America Is Number One Again

2020 COVID-19 Olympics: European Union vs. America

BY Melanie Sazegar
Aug.23,2020 / UPDATED ON SEP.01,2020

America’s lack of personal responsibility is to blame for the crisis in our country.


Why is one country, the United States, responsible for 25% of coronavirus cases worldwide? We like to present ourselves as a first world country, and in many cases, we are, but in this case, it’s coronavirus cases. 


When I last wrote about coronavirus in the US, the death toll was 112,000 out of 1.9 million. Two months later, and now an additional 63,000 people have died.


The pandemic continues to spread in the states–with no sign of slowing down–while the EU has successfully flattened the curve. Why the disparity between the two unions, despite similar population sizes? The answer lies in the response: Europeans were quick to enter lockdown and slow to reopen their doors, while too many Americans carried on with business as usual. 


I mean that quite literally: the US prioritized profits over people, and now we have ten times more new cases of coronavirus daily as a result.


Testing frequency doesn’t explain the difference between the two, either. Here in America we test our citizens at roughly the same rate as our European counterparts. Given our similar population sizes and testing rates, the only logical explanation left to account for the difference in case count is our different attitudes towards personal responsibility. 


Ironic, considering our national lack of accountability.


We have butchered the response so severely that other countries have outright banned us from visiting. Do you have any idea how bad the situation has to be when even China, where coronavirus originated, has placed travel restrictions against America yet opens its door to 36 other countries? When third world countries like Uganda and Zimbabwe turn away our treasured US tourism dollars? Yes, that’s so shocking it deserves to be repeated, Uganda and Zimbabwe are turning away US tourism dollars.


In 2017 and 2018, America placed travel bans against several countries. It looks like what goes around is coming around.


And coming around, it still is: new cases are on the rise week over week in thirty-six states, with gatherings at local restaurants and in private homes partly to blame. Europeans took #stayathome to heart, while Americans took it to mean, “time to host dinner parties!”


We can see how a difference in response, even within the states, makes a marked difference: Massachusetts’s residents chose to start social distancing even before a stay-at-home advisory was issued, while Texans rapidly returned to shopping malls. Now, Massachusetts is down to 488 new cases as of yesterday, while Texas hit 5,000 plus.


Our national failure to follow simple protocols hurts us both in terms of illness and economy. In addition to the enormous loss of life, the $3.3 trillion drop in global tourism revenue this year will hit the US hardest. It’s a sucker punch in the belly of Americans.


With a coronavirus relief package still circulating the desks at Congress, Americans are getting antsy for action. Nearly 70% of US adults have less than $1,000 in savings and can’t afford to go on without work much longer. Between bankruptcy and crowded hospital, the prognosis is grim for America and gives new meaning to the words America First. 



Keywords: #stayathomecoronavirusCOVID-19travel bans against Americansrelief packagetesting rates
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