Apologies for this short screed, music lovers & friends. I heard this phrase one too many times this week, and it kinda set me off.
Since the onset of the Coronavirus crisis we’ve been bombarded with the message “We’re all in this together.” Celebrities, newscasters, friends, neighbors, all well-intentioned, no doubt. Well guess what, I’m calling bullshit. Sad to say but we’re not actually all in this together. Not as long as religious zealots who believe not in science but only in God’s will continue holding and attending services; not as long as the governor of Georgia unbelievably says that he just learned that asymptomatic people could still transmit the virus (how can you possibly make a public statement like that, the chief executive of a state, when anyone even remotely following the news has known that for literally months?); when spring-breakers in Florida party like it’s 1999, and state leaders there turn a blind eye; when Jared Kushner can blithely proclaim at a press briefing that the national stockpile (of PPE’s, ventilators, etc.) is not intended for use by the states (seriously, why is that worthless pantywaist even given a microphone…to speak about anything?); when a Navy captain sounds an alarm about an outbreak aboard his ship in an effort to protect nearly 5,000 sailors under his command, and the senior Navy administration response is to fire that captain and remove him from the ship!; when the President himself has fueled confusion, chaos and panic – both emotional and financial – with his denials, inaction, lack of any coherent national strategy, and, of course, his to-be-expected barrage of outright lies. No, sadly, we are not all in this together. For this is one of those rare cases where anyone’s individual actions are not simply their own, but all of ours. There are no rugged individualists with a pandemic, and no walls to be built, not between countries and not between states. Now, I’m not suggesting we should then just throw our collective hands in the air, far from it. In fact, I’m very confident that anyone with a brainstem and a conscience will continue to follow CDC guidelines and, to the best of their ability, do their parts to “flatten the curve.” But maybe save the sanctimonious oaths of presumed allegiance: if those whose inexcusable malicious ignorance are not also on board, it is, to an extent, like none of us are. I guess in the end we really are all in this together.