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"WE wear the mask."
--Paul Lawrence Dunbar
In the blink of an eye, Covid-19 created an unprecedented March Madness—man versus avian influenza—by aerosolizing every corner of humanity's breathing space with its infectious invisibility. Virulent as racism, pervasive and indiscriminate, this microscopic enemy has left no group untouched by its lethality.
Its insistence at wreaking havoc on seemingly impenetrable sovereign states, notions of nationalism and, in America, master narratives of white invincibility has forced all the world's inhabitants to reconcile the fact mortality visits every man alike.
Although this unseen enemy blankets the globe, media outlets' seeming concentration on the disproportionate number of Blacks affected by this pathogen is an unfortunate but expected news angle in alignment with a preponderant focus on Black pathology.
High rates of diagnosis and death among African Americans are attributed to Blacks being heavily reliant on public transportation, employed in essential industries and housed in tight living quarters. The underlying prevalence of obesity, hypertension, cancer and diabetes cited as contributing factors.
However, The New York Times reports, "The number of new daily cases has risen more than 20 percent in both Europe and Canada ... up 40 percent in Australia and Japan."
Where are the references to underlying health issues relative to other groups of people? Why the absence of such in reporting about the mass deaths in other countries? Just as criminal reports often specify the victim and perpetrator's race only when both are Black as in the phrase "Black on Black Crime," could it be that the media is hell-bent on blaming Blacks for their contraction and death of the virus?
According to data by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, more than 702,000 people nationwide have died due to the novel coronavirus, with over 18.6 million people positively diagnosed.
Trump's sluggish response to this mania is equal to Woodrow Wilson's reaction to the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918, the deadliest epidemic of the 20th Century with its death toll "estimated to be at least 50 million worldwide with about 675,000 occurring in the United States," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Presidential procrastination, denial, political infighting and the lack of strategy has created a quandary currently plaguing America, dubbed "…the worst affected country, with more than 4.8 million diagnosed cases [and] ... 157,551 deaths," Good Morning America reported.
Conspiracy theories abound as to how humankind wound up in this space of uncertainty. Prompting some to ask, Is the Lord lurking outside writing on all the world's walls?
The religious believe Covid-19 to be a precursor of end-time prophecy—a signal to turn away from the world's wicked ways—but to seek His face, hold onto His unchanging hands while building hope on things eternal and dependent on the Psalms' blessed assurances: "He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings, shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; ..." (Psalm 91:4-7).
Whatever cognitive dissonance one subscribes to, this much is true, Covid-19 is a universal killer, and WE, collectively, wear the mask whether bedazzled, white or baby blue.