The Outspoken Oppa

Fighting for a Unified Nation

The Fear of the Coronavirus

Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

Remember, let’s be polite; let’s be respectful, but most of all, let’s be outspoken.

In the late 1920s, the world witnessed an economic fallout of great proportions. Within the United States, thousands of families fell into unemployment. Parents could not provide for their children, stores filed for bankruptcy, debt piled, and the stock market inevitably crashed. Confidence in the market ceased as stocks were bought and sold at irrational and exorbitant rates. In the midst of the chaos, President Franklin Delanor Roosevelt placed his hand on the Bible and recited the President’s oath. Seeing the escalating disarray and panic within the American people, he prepared to ease their conscience. He opened his inauguration address with the famous quote

So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is…fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.

While the nation did not see an economic recovery until after the end of the Second World War, Roosevelt’s address to the nation demonstrated professionalism and the required leadership at the time. He exemplified grace in present danger and sought to benefit the common man. Today, the world is faced with a similar threat to its security and freedom. COVID-19 or Coronavirus is a global pandemic that had infected and killed thousands. Originating from Wuhan, China, it has spread precariously to other nations. Since any lead scientists have not manufactured a vaccine or specific treatment, people have begun to worry. Stores have been cleaned out, and high demand for toilet paper has controlled the masses. Like the Great Depression, the stock market is suffering due to a lack of confidence. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has plummeted thousands of points since the beginning of the disease. On the federal level, President Trump signed an 8.3 billion dollar coronavirus package earlier this month. According to the Hill,

“President Trump on Friday signed a bill providing $8.3 billion in emergency funding to combat the coronavirus outbreak. The bill provides $7.76 billion to federal, state and local agencies to combat the coronavirus and authorizes an additional $500 million in waivers for Medicare telehealth restrictions.”

Furthermore, President Trump’s leadership is put into question after his address to the nation on March 11, 2020. Due to the wording and inaccuracy of the speech, it received negative reviews. His later press conference on the Rose Garden resulted in him calling the virus a “national emergency.”

Recently, my school was shut down due to this pandemic. My classmates and friends rejoiced since they dodged their tests and projects. Since school ended, the district office wants to resume education through distance learning which consists of live-streaming lessons, attachments in google classroom, and communication through Gmail. Also, bookstores, restaurants, gyms, and retail stores recently closed. The shutting down of churches and tutoring places is requiring people to make drastic changes.

My world, and millions of American’s lives, have changed so much in so little time. We are forced to overcompensate for our losses. People have begun working extra hours on their computer because their company decided to close. Students rely on online study sessions and textbooks since they cannot learn from their teacher in person. Cabin fever and boredom cloud our minds as we find minuscule tasks to accomplish. When we open our laptops and phones to read the news, we are bombarded with headlines relating to the virus. We see the escalating number of cases and deaths plastered on the featured headline leading to paranoia, anxiety, panic, but most importantly, fear.

Fear motivates and succumbs our minds to mass hysteria and uncertainty. Morale is stomped on as we enforce whatever means necessary to mitigate the virus’s effects. The prospects of freedom and security are forgotten in a sea of disarray. We let emotions dictate our judgment and irrationality be the base of our actions. We become impulsive, senseless in the pursuit of survival. We crave social connection but are told to avoid it at all cost. We desire accomplishment and gratification but are told to wait until the virus’s passing.

Throughout the history of America, men, weapons, and alternating events have tested the strength of our Republic. Some examples are the burning of the White House in the War of 1812, the division of North and South in the Civil War, the introduction of Jim Crow laws, the rise of tyranny in Europe leading to the rise of communism, a controversial war in Vietnam, the defining split in the Korean peninsula, and the fear of the Great Recession. Time and time again, the leaders of the past met the task and then some. Through the liberation of people subjected under the Nazi rule, America became a beacon to the rest of the world. When President Kennedy saw to it that a man landed on the moon, he proved that technology and innovation transcended party politics. Through the Regan Presidency, the Berlin Wall and the USSR fell to its knees. When terrorists bombed the World Trade Center, we saw a surge of patriotism from the survivors.

Now, it is incumbent on those in power to reignite the torch of American fortitude. Government officials, doctors, and politicians must proceed in an objective manner. One that is not swayed by the weary minds of the people, but through the advisory of the experts. While the government plays a crucial role, it is the people’s tenacity and inclination that will be the driving force in defeating this pandemic. Impulsive response in an untimely manner does not benefit anyone. We must be rational, proceed with caution, listen to the expert’s advice, and remain informed. In the end, we shall overcome the threat of the coronavirus and resume our lives as they once were.

Remember, let’s be polite; let’s be respectful, but most of all, let’s be outspoken.

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The founders of the Outspoken Oppa are also the founders of the La Cañada Charity. Every year on August 4th, we set up organized charities in Memorial park. We collect donations consisting of food, clothes, and toys. We believe in a world where every child has the opportunity to be lifted from poverty. Our mission is to provide the absolute necessities to the rising generation. We do that, by organizing charities annually across the city. We believe anyone has the capacity to revolutionize technology, pioneer science, and lead the nation. In 2018, we were able to collect 150 donations. In the 2019 charity, we obtained 1,200 donations meaning we had eight times more donations than the proceeding year. Our staff tripled over a year and we were able to reach a larger demographic. Join us in 2020 to help the homeless. Hope to see you then.

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