Dear Fellow US Americans,
Here’s an excerpt from a 9-20 article I wrote entitled Balancing Solidarity & Individualism in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond: a View from Vietnam:
In contrast, the US, led by an incompetent, cruel, and narcissistic leader who politicized a public health issue and essentially did nothing, hoping and saying repeatedly that COVID-19 would magically disappear, and even egging on armed protestors who demanded that their states reopen their economies, all the while not wearing a mask and not following social distancing recommendations, failed to contain the coronavirus and is now paying the ultimate price, both human and economic, with no end in sight.
The Bitter Fruits of Hyperindividualism
The irrational and counterproductive opposition to wearing a face mask, for example, reflects the hyperindividualism that reigns supreme in the US, a country in which individual rights often trump those of the society, i.e., fellow citizens. This individualism on steroids is a perverted notion of freedom in which freedom to takes precedence over freedom from, in this case, from COVID-19 infection and possible death – either directly or indirectly.
As of 11 December 2020, the situation is worse than ever and continues to spiral out of control with 246,530 new cases and 3,019 new deaths, most of them preventable. Yet, there are still US Americans who believe that having to wear a face mask is somehow a violation of their civil liberties, meaning their convenience and selfishness take precedence over their fellow citizens’ and human beings’ right to good health. At the end of the day, there’s not much that holds the society together except nationalism, which is based on cultural mythology and lies.
Those who refuse to wear a mask should be punished accordingly and slapped by the heavy hand of the state – as a representative of the people – for not doing the right thing, including arrests for repeat offenders. It truly is a matter of life and death for many people who get infected by these ignorant and thoughtless people.
Shalom (שלום), MAA