Outside Reading — America’s COVIDland

Wisconsin Is on the Brink of a Major Outbreak by Robinson Meyer

This article is a week old as I post this, and it’s been weighing on me ever since. This is the state I was born in, this is the state I grew up in, and this is the state where I live now. I was raised with principles that I considered emblematic of the Upper Midwest, chief among them a belief in consideration and community. Togetherness would carry us through whatever hardships came our way and take us forward. While I consider myself fortunate to live in a city that still largely lives that ethos, I’m privy to plenty of tales that offer sad, compelling evidence that there are many other pockets where divisiveness has fully taken hold, causing people to flout and even rail against public health measures meant to keep the most vulnerable among us safe. So it’s not surprising to me that the forecast Robinson Meyer lays out in this article, published by The Atlantic, proved accurate.

In general, living through a national power structure’s bungling of global pandemic has been an exhausting pendulum swing between hope and dismay. I am angered anew every day by the willful idiocy of a major political party that has evidently decided that their only tenet is to act like belligerent assholes in opposition to absolutely any idea or basic fact offered by the Democrats. But I also have hope, because I also see average citizens who are trying so very hard to make the best of a terrible situation, upending their lives and making sacrifices with a pure, deep kindness, less to protect themselves and more — far more — to protect others. As we creep our way through this bleak patch in our shared history, a terrible time that is far from over, may those who inspire hope with their generosity and selflessness be the ones who are at the forefront of redefining the national character. May our better natures prevail.

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