“Real” America is definitely not over Covid-19


Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Aaron Johnson

Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin, shook as “Jump Around” played with fans in attendance for the first time in almost two years. Watching the overflowing stadium on TV was the perfect opportunity for Ohio Representative Jim Jordan, a notorious advocate for people to freely choose how they respond to the pandemic, to frantically tweet, “Real America is done with #COVID19.” This could not be further from the truth.

   The event gave the impression that the US has put the pandemic in the rearview mirror and provided the perfect opportunity for Ohio’s representative to express his views. 

   However, Jordan’s statement is difficult to understand. Despite the mirage created by many in-person events starting again and a relaxing of many government mandates, statistics suggest the United States is still reeling from the effects of Covid-19. Is Jordan suggesting that we are done caring about the thousands who lost their lives? Are American lives an acceptable payment so we can return to normalcy? 

   Sure, America may be ready for the pandemic to be over, but much of the country is far from the end of the pandemic.

   The total number of deaths from Covid-19 has surpassed 658,000, making it deadlier than any US conflict. In the twentieth century, American fatalities in World War I totaled 116,000. In World War II, that number almost quadrupled to 405,000. Combined those two numbers don’t add up to the number of Americans who have died as a result of Covid-19.

   If the American fatalities from the Vietnam and Korean Wars are added to the total deaths from WWI and WWII, the total finally eclipses 600,000 but is still not near the 650,000 that have died of Covid-19. 

   The deadliest conflict in American history was the Civil War. Believe it or not, the total number of Covid-19-related deaths has also surpassed the Civil War death toll. About six hundred twenty thousand were killed during the four-year conflict, while 650,000 have died in less than two years of Covid-19. 

   Unfortunately, this total is still rising.

   According to the CDC website, from September 5 to September 11, 2021, about 2,691 people died from Covid-19. For reference, 2,996 people were killed during the attacks of September 11, 2001. For the families and friends who were devastated by the 9/11 attacks, it took an immense amount of time and willpower to accept loved ones who were gone. The same is true for the families who recently lost loved ones to Covid-19. 

   For these people, America certainly isn’t done with Covid-19 as Jordan would suggest. We are still far from it.

   It has become a tradition to honor the lives lost during the 9/11 attacks. It is incredibly important to remember the lives lost on September 11. West Ottawa held a moment of silence, as should have been done, but there has yet to be a moment of silence for those lives lost during the pandemic, which has killed exponentially more Americans. 

   Hopefully one day we will commemorate those who lost their lives.

   In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, many Americans honorably volunteered their services to avenge the deaths of fellow Americans. However, like Representative Jordan, these people are generally the same ones who believe America is finally over Covid-19. If they cared about American lives, masks and a vaccine would have been the first step taken to protect Americans. 

   Unfortunately, at the current rate of new Covid-19 cases, “real America” will never be done with Covid-19. Jordan will never see his post-pandemic paradise.

   For many, the hardest part of coming to terms with the amount of people who have died during the pandemic is visualizing just how many people 650,000 Americans are. 

   The University of Michigan’s stadium, the Big House, has a capacity of 107,000. The total number of deaths from Covid-19 would fill the Big House six and a half times. 

   Six and a half stadiums do not constitute real America being done with Covid-19 as Jordan suggests. Six and a half stadiums are not a price the United States needs to pay to regain our freedom.

   No sports venue in the world holds 650,000 people. Six hundred and fifty thousand is just an astounding number of people.

   As previously noted, from September 5 to September 11, 2021, 2,691 people died of Covid-19 in the US. This total is slightly more than the student body population at West Ottawa High School. Just imagine the entire school dying off in a week. It’s difficult to do and quite dark, but that is the reality we are still living in. 

   Real America certainly isn’t done with Covid-19 despite what Representative Jordan may believe. Americans want to be over COVD-19 as it has taken so much from us. The only way to finally be done with Covid-19 is to take the necessary steps. Wear a mask when necessary. Get a vaccine to protect yourself and others. Most importantly, respect others who may be more cautious of Covid-19.

   We don’t get to be over Covid-19 just by saying that we are over it. It is imperative that we slow and eventually end the infections and deaths.