USA vs. COVID-19: How the U.S. Battled the Virus in 2020


Isaac Aponte, Herald Staff

Note: This article was written in late 2020, when the coronavirus was peaking in the US.


Starting from December of 2019 and growing in size since then, COVID-19 is a widespread virus and most likely the most widespread virus the world has ever had in a LONG TIME. Despite this, most areas of the world have already adjusted to the virus, as their infection and death rates went down significantly. You would think the United States, the  big powerhouse of the world, would have no problem with this, right? Well, unfortunately, that is not the case, as the USA is still having big bouts with Covid-19. The United States is also topping the charts in several categories relating to this virus. 


As of the time I am writing this article (October 2020), the USA is number one in total cases, number one in total deaths, and number one in active cases. How is it that we are beating China and India for the total number of cases when our population is less than a third of theirs? How is it that at this moment, the United States’s total deaths, makes up a FIFTH of the global total Covid-19 related deaths? If we are one the most technologically advanced countries in the world, then why are we one of the only major countries that continue to struggle with this virus? There are a few factors that could be affecting this. 


A big factor could be simply how large the US is as a country. The United States is the 3rd largest country in the world, and has the 3rd biggest population. It makes sense that a virus would spread the most in an area filled to the brim with people. However, this alone does not seem to be enough to explain the United State’s status since countries who have bigger populations or land masses, like Russia and India, are still doing better than we are. So, what else could be the cause of this? Another big factor could be that Covid-19 reached the US after already infecting most of the Eastern Hemisphere. It only makes sense that the US is still struggling with the virus because it came to this country long after China and India, right? Well, yes and no. 


While it is true that countries like China were the first reported to have the virus, it wasn’t THAT long after that countries in Western Hemisphere, like the US, got their first cases of the disease. It also doesn’t make sense when you look at the United States’s neighbors. Take Canada for example. Canada is located RIGHT above the US, and yet they are doing leagues better than we are. So what gives? If it is not because of this country’s size, or the time the virus came to the US, then why are we still struggling with Covid-19? Well, while there is not a total concrete answer, there is one possible reason that has some evidence to support it. That reason being; American Pride. 


Now don’t get me wrong, American Pride has done a lot of good for the United States. It is what got us through tough times like WWII and 9/11. But as history has shown, pride can also inflict harm. About half the country follows the standard pandemic procedures; wearing masks in public, following social distancing, and staying home when sick. However, not everyone is going along with this. There are millions of US citizens who ignore these standards and continue to spread this virus. Some people claim that one political party influences this decision., However, there are people from BOTH political parties that don’t treat Covid-19 seriously. The US citizens who go out in public without a mask, the ones who ignore recommendations of medical professionals, the ones who are so prideful in their country that they believe no virus can keep us down; are the reason why we are still struggling with the virus. 


Countries like Japan, and Canada are already in the clear with the pandemic because as a nation they got together and did what needed to be done to face the threat. The United States has had such a large emphasis on pride and individual freedoms that some citizens see these Covid-19 procedures as “oppression”. We shouldn’t be using this pride to fight each other, we should be using this pride to fight the virus. The US has raised up and united against  bigger threats than the virus, so why can we not do the same now? If we got together as a nation and followed the necessary procedures, we could get through this pandemic easily. Yes, it will be tough, and yes, it may even feel oppressive at times, but we have gone through worse as a nation. If the United States is supposed to be one the biggest powerhouses in the world, then why don’t we prove it?