HERE WE GO AGAIN — 2022
By Vincent Lyn
Take a good look around at the present state of our world. War, famine, catastrophes, fires, floods, hurricanes, climate change accelerating faster than ever in recorded history. Another possible war looming, that no doubt will kill thousands of innocents. Oh, and how can we forget about the pandemic, now in its third year. Yes, I know do we really have to talk about it? Can we just talk about something else more positive and more optimistic?
Should I laugh now or later?
Many people honestly thought the pandemic was drawing to a close. Then the CDC made a series of stupid mistakes. They botched the vaccine and booster rollout, and now it feels like we’re declaring a hollow victory to avoid the humiliation of surrender. America has done this before, in Vietnam and then again in Iraq and Afghanistan.
We declared a war on drugs and poverty, and we lost those, too. We pretend to be resilient winners, but we’re not. We’re a country of whiners. The cult of personal responsibility has failed. Responsibility for other people’s lives is something Americans have truly failed at over the last two years. We just don’t get it.
Experts have warned and warned us about the consequences of doing nothing to address a crisis on a collective level. Now the U.S. is reporting the worst COVID numbers on record. Despite the absurd story about Omicron’s mildness, we’re also reaching record numbers of hospital and ICU patients. Maryland has already announced crisis standards of care. In Arizona, doctors are pitching medical tents again to deal with the overflows of patients. And we now have more children in hospital than since the beginning of the pandemic. It’s disturbing.
Americans don’t really believe in responsibility. Time and again, Americans have spouted this pointless maxim about “personal responsibility” and “personal risk,” completely failing to grasp that our collective asses are on the line. It doesn’t matter how many precautions we take when vaccinated and unvaccinated alike are going around without masks, refusing to self-quarantine, and pretending the pandemic is over for them. This is selfishness and immaturity on a scale we can actually measure, reflected to us in our astounding case numbers, which are shrugged off as somehow inconsequential now.
Things keep getting worse precisely because we don’t tolerate the slightest inconvenience. We wait until a problem personally impacts us, and then we lose our shit. We throw tantrums worse than any toddler. The ones who flout mandates are the first ones to spit on nurses and yell death threats at them when they need a hospital bed. It’s truly revolting.
We keep ignoring common sense, and then looking for someone else to blame when it blows up in our face. It’s ironic… When Americans talk about personal responsibility, they’re never talking about themselves. They always mean someone else. It’s the other groups who need to work harder. It’s that guy over there. It’s that Karen having a meltdown on a plane endangering the lives of hundreds of passengers at 30,000 feet. It’s never us.
In America, the phrase “personal responsibility” is just a phrase we use to deflect attention from our own shitty behavior. It’s not a personal philosophy. It’s an excuse. The cult of positive thinking has failed, too. Americans hope and hope. They never plan. They ridicule and denounce people for “doom and gloom,” while throwing common sense down on the ground and stomping on it.
I have a message for these people: Don’t ever talk to me about hope or optimism again. I’ve seen enough. Your hope and optimism are dangerous drugs. True hope can only exist in a time and place where people do the right thing, and take care of each other, or at least don’t cheer for each other’s deaths. This country has gorged itself on empty hope, and now it’s choking.
True hope lives in my house, between me and my family members and my closest friends. There’s a small number of people, maybe a third of us, who’ve been doing the right thing the whole time. We’re sick of being told to think positive while the majority of Americans destroy what’s left of our healthcare system, all so they can go out shopping and drinking. Unfortunately, our plans hinge on other people doing the right thing and giving a shit about someone else, and we’ve been thoroughly disappointed on that front for going on two years.
Positive thinking and optimism don’t work. Hope isn’t given. It’s earned.
I don’t really care if my words bug anyone, or if some people get annoyed with me or my pessimistic attitude. Besides, there’s a point. First, millions of us are looking for words to express what we’re thinking and feeling right now as America leads the world into the darkest hour of the pandemic yet, even while the media continues its daily deluge of “good news” in order to justify another foolish attempt to haul us back into offices and classrooms where we have absolutely no reason to feel safe. There are a lot of emotions, and we need to articulate them. Otherwise, we’ll burst. There’s a point in talking about America’s colossal failure, because it’s profound. It’s on a moral level. We failed to take care of each other. We failed to be proactive. We failed to live up to our ideals. We failed to keep our promises, and now everyone’s paying.
As a country, we continue to abuse the idea of responsibility, only using that word in its cheapest, most superficial sense. We should be asking ourselves what kind of country loosens its quarantine guidelines while the rest of the world is imposing restrictions and mandates. We should be asking what kind of country does nothing but cajole Americans back to work and school while hospitalizations among children skyrocket.
I’ll tell you what kind…
It’s a country that has lost its moral compass. It’s a country that has lost any semblance of its values, a country that has lost sight of what really matters. It’s a country showing everyone its true spirit right now, right in line with its heritage of theft and oppression. We keep saying we’re better than our past, but we keep replaying it over and over again.
They forgot, we live in America, the land of free-dumb.
To my family and closest friends I wish you continued good health.
CEO/Founder at We Can Save Children
Director of Creative Development at African Views Organization
Economic & Social Council at United Nations
Middle East Correspondent at Wall Street News Agency
Rescue & Recovery Specialist at International Confederation of Police & Security Experts