HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Do Americans Understand H...

Thu Jul 2, 2020, 11:28 PM

Do Americans Understand How Badly They're Doing?

In France, where I live, the virus is under control. I can hardly believe the news coming out of the United States.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/07/america-land-pathetic/613747/



I returned to Paris with my family three months after President Emmanuel Macron had ordered one of the world’s most aggressive national quarantines, and one month after France had begun to ease itself out of it. When we exited the Gare Montparnasse into the late-spring glare, after a season tucked away in a rural village with more cows than people as neighbors, it was jarring to be thrust back into the world as we’d previously known it, to see those café terraces overflowing again with smiling faces. My first reaction was one of confused frustration as we drove north across the river to our apartment. The city had been culled of its tourists, though it was bustling with inhabitants basking in their reclaimed freedom. Half at most wore masks; the other half evinced indifference. We were in the midst of a crisis, I complained to my wife. Why were so many people unable to maintain even minimal discipline? Glued as I am to the news from the U.S.—where I was born and grew up and travel frequently— I couldn’t shake the feeling that France was also opening up recklessly early. But I was wrong to worry. As Donald Trump’s America continues to shatter records for daily infections, France, like most other developed nations and even some undeveloped ones, seems to have beat back the virus.

The numbers are not ambiguous. From a peak of 7,581 new cases across the country on March 31, and with a death toll now just below 30,000—at one point the world’s fourth highest—there were just 526 new cases on June 13, the day we masked ourselves and took the train back to Paris. The caseload continues to be small and manageable. America, however, is an utter disaster. Texas, Florida, and Arizona are the newest hubs of contagion, having apparently learned nothing from the other countries and states that previously experienced surges in cases. I stared at my phone in disbelief when the musician Rosanne Cash wrote on Twitter that her daughter had been called a “liberal pussy!” in Nashville for wearing a mask to buy groceries. That insult succinctly conveys the crux of the problem. American leadership has politicized the pandemic instead of trying to fight it. I see no preparedness, no coordinated top-down leadership of the sort we’ve enjoyed in Europe. I see only empty posturing, the sad spectacle of the president refusing to wear a mask, just to own the libs. What an astonishing self-inflicted wound.

On June 26, a day when the U.S. notched some 45,000 new cases—how’s that for “American carnage”?—the European Union announced that it would loosen some travel restrictions but extend its ban on visitors from the United States and other hot-spot nations. On Tuesday, it confirmed that remarkable and deeply humiliating decision, a clear message that in pandemic management, the EU believes that the United States is no better than Russia and Brazil—autocrat-run public-health disasters—and that American tourists would pose a dire threat to the hard-won stability our lockdown has earned us. So much for the myth that the American political system and way of life are a model for the world. We didn’t stay long in the city. Although the chance of contagion in Paris is minimal, the thought of unnecessary risk unnerved me, and so we left again for another round of self-imposed confinement. But this was a choice. I think of my mother and father trapped in New Jersey, in their 70s and 80s, respectively, and at the mercy of a society that is failing extravagantly to protect them. And it is failing to protect them not from some omnipotent enemy—as we believed in March and perhaps even as late as April—but from a tough and dangerous foe that many other societies have wrestled into submission.

I think of my father, whom I realize I may not see this calendar year or possibly even the next, and I picture him housebound indefinitely, unable to experience a pleasure so anodyne as bookstore browsing. I think of my mother, who is missing her grandchildren’s birthdays and watching them grow tall through FaceTime, and I imagine her leaving the house at dawn to arrive at the grocery store during its early hours for seniors. I am infuriated. I am also reminded once again of the degree to which so many other countries deliver what is, in real terms, a palpably higher quality of life by any number of self-evident measures. America is my home, and I have not emigrated. I have always found the truest expression of my situation in James Baldwin’s label of “transatlantic commuter.” I have lived in France off and on since the early 2000s, and it has been instructive over the decades to glimpse America’s stature reflected back to me through the eyes of a quasi-foreigner. If the country sparked fear and intense resentment under George W. Bush and mild resentment mixed with vicarious pride under Barack Obama, what it provokes under Trump has been something entirely new: pity and indifference. We are the pariah state now, but do we even see it?

snip

27 replies, 2034 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 27 replies Author Time Post
Reply Do Americans Understand How Badly They're Doing? (Original post)
Celerity Jul 2 OP
Solly Mack Jul 2 #1
Nevilledog Jul 2 #2
cstanleytech Jul 3 #13
The Magistrate Jul 2 #3
Newest Reality Jul 2 #6
smirkymonkey Jul 2 #4
GulfCoast66 Jul 2 #5
love_katz Jul 3 #7
GulfCoast66 Jul 3 #11
cstanleytech Jul 3 #17
Hermit-The-Prog Jul 3 #22
cstanleytech Jul 3 #26
elleng Jul 3 #9
littlemissmartypants Jul 3 #8
Celerity Jul 3 #20
elleng Jul 3 #10
babylonsister Jul 3 #12
greytdemocrat Jul 3 #14
meadowlander Jul 3 #16
greytdemocrat Jul 3 #18
Tipperary Jul 3 #21
calimary Jul 3 #15
BigmanPigman Jul 3 #19
DFW Jul 3 #23
DSandra Jul 3 #24
former9thward Jul 3 #25
gollygee Jul 3 #27

Response to Celerity (Original post)

Thu Jul 2, 2020, 11:30 PM

1. K&R

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Celerity (Original post)

Thu Jul 2, 2020, 11:34 PM

2. Spot on analysis.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Nevilledog (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 3, 2020, 01:30 AM

13. Yup but Trump is not the problem exactly rather he is a symptom.

Of what?
Of the total and utter corruption and ethical and morale bankruptcy of the Republicans in the House and Senate as they had a number of options at their disposal.
The main one being that they could have justifiably supported his removal for trying to blackmail another country to get dirt on Biden but refused to because they wished to continue with their goal of stacking the courts so they decided to focus on keeping him in office rather than removing him and helping the American people prepare to deal with this virus.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Celerity (Original post)

Thu Jul 2, 2020, 11:39 PM

3. No, Ma'am, People Here Do Not Seem To Realize That

We are as thoroughly propagandized as any Soviet citizen ever was, and most genuinely believe things are better here than anywhere else, in every way.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to The Magistrate (Reply #3)

Thu Jul 2, 2020, 11:45 PM

6. +1

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Celerity (Original post)

Thu Jul 2, 2020, 11:42 PM

4. K&R

We used to be admired, and even envied. Now we are just pitied and despised. Thanks, Trump. Only you could do it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Celerity (Original post)

Thu Jul 2, 2020, 11:43 PM

5. Some do. More than you might think in Europe. But many don't.

But when the $600 in unemployment federal benefits run out in 3-4 weeks and we pass 300,000 dead everyone will.

The federal supplement to the unemployed is the only thing keeping us out of a depression. Once it goes away, and it will as republicans are not going to extend it, everyone will know how bad we are doing.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to GulfCoast66 (Reply #5)

Fri Jul 3, 2020, 12:02 AM

7. +1

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to love_katz (Reply #7)

Fri Jul 3, 2020, 12:37 AM

11. Here is the most disgusting part.

Their greatest fear is that the working poor are getting a taste of the middle class. And they like it.

They would rather wreck the entire economy than get the poor used to not living in fear. But I still think there is a chance they may cave and extend it. If not by the end October it’s going to be a shit show in the economy.

Getting $15 an hour in the Bill might go down a Nancy’s greatest accomplishment and she is sitting in the catbird seat.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to GulfCoast66 (Reply #11)

Fri Jul 3, 2020, 02:01 AM

17. I completely disagree with 15$ an hour.

Why? Because its a band aid and it will only improve peoples financial footing for a very short time as companies will simply raise their prices across the board to maintain their profit level.
No, a better option imo is link wages to a companies corporate taxes.
The more employees they have that earn under 400% of the federal poverty level the higher their corporate taxes.
So I would raise the tax level for companies earning more than 50 million a year (this way small mom and pops are not hurt and they should only pay 10% tax) to 80% and eliminate all corporate write offs for them.
Then make it so the higher % of their employees that earn over that 400% lower the taxes go
and if 100% of their employees then they pay 0% tax rate total.
Example
80% = 80%
60% = 60%
40% = 40%
20% = 20%
0% = 0%
There is a catch to get down to 0% they also have to employee 10,000 people inside the US companies smaller than that get to go down to 20%.
This way most peoples wages would keep more abreast with the cost of living than simply raising the minimum would every so many years plus it takes it out of the hands of Congress and the President as both should be barred by federal law from trying to interfere or influence the setting of the federal poverty level.
Oh and also franchises and temp workers (including seasonal) would count as part of a companies work force so they cannot try to skirt around it by using either of those.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cstanleytech (Reply #17)

Fri Jul 3, 2020, 04:44 AM

22. Sounds like a plan.

Next, tie the salaries of Representatives and Senators to the median income of their constituents.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Reply #22)

Fri Jul 3, 2020, 10:36 AM

26. That and spell out in plain language that insider trading is illegal

for them to engage in and that their assets have to be placed into a blind trust run by the Federal government and they are forbidden to try and shield it via a relative.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to GulfCoast66 (Reply #5)

Fri Jul 3, 2020, 12:19 AM

9. Yes, and more than 'some.'

Majority of Americans Say the U.S. Is Headed in the Wrong Direction Under President Trump.

https://time.com/5514235/americans-united-states-wrong-direction-poll/

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Celerity (Original post)

Fri Jul 3, 2020, 12:16 AM

8. Thanks, Celerity. I hope you're doing well. ❤ nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to littlemissmartypants (Reply #8)

Fri Jul 3, 2020, 02:43 AM

20. We are doing well. 3 months now post asymptomatic infection

and antibody levels are steady. Next test is on the 15th. Starting in August our group goes down to one test per month until after the holidays or if our levels drop precipitously.

Still basically almost zero people here in central Stockholm wearing masks, and the social distancing guideline distance is now 1 metre. Deaths and new infections are down a lot from peak.


https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/09f821667ce64bf7be6f9f87457ed9aa


Still only 1 death under 20 years of age in the entire country, a 4 year old with comorbidity who died around 2 months ago, zero deaths 5yo to 20yo, 9 total under 30yo, 26 total under 40yo (thats the younger half of the entire population) 70 total for the age cohort of birth to 50yo. So almost 99% of all deaths are from people 50yo and above. 97% 60yo and above. 90% come from 70yo and above, above 80 years of age account for around 70% of all COVID-19 deaths here.

Hope you are safe and sound!

Hugz

Cel <3

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Celerity (Original post)

Fri Jul 3, 2020, 12:21 AM

10. Yes.

Majority of Americans Say the U.S. Is Headed in the Wrong Direction Under President Trump.

https://time.com/5514235/americans-united-states-wrong-direction-poll/

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Celerity (Original post)

Fri Jul 3, 2020, 12:42 AM

12. Thinking Americans do. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Celerity (Original post)

Fri Jul 3, 2020, 01:37 AM

14. No offense

But testing has gone up dramatically.

That means more positive finds. People
do realize that right?? Not all of these
new finds are going to die.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to greytdemocrat (Reply #14)

Fri Jul 3, 2020, 02:00 AM

16. ICUs in Houston are full; ICUs in Arizona are filling up; Florida is going up like a firecracker.

There may be more testing but there's also obvious spikes in states that reopened too quickly. Those states also have some of the most vulnerable populations and don't necessarily have the health care infrastructure that New York does.

There will be a spike in deaths in the next two weeks. I guarantee it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to meadowlander (Reply #16)

Fri Jul 3, 2020, 02:07 AM

18. Maybe.

Time will tell.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to greytdemocrat (Reply #14)

Fri Jul 3, 2020, 02:50 AM

21. Hmm, who else have I heard say this?

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Celerity (Original post)

Fri Jul 3, 2020, 01:38 AM

15. All I can say is - denial is a VERY powerful thing.

It's a stronger drug than heroin and every bit as addictive.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Celerity (Original post)

Fri Jul 3, 2020, 02:10 AM

19. It depends which news stations and political,party they are affiliated with.

This wasn't a political issue in normal countries where it was considered a health issue (not a reelection/economy issue). Our country is abnormal. Thanks a lot GOPutin/Fux Ruse!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Celerity (Original post)

Fri Jul 3, 2020, 04:55 AM

23. My wife and I are supposed to leave for America tomorrow.

At this point, I feel like someone who booked a 3 week vacation tour of southern Vietnam in 1968.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Celerity (Original post)

Fri Jul 3, 2020, 06:31 AM

24. He is damn lucky to live in a real country that protects its own citizens

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Celerity (Original post)

Fri Jul 3, 2020, 08:21 AM

25. France is doing "great" because they are ignoring it.

The U.S. has a Covid death rate of 402 per million and France is 446 per million. The U.S. case fatality rate is 4.6% and France is 18.0%. Those are not "great" numbers for France.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/coronavirus/

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Celerity (Original post)

Fri Jul 3, 2020, 10:56 AM

27. No

A lot of people I know are outraged that Gov. Whitmer closed bars again, even though the news has been full of how much people have been catching the virus in bars.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread