Opinion

Who (or what) is the real enemy in this COVID crisis?

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

I have heard so many negative comments in the last few weeks it makes my head spin. The comments range from how bad the president is, the governor is, and even the state and local elected officials are. Almost no one is exempt from the criticism. While I have broad shoulders and can most assuredly handle my fair share of negative, I must say that it all might be displaced. I have also heard good comments, to be fair but I would like to address the negative and hopefully turn them to a positive.

As Iowans and Americans, we need an enemy to coalesce our focus and in the absence of that enemy, we pursue what is in front of us. This has led, in my opinion, the attacks against those in leadership who have been doing a great job, under very trying circumstances, to protect the citizens of this great country, this state and in our local governments.

This leads me to ask the question that was the title of this excerpt, who (or what) is the real enemy of this COVID crisis? Who do we blame for all this? In short, our leaders, who we are criticizing, did not create this crisis one day to halt our economy and strangle small businesses and big businesses alike. The enemy is tough to identify because, in my opinion, there are two who are at fault in this, who we should be coalescing against. First is the virus, and it is tough to be angry at an invisible protein with the ability to make so many sick and kill many people.

The second is an enemy who we know about, but we sometimes refuse to look at in such a way, and that is the Chinese government. The Chinese knew about this virus in November and chose to lie about it to the world. The Chinese are at fault and the ones who we will have to deal with at some point for their deception to the world's governments.

On 9-11-2001, the nation was attacked, and I don't see a lot of difference between then and what is happening right now. The virus is different and not directed at us like the hijackers who attacked the targets on 9-11, but the results are the same with our economy at a standstill and a great deal of fear and unknown in our future. We must come together like we did on 9-11-2001 and fight the common enemy for the good of the country.

I ask that instead of looking to the president and criticizing him, to the governor and criticizing her, or to your local officials and criticizing them, that we do something good and that we never give up on what makes our state and our country so great. I say that we do what the great Martin Luther King Jr. said, "If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward."

This crisis will be over soon, and then we will have an opportunity to grow this country back even stronger than it was before the crisis started. We can't be defeated before that time is even begun. My favorite president of all time, Ronald Reagan, once said two statements that are very pertinent now. The first is "We are never defeated unless we give up on God," and the second is "freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged."

These statements are very pertinent today, as they were when he said them. If we fail to find the true enemy in all this and the true allies, then how can we possibly experience full and permanent recovery in the future? So, I ask that you keep moving forward and that you pray and come together as Iowans, as Americans. If we do, then as this crisis starts to move into our past, we will become even stronger and more vibrant than we are now. I look forward to that, and I look forward to enjoying those times.