2020 has been no normal year. It has been full of unpredictability, which makes us uncomfortable. COVID-19 has changed how we interact with each other. Our ability to have the human connection we so desire has been difficult, especially from six feet apart. Having a presidential election in the middle of this unprecedented year has further divided America. Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed these divisions at a time when we should all be unifying and doing our part to help others.
Politicizing science as a democratic or republican issue is utterly ridiculous. Wearing a mask (or not) should not be a political statement. Public health experts are giving the American public the best advice and information they can to help save lives and get us out of this mess. It is deeply disappointing and disturbing when these experts are referred to as idiots and their message minimized, either for political gain or the selfish desire to do whatever you want. This has created an atmosphere where many people do not trust the scientists, which has caused this crisis to spiral out of control with no clear end in sight.
So what can we do to make the situation better? We can listen to the medical experts who are trying their best to help us get out of this mess. We can all wear a mask, social distance, and wash our hands frequently. We can also educate ourselves and tone down the political rhetoric. We should be able to disagree with someone politically without challenging their character. Unfortunately, we live in a world in which many people do not feel comfortable sharing their political views for fear of what others might think of them, or worse, losing a friend. But we as Americans need to take off our partisan hats and realize that this pandemic cannot be solved by division and hate, it can be solved only by coming together as a nation to listen and follow the guidelines laid out by our nation’s best health experts. The sooner we do this, the sooner we can get what we all desire: predictability and a sense of normalcy.