Watch television and pay attention to the commercials and public service announcements, and you will see a strange, “kinder, gentler” version of life under the endless lockdown restrictions imposed by America’s governors. Yes, we are all stuck at home with the kids and going a little stir-crazy, but “we’re all in this together,” and “we’re focusing on the important things” and somehow, someway we’ll all “be better for it in the end.”
Maybe that’s the way the world looks when you are a professional who now works from home in your pajamas. Certainly, it probably seems that way to the vast numbers of government workers who were sent home many months ago with vague instructions to catch up on online training and focus on “broadening” yourself. It doesn’t look that way at all to people who run their own businesses, who provide services to government workers no longer going to the office or waitresses, cooks and dishwashers at restaurants now out of business. For them, the endless, mindless lockdown orders are pretty close to a death sentence.
Recently released drug overdose figures from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show 81,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in the last 12 months. That’s a record and an almost 20% increase over the year before. We call those “deaths of despair.”
An estimated 30 to 40 million Americans are currently at risk for eviction, according to data analysis from the Aspen Institute making it “the most severe housing crisis” in U.S. history. More than 1.7 million Americans believe it is very likely they will be evicted from their homes in the next sixty days. One million of those Americans are in families with children.
An estimated 10 million jobs lost since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March have not come back. Many of those are never coming back. “Mom and Pop” businesses that were crushed by lockdown restrictions don’t have access to the funding to regenerate themselves. Their owners plowed through their savings and maxed out their credit cards long ago. Drive around shopping centers near you. Try counting the number of small businesses that are dark and empty. It’s staggering.
Food banks are overwhelmed. Millions of Americans, most of the people who never had trouble feeding themselves before, are now reduced to receiving handouts from charities to survive.
Speaking about the crisis, Kyle Waide, CEO of the Atlanta Community Food Bank, one of the largest food banks in the country had this to say, “The pandemic has increased the demand for food assistance in communities that were already struggling, especially for people of color and low-income working families. Half the people who come to our food pantry are there for the first time.”
In Detroit, the Salvation Army is driving “bread trucks” around low-income neighborhoods offering soup, sandwiches and hot meals. In rural areas, other food banks are being forced to drive food to people without transportation and provide them with food boxes to help them survive.
School closures have added their own cruel edge to the impact of the lockdowns. In many poor neighborhoods children used to eat breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner at school. That ensured they had several healthy meals a day, and it took a lot of financial pressure off their families at home. When states shut schools, they cut off access to food for large numbers of kids who were from exactly those kinds of blue-collar, low income homes most likely to be hit by the impact of massive layoffs and business closures.
All over the nation, cities and neighborhoods are struggling to cobble together solutions and find ways to get food to those in need. Businesses that are still open are donating what they can. School districts are setting up emergency food distribution centers where families can come to pick up provisions.
The Detroit Public School Community District (DPSCD) first began to distribute food at 57 separate locations, providing about 18,000 meals to children each week. Eventually, it shifted to a program, which provided food not just to students but to any resident of the city in need. Simultaneously, the city’s charter schools began a separate program handing out meals to over 10,000 kids a week.
Americans are doing what they always do. They are pitching in. They are finding ways to hang on.
They are not enjoying the “family time.” They are not adapting to the “new normal.” They are being crushed by the reality of a brutal, senseless series of measures imposed by a self-appointed elite relying on pseudo-science and conceit.
It is long past time for the people in every state in the Union to stand up, cry enough and end the madness. In furtherance of stopping the spread of a disease that amounts to at most a severe form of the seasonal flu, we are committing slow-motion national suicide. Many “experts” are speaking out. that lockdowns may have been the wrong way to go. The lockdown is unlikely to be doing much of anything to stop the spread of the virus, but it is most certainly killing America.