Coronavirus has socially, politically and culturally reshaped American society. The realities that our government that has prided itself as being the greatest, strongest, and the best political system and society in the world; however, COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated the boastful and even arrogant narrative is merely a myth; a book of fiction. In the past few weeks Americans and the world has witness a health care system that is pathetically unready for societal emergencies. In Florida; especially in Central Florida—the most visited destination in the world. Our world renown tourist and entertainment industries have grounded to a screeching halt. Our revered physicians, nurses, and technicians are sociologically unprepared for the coronavirus that fell into the laps of agencies and institutions they work for. To make matters worse; our state lacks the equipment, the labor, and most importantly the leadership; especially from Governor’s Mansion to order clear directives for the survival and eventual eradication of COVID-19 virus.
Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, throughout this pandemic saga has looked like a deer blindly staring in the direction of car heading straight for it. The poor deer does not know what to do. Sadly, this is Governor DeSantis giving contradicting commands on quarantine, curfew, and beach visitations. He seems so unsure and disjointed that perhaps he is the mythical centaur, the half man and half deer, who cannot make up its mind as to what he wants to be—beast or human. Truth of the matter is that the Governor recognize that there is a plague and that Florida, and the nation is in its vice grip. However, like other local, state, and federal leaders—he is completely clueless as what to do. For example, his statement of the people who are affected.
Most recently, the Governor in his weekly press conference stated that coronavirus does not affect people who are under the age of 25. Well, that is not true. Hundreds, if not thousands of young people globally has lost their lives to this plague. Within the last three weeks two infants have died in the United States from the virus in Chicago and Connecticut. If this is not bad enough—he has maintained that he may order the reopening of Public Schools soon.
When I heard the Governor’s statement. I immediately told my 17-year-old son who is scheduled to graduate from Winter Park High School and enroll into Michigan State University. That if the order is given—Winter Park High School would have one less student. The suggestion illustrate that he is void of understanding the literature and evidence of how the virus spreads in mass communities. In this light he has like several of our local and state leaders have ignored the spread of COVID-19 among our prison, homeless and African American populations in Florida.
As mentioned in a previous article, I had the opportunity and privilege to engage with local and state leaders on selected conference calls. In the many calls, not one so-called advocate mentioned the plight of these most venerable groups. Again, Republicans nor Democrats found that these populations were worth mentioning in their review and analysis of the plague.
Another issue that seems to escape their analysis is food. Of course, we have seen churches, masjids, synagogues, and non-profit food pantries giving away tons of food to thousands of people throughout Central Florida. What a beautiful and humanitarian sight. But our leaders have made no mention of the mountains of crops, and rivers of milk that are decaying and going sour because farms are lacking the labor for the cultivating and harvesting of foodstuffs.
What does that mean?
Sooner than later—your favorite Winn-Dixie, Publix, Walmart, and Aldi will not have the milk, breads, meat and vegetables we mindlessly purchase. Our leaders believe that the simple answer is to reopen restaurants and public institutions; they will buy the surplus food. However, they ignore the threat of the virus in working in close quarter spaces like slaughterhouses, and food production. In addition, we cannot ignore the fact that now there is evidence that the coronavirus can be transmitted from humans to animals. The most recent case was a tiger getting the disease at the Brooklyn Zoo in New York City.
Our leaders must go back to Class 101. They must learn to read, review, analyze to make the best possible decisions for their communities. If anything, COVID-19 has illustrated that superficial, weak, and uninformed politicians who spend their time running for elections are archaic and useless. People are hungry, sick and are dying. The public demands the cease of deceptions in exchange for real progressive action.
Dr. Issa Muhammad (Vibert White)
International Scholar, Professor, and Radio Talk Show Host