COVID-19, shootings: Is mass death now tolerated in America? – Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia 2022-05-21 23:22:15 –

Providence, Rhode Island (AP) —The country marks the milestone of one million deaths from COVID-19 after people shop for groceries, go to church, and live last weekend in a mass shooting. Did. This number, once unthinkable, is now an irreversible reality in the United States. This is the same as the lasting reality of gun violence, which kills tens of thousands of people each year.

Americans have always tolerated high mortality and suffering within certain segments of society. However, the question arises because the number of deaths from preventable causes is so high that it clearly accepts that policy changes are not imminent. Has mass death been accepted in the United States?

“I think the evidence is undeniably very clear. We have experienced over the last two years and tolerate the enormous amount of genocide, suffering and death in the United States. I. We have a history, “said Gregg Gonsalves, a professor at Yale University who was an epidemiologist and formerly a key member of the AIDS advocacy group ACTUP.

“If you think the AIDS epidemic was bad, the American reaction to COVID-19 is kind of … it’s a form of American grotesque, isn’t it?” Gonzalves says. “Really — 1 million people have died? And you’re going to tell me about the need for you to return to normal, when most of us have lived a fairly reasonable life over the last six months. mosquito?”

Certain communities have always been blamed for high mortality in the United States. There is serious racial and class inequality in the United States, and our mortality tolerance is partly based on who is at risk, the University of Minnesota studying mortality. Says Elizabeth Regleyfield, a professor of sociology at the University of Minnesota.

“The death of some people is much more important than others,” she laments. “And I think we’re seeing this really brutal way at this timing coincidence.”

In Buffalo, the alleged archer was a racist Devoted to killing as many blacks as he could, According to the authorities. 86-year-old Ruth Whitfield’s family, one in ten was killed there Attacks on grocery stores servicing the African-American communityLeaded the sadness and frustration of millions of people when they demanded action Passing the hate crime bill And accountability People spreading hateful rhetoric..

“You expect us to repeat this over and over again — forget to forgive it over and over again,” said her son, former Buffalo Fire Director Garnell Whitfield Jr. I told reporters. “The people we choose and trust in our offices in this country are doing our best not to protect us or consider us equal.”

The feeling that politicians do little after repeated violence is shared by many Americans. According to Martha Lincoln, a professor of anthropology at San Francisco State University, it is the dynamics encapsulated by the “thoughts and prayers” that politicians provide to victims of gun violence. A person studying the cultural politics of public health.

“I don’t think most Americans feel good about it. Most Americans want to see the actual action from cultural leaders on these prevailing problems. “Masu,” says Lincoln.

Numerous deaths from COVID-19, guns, and other causes can be difficult to understand and begin to feel like background noise, separated from dead individuals and forever transformed families. there is.

With COVID-19, American society is now accepting the death of children due to preventable causes.recently Guest column published in The Advocate newspaperDr. Mark W. Klein, a pediatrician, pointed out that more than 1,500 children died of COVID-19, despite the “myth” that they are harmless to children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. .. Klein writes that there was a time in pediatrics where “a child was not expected to die.”

“There was no acceptable number of pediatric bodies,” he writes. “At least not before COVID-19, the first pandemic of the social media era, changed everything.”

Professor Sonali Rajan of Columbia University, who studies school violence, states that there are many similarities between the US response to COVID-19 and the US response to the epidemic of gun violence.

“We have experienced normalized mass mortality in this country for a long time. Gun violence has been a public health crisis for decades,” she said, estimated 10 each year. It states that 10,000 people will be shot dead and about 40,000 will die.

Gun violence is a part of American life, and we organize our lives around its inevitability. Children do blockade training at school. And in about half of the state, teachers are allowed to carry firearms, Rajan says.

When she sees the current reaction to COVID-19, she sees similar dynamics. “It’s worth being able to commute to work without getting sick, work somewhere without getting sick, and send children to school without getting sick,” she says. ..

“What if more and more people get sick and are physically handicapped?” She asks. “What will happen? Will we live this way in the near future?”

She says it is important to ask what policies are being put forward by elected officials who have the power to “pay attention to the health and well-being of their members.”

“It’s worth noting how that responsibility was abandoned, how I explain it,” Rajan says.

The level of concern about death is often context-dependent, says Rajiv Sethi, a professor of economics at Barnard College who wrote about both gun violence and COVID-19. He points out rare but dramatic events, such as plane crashes and accidents at nuclear power plants, which seems to be important to people.

In contrast, things like car deaths don’t get much attention.government Said this week Last year, about 43,000 people died on national roads, the highest level in 16 years. The federal government announced a national strategy earlier this year to combat this issue.

Even when talking about gun violence, Buffalo shootings have received a lot of attention, but mass shootings represent a minority of gun deaths in the United States each year, says Setty. For example, in the United States, there are more gun suicides than murders. Estimated 24,000 gun suicides compared to 19,000 murders.. However, he says, the debate over guns is politically well-established, even if there are policy proposals that may be useful within the scope of Article 2 of the Constitutional Amendment.

“As a result, nothing happens,” says Sethi. “The result is paralysis.”

Dr. Megan Ranney of Brown University’s School of Public Health calls it a frustrating “learned helplessness.”

“A near-sustainable story has been created that tells people that these things are inevitable,” says ER doctor Lanny, who conducted a study of gun violence before the COVID-19 hit. .. “When people think there is nothing they can do, it divides us.”

She wonders if people really understand the huge number of people dying from guns, COVID-19, opioids. CDC this month Over 107,000 Americans He died of drug overdose in 2021 and set a record.

Lanny also points out false stories spread by villains, denying that death was preventable and suggesting that the dead deserved it. In the United States, Lanny says the emphasis is on individual responsibility for health and tensions between individuals and the community.

“It’s not that we don’t put much value in our personal lives, but rather we’re facing the limits of that approach,” she says. “The truth is that an individual’s life, an individual’s death or disability actually affects a larger community.”

In the last century, similar discussions were held on child labor law, worker protection and reproductive rights, according to Lanny.

Understanding history is important, says Wrigley Field, who teaches the history of ACT UP in one of her classes. During the AIDS crisis of the 1980s White House spokesman joked about anti-homosexuals Everyone in the room laughed when asked about AIDS. Activists could mobilize mass movements, letting people change their way of thinking and politicians changing their way of running, she says.

“I don’t think those things are off the table right now, it’s just that it’s not really clear if they will appear,” says Wrigley Field. “I don’t think giving up is a permanent situation, but at this point I think it’s our current situation.”

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