This weekend, we celebrate our independence as a nation. In 1776 we declared our freedom from England and fought hard to achieve that independence. Now, 244 years later we are fighting as hard as ever to survive and maintain that freedom. We are deeply divided over the handling of the coronavirus, over race relations, over police reform and overall leadership in our country. Just yesterday, a new record for Covid-19 cases was set in the United States. More than 51,000 new cases were reported and there is no end in sight because our leaders on the state and national levels can't get together on how to properly social distance from each other and whether or not to wear a mask.
It's a very easy thing to do.
Stay out of public places as much as possible and, when you do go out, wear a mask. There....that's so simple. Large gatherings should be prohibited. No large crowds in bars and restaurants. Continue to wash your hands regularly and use hand sanitizer. Maintain at least a six foot distance from each other while you're out. Heard all that before? Sure we have. More than three months ago those safety measures were put in place to help us gain control of the coronavirus and on July 2nd, our nation set a new record for most new cases. We've been told what to do, we just haven't decided to try those safety measures or we are too stubborn to believe this virus actually exists.
Other countries were smarter than we were. They listened to those same pieces of advice from doctors and scientists and now they are free from the quarantines, social distancing and mask wearing that we should be doing now in our country. My wife laughingly tells me I'm "mathing" when I start quoting numbers and maybe I am but here are some numbers for you. The United States makes up 4% of the world's population but as of this week, the good ole USA had more than 25% of the world's coronavirus cases. And once again there is no end in sight.
We have already lost the NCAA mens' and womens' basketball tournaments as well as most of the NBA and MLB seasons, and it appears the football season is in jeopardy to be either delayed or lost altogether. It's up to us to fix this. We are getting no guidance from our leaders on any level. If we want to see football as we know it this fall, do what we must do. Wear your mask in public, 100% of the time. Listen to the doctors and scientists who give you facts based upon data and their knowledge and experience. Ignore that 35-40% of the population who has drunk the kool-aid and has decided to hit the virus head on, without protection or precaution.
These are trying times we live in. What we've gone through since early March is unprecedented in our history. We face an enemy we cannot see, hear, nor touch. We've been instructed how to handle it and defeat it but for whatever reason many of us have chosen to ignore advice from the people who really know. I'm sure we will all find a way to celebrate the 4th of July holiday, though for most people, it is a lot different than what we're used to. If we do as we should, then by this time next year, we can have a normal 4th of July. If we don't do as we should, we may still be able to celebrate but with a lot less people.
Randy Smith can be reached at email@example.com