The life during quarantine playlist returns as Nick Triani looks at the US election and a need for community and empathy.
Count every vote
It’s been awhile. I’ve been getting on with life. Autumn was tough, winter feels beautiful and cosy. Whilst the world is in lockdown, here in Finland the pandemic’s return has been kept under relative control. Yes, cases are up as is testing, but it may just be that our relatively small population is doing enough to keep coronavirus at arm’s length. In relative terms Finland is doing better than most.
Whilst new lockdowns become a going concern in many other countries, the US election seems to have occupied a lot of people’s thoughts at this time. As I’m writing this Joe Biden finally manages to wrestle the presidency from Donald Trump’s increasingly despairing grasp. The awfulness of Trump’s tenure will have long lasting ramifications and a presidential term from the mildly conservative Biden won’t vanquish all of Trump’s ills from the last four years.
The kind of centralism that Biden represents is a double edged coin. Yes, on one hand, he’s not Trump and frankly at this stage anyone else will do. On the other hand, Biden will oversee and try and fix a country that got into this state because of the kind of centralism he represents. If the best we can say about any given candidate is that at least they’re not as bad as the other guy, then we’re truly fucked. Biden has to listen to the very contrasting voices he will represent and heed to the needs of his nation and not his party. At least genuine and progressive hope comes in the form of Kamala Harris. On an even more positive note, a Biden win will feel good for Black America this morning.
Food for thought
Whilst America remains deeply divided one desperately hopes for a return to the kind of communal caring and empathy in the USA that we’ve seen displayed elsewhere since the pandemic took hold. The response to Marcus Rashford’s campaign to end child poverty in the UK has been inspiring to follow.
The wider community locally and nationally have risen up to the call from Rashford to supply one meal a day during school holidays to underprivileged children. Many of these individuals or food establishments who have donated meals have themselves been hit hard by the pandemic. But people have stood up for what they think should be every young child’s right, despite the non-action from the UK government.
The response to Rashford’s initiative has been a great example of people power. It should serve as a reminder to politicians and governments that humanity is an intrinsic characteristic that we possess, whilst empathy remains a quality we could do more of in these uncertain times.
Nick Triani is an editor and contributor to One Quart Magazine.