How America has been handling the COVID-19 pandemic… Poorly.
A quick update on all the most absurd things that have happened on this side of the world during this pandemic.
To foreigners, and to my fellow Italian patriots, the US almost seems like a mythological land that no one understands. Then in Florida, where I find myself, specifically in Miami, it’s even worse. You’ve probably heard of the trend to Google your birth date along with the words “Florida Man” to see what crazy headline appears.
(If you haven’t done this already, please have yourself a laugh and do it now. This is what comes out with my birthday.)
Anyway, all this to say that we weren’t at all surprised that our whole quarantine here in the States would be a total shitshow.
Initially, the problem here was the federal government that couldn’t agree on a coherent lockdown with all 50 states. So, every state decided for itself when and how to lock down their businesses and impose new guidelines.
The lockdown starts in Florida, everything is semi-normal. All non-essential businesses start to close like bars, hotels, schools, restaurants etc. In the list of essential businesses in Florida, however, you may find a few gems such as:
World Wresting Entertainment (aka the WWE)
Golf courses and country club
Medicinal marijuana stores
Then, we start up with all the balcony concerts here too. The other day David Guetta played at the ICON in Miami, a very posh residential building. The idea seemed nice enough, since they planned to donate all the raised funds to various non-profits handling COVID relief. In reality though, Miami just became a mini EDM central and 200 people gathered in the park in front of the building to listen to his set... In the end, cops came and dispersed the crowd.
Since the guidelines in the US, unlike in Italy, still allowed you to take walks outside, now you can see a myriad of people on the streets every damn day at every damn hour. People that used to go around supermarkets in those stupid little automatic carts drinking an XL slurpee from their local 7/11, now you can find them on the streets of Miami working out for the first time since 1998. Obviously no one is wearing masks.
At this point, I’m starting to grasp that it’s better for me to just stay home… However, in all this, the primary elections are still being held to vote for the next president of the USA. Maybe, since there is a global pandemic and the world is on lock down, maybe you’d think they’d be postponed. Instead, no… 32 out of 50 states still held primary elections where you had to go vote in person. To avoid another COVID hotspot, rightly so, the majority of American citizens decided to stay home and not vote.
In the meantime, basically the whole unemployment system is collapsing in the US. At the beginning of May, roughly 70% of the people who had requested unemployment assistance from March, had not yet received any assistance (in Florida those numbers were even higher, about 93% of the 1.5 million people who filed claims, had not received anything).
To make matters worse, a majority of the government websites where you apply for unemployment have been written and designed with computer programs from the 70s and 80s… THE 70s OR 80s?! How is this even possible? I didn’t even know that technology from 50 years ago could still be compatible to now. And in fact, it wasn’t. Obviously a lot of unemployment websites crashed routinely for the last two months and good luck trying to get a representative on the phone. The government’s solution to this problem? Open an unemployment center where you can go in person to request your unemployment benefits.
Hialeah, Florida. Hundreds of people gather around the unemployment office amidst the pandemic.
Ok, whatever, so towards the end of March the government says that they will be handing out a $1,200 stimulus check for every person that made under $90,000 last year. If you’re married, it’s $2,400 and an extra $500 for every kid you have. It took them six weeks to finalize this decision… And after that, Trump delays the sending of the check an additional 3-4 days so that he can put his signature on all the checks. (About one third of Americans have also not received these checks still due to various complications)
To add to the rest of the shit show, we must mention all these idiots that are out protesting the lock down. Yes, okay, protests are also happening in Europe and elsewhere, we are not the only ones. However, the level of stupidity presented in American anti-lock down protests is unparalleled. I don’t even know if they really know what they’re protesting.
This has been the situation in the US, my dear friends. And even though we are not a political magazine nor try to be an actual news outlet, we felt like it was worth mentioning for those who were curious and wanted to hear a fresh, satirical perspective on this.