Sixteen weeks ago New Jersey declared a state emergency in response to the rapid rate at which COVID-19 was spreading. Schools, restaurants, and parks in my home state all shut down. Bustling cities full of life and color became ghost towns, the only noises being the rustling leaves and whistling winds.
Since then, I have stopped checking the daily news. It seems to me that everyday the number of coronavirus cases continues to explode and reach terrifying heights. Marc Santora reports in “The World Reopens, Despite Skyrocketing Coronavirus Cases” that in the second week of June worldwide number of cases “soared past seven million, with 136,000 new infections detected on Sunday alone…”
In India, Santora gives an example of a man, Rajnish Sinha, whose elderly father had to wait for eight hours, just to find a spot on a stretcher in a missionary hospital. India has a vast population with many citizens living in packed cities with poor sanitation–conditions that make the spread of the virus inevitable. The government of New Delhi estimates that by the end of July, that city alone will have half a million cases. Mr.Sinha comments, “This is just the beginning of the coming disaster. Only God can save us.”
Elsewhere in the developing world, countries such as Brazil and South Africa are reopening because their economies have unraveled in just a few short months. Decades of work to build jobs and opportunities were lost this year. So, many nations decided enough was enough, and have taken the alternative of putting their citizens in harm’s way.
Living in the US, I am less likely to be infected than somebody in Cape Town or Rio de Janeiro. But even here, I am afraid of what is to come. It’s hard to remember a time free of fear and danger.