By: Alex Roberts
Coronavirus and the shutdowns it caused has not affected me as severely as it has affected other people. However, I have still missed out on important times in my senior year. Because of the shutdown, I missed out on my senior baseball season, prom, and graduation. I don’t really care about the last two, but it would have been nice to have a last baseball season.
I’ve been frustrated with the handling of this virus, as I don’t understand how you could think it is a reasonable idea to shut down all non-essential businesses indefinitely over something with a <2% death rate (https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-death-rate/). If, from the onset masks were required in public places, the number of people afflicted would be drastically lower. Instead, non-essential businesses, many of which were family owned, have been shut down indefinitely. States have taken varied approaches to handling this pandemic, many of them experiencing a great deal of criticism. In some states, like Michigan, the criticism seems to be deserved. In that state, Governor Gretchen Whitmer believes saving a few hundred people is worth torching her state’s manufacturing driven economy. She has also banned fishing from motorboats. Personally, all I have been doing during the shutdowns has been fishing, so her banning fishing from non-manpowered boats would drive me up the wall.
Worst of all is the massive unemployment surge. No one in my family has lost their jobs due to the shutdowns, but that does not speak for everyone. Experts at http://www.businessinsider.com estimate it will take the US two years to recover economically. This is a massive economic buzzkill coming shortly after an unheard of drop to just 3.5% in February.
What may give the unemployment a run for its money in being the worst part of the crisis is the media coverage. Extreme bias is being shown from partisan news stations, including CNN, MSNBC, and FOX. The bias is visible in one form or another on nearly any partisan news network. One such circumstance occurred on CNN when they published an article (https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/23/politics/rand-paul-coronavirus/index.html) criticizing KY senator Rand Paul for going to a senate gym after he received a coronavirus test and was awaiting results. It seems as though they were in the right to make these critiques; however, there is some hypocrisy in those accusations. They themselves have a contributor, Chris Cuomo, brother of NY Governor Anthony Cuomo, the governor leading the charge in the state ravaged worst of all by the virus, who has the virus and has ignorantly broken quarantine multiple times, all while preaching repeatedly on his show that people not leave their homes, even if they weren’t infected. That is but one example of some of the skewed reporting that you can see currently on any partisan news networks.
While this virus is a unique situation, it is important that every citizen take proper precautions, but also realizes the effects the pandemic has on our economy, while at the same time seeking out unbiased news to be sure they’re getting accurate information.