Weekly Update (4/5/20-4/11/20)

Good Evening,

I hope that this address finds you all well and in good health during this trying time. This week alone seems to drag along a plethora of comprehensive events which seem to necessitate an update. I would like to make it clear, going forward, that this page will be dedicated towards social commentary on these developments rather than breaking the news itself. I’d urge all readers to follow their desired news outlet for the latest news as always, but would recommend you all to follow along with my posts if they help provide you a voice or give you a peace of mind at the very least. With that all being said, I will briefly hit on a few specific event events and then proceed forward with the post and it’s overarching message. Feel free to skim past the bullet points if you are more enthralled with the vital message alone.

  • Recently, naval captain Brett Crozier was dishonorably relieved of his duties as leader of his crew. He spoke out for the need of resources to combat the spread of COVID-19 within the squad, yet was ignored and reprimanded for speaking out of line. In short, his crew showed their admiration for their captain as he departed the ship and were displeased with the move.
    • In ordinary times, I would venture to guess that this ordeal would never see the light of day or get media coverage in the way that it is now. This is understandable, and the backstory to his firing is remarkable. I feel as if this move is out of the need to uphold the stance of leadership more so than of necessity to active service regulations. The captain had a right to request additional resources and was simply looking out for the welfare of his men. Although the means of making the situation known seem inadequate to the leadership which released him of his duties, it is a telling remark of what holds priority in this administration.
  • State governments have rightfully exerted their authority in attempting to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. However, two states recently stick out rather noticeably for their lack of a comprehensive agenda. This week, citizens of Wisconsin hit the polls to share their input in the primary elections. Wisconsin’s governor attempted to postpone the election to June, as many other states have done, yet the Wisconsin Supreme Court shot the proposal down. This was a move of political motivations, as a seat on the Court was up for grabs in this primary, and the Courts would rather jeopardize citizen’s health than risk their chances of losing the seat by postponing the election. This is an utter disgrace to the people who had to break the stay-at-home order to exercise their democratic right of voting. Not to mention the lack of open polling locations, with only 5 of approximately 90 locations open in the key city of Milwaukee. Public health can not be endangered at any costs, and this event should be a reminder of how political agendas can often prioritize the wrong ideals.
  • As I stated above, there are two sour states in the crop that is attempting to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. I would like to turn your attention towards Florida. Interestingly, Florida was one of the final states to issue any restriction which would help flatten the curve of spreading COVID-19. Further more, several videos have surfaced online showing how Florida has overall ignored the move toward restricting ordinary business proceedings. Luckily, enough pressure was applied by concerned citizens to compel Gov. DeSantis into issuing a formal stay-at-home ordinance. I would hope that, in future crises, governmental officials who are widely considered potential candidates for the Presidency can make these vital decisions by their own thinking without being pressured into them by their constituents. Concurrently, I would like to acknowledge Gov. Cuomo’s handling of the situation in NY and how proactive and empathetic he has been in his daily briefings. I hope that more governors can attempt to spread optimism while sharing the crucial facts of the situation we are facing.
  • Lastly, Presidential hopeful competing in the 2020 Democratic Primary, Senator Bernie Sanders, has suspended his campaign. I will not dive into the specifics of his withdrawal from the race or the fine print of his plan moving forward. Rather, I will hone in on one specific tidbit from his speech which may come into play down the line that warrants addressing now. Sanders promised his supporters that he will be on the ballot in every remaining state primary. He also stated his intent to hold on to his delegate count rather than disperse them towards another candidate. Essentially, Sanders is making a political play by maintaining and attempting to further grow his delegate count. You see, when a candidate drops out, they will release the delegates won by their campaign, and those delegates will then remain unallocated or be transferred to the nominee if the candidate chooses to endorse said nominee. In this instance, Sanders ‘suspended’ his campaign, meaning he will continue to amass delegates which he can hold on to through the convention. Furthermore, a candidate who suspends their campaign without endorsing a fellow candidate can reenter the race at any point during the primary season. I do not believe that Sanders will revive his campaign, but I do believe that he will play a prominent role in this primary going forward, despite not being an active candidate. He will be at the convention, and he will attempt to push the party platform further left on several issues. His play will be influence, as he won enough delegates to make the claim that his support is vital to the success of the nominee, in this case presumptively Fmr. Vice President Joe Biden. This is a topic I intend to cover in a more formal matter in the near future.

Now that I have concluded the poltical-intensive portion of the update, I would like to share an update that directly impacts my neck of the woods in Pennsylvania. Today, Gov. Wolf officially declared that schools would not engage in typical instruction for the remainder of the school year. Rather, students will continue to learn from a distance through technological methodologies. I am surprised by this sudden update, not that it was announced, but rather the feeling that it came out of nowhere. I was always rather realistic about the chances of going back to the school buildings being slim to none, but operated under the assumption that the decision to call the rest of the year off would be held off until May at the soonest. As such, the announcement was shocking but inevitable, and I for one am glad to have some clarity on where we go from this point forward. However, I have heard the outcry of the graduating class across the region, and how they will never get to enjoy the typical procedure of senior prom, class day, graduation, and several other cherished gatherings. I am truly empathetic towards those seniors who are afflicted in this way, but encourage you all to keep your heads up high. You all have very promising futures ahead of you, and I hope that this disappointment doesn’t deter that potential from rising out of you all. I believe that this is a situation which we must use as a sense of motivation, not despair. You can now state that you obtained your diploma while the world was pressed by a pandemic. In the future, this moment will define you, regardless of how much you wish otherwise. It defines your character, your motivation, your inspiration, your sense of commitment, and could very well define your path forward. Survival is never a guarantee, especially in times of imminent danger like we are facing presently. I hope that this event invigorates you all to work harder than ever and shows you that you all can overcome every challenge, however significant, you are pressed with. And to those who hear a new calling as a result of this crisis, I am sure you are not alone. All of those who enter the medical field as a result of this pandemic will undoubtedly come in with a chip on their soldier, and I hope that each one of you find a sense of closure and also a sense of pride in your choice. That sentiment is applied to all work forces concurrently. You all have a future, which only YOU can shape, so go on and begin to sculpt it into your desired path. In 1917 and 1979, senior classes around the nation were uprooted to uphold their civic duty if in fact drafted into war. They also did not experience the typical ceremonies of transition from high school to adult life. They were catapulted into foreign places, both physically and emotionally. I hope that the class of 2020 can learn from generations prior and formulate their own, unique sense of closure while they still have the chance.

The Jewish communities spread all across the world began their celebration of the sacred event of Passover yesterday. Today, the Roman Catholic Church worshiped the holy day known as Holy Thursday. As many of you know, Easter is celebrated on Sunday. This year is definitively unique and unprecedented in terms of how we, as religious communities, celebrate these events. Even those who are not of a religious affiliation hold hope during this time of uncertainty. We all are holding optimism and praying in our own ways that the end of this crisis is on the horizon. In times of peril, it is vital that we unite as families, as communities, as a nation to work through the aftermath, the certain feeling of grief sweeping across inflicted families across the world. The arrival of ‘Holy Week’ typically brings with it a sense of solence and moral reappraisal. We all take aim at following a track which preaches the idea of kindness, humility, caring, among other traits. It is imperative that we wholly embrace these values now, in the situation that is playing out before our eyes. These sacred holidays are being celebrated in a much different scene than normal for many families, yet there is light at the end of the tunnel. As one would see light glimmer through the dark skies on a day of seemingly dull prospects, be it in a liturgical sense or otherwise, we too can foresee the light shinning through, indicative of the end of an unmistakable tragedy. As I have stated from the beginning, my deepest sympathies are with those affected by this disease and their families during the Easter season. We, as a country, are pulling for you all to overcome this abominable illness.

Warm Regards,

C. Lewis