opposite. For the past couple of months the WHO, the CDC, and even Donald Trump have been dismissing Covid 19 as nothing much to worry about. The WHO actually still refuses to call it a pandemic even though the virus meets all of its own criteria.