Yesterday, America set a new record of confirmed coronavirus cases. The previous one was set last Friday. Our school learned yesterday that one of our teachers tested positive for the virus. Meanwhile, Germany recorded a bit over 400 new cases yesterday. On Monday, ICE announced that foreign students in American colleges that have moved to online-only education will either have to transfer to a school that will offer in-person learning or risk getting deported. Schools across the nation have had to make up for budget shortfalls by both moving online and cutting budgets, and some of the casualties have been to athletics, specifically to non-football sports, like those done at the Olympics. What will an American future look like without immigrants getting their educations in this country and without our athletes representing us at the Olympics?

I love America. I love its story and its promise, but I can’t shake the feeling that we’re all watching this country fall. While we’re endangering everyone by reopening schools and bars and restaurants and rejecting those who make this country better, other countries around the world—those with better leadership than ours, those who listened to science and to the experts—have handled the virus enough to safely start reopening parts of their countries. They have taken in immigrants from around the world, they have paid their citizens to stay home and to stay safe, they have provided them better and cheaper health care, and they will start returning to normalcy while we are fighting still both a pandemic and an infodemic.

When George Floyd plead for breath to the police over twenty times, officer Derek Chauvin replied by saying, “Then stop talking, stop yelling, it takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to talk.” America will fall not with a bang but with our own stupidity and hubris, our own Derek Chauvin with his knee across our neck telling us to stop talking while we plead for breath.