A disease is wreaking havoc on our country. It isn’t COVID-19

Russ Linton
5 min readMar 30, 2020
Photo by Louis Velazquez on Unsplash

We, as a nation, blundered into 2020 on a perfect storm of conditions ripe for exploitation by an invisible enemy. Our vaunted wealth and excess was no match for the silent killer unleashed a world away. To be certain, few governments have been prepared. And our exceptional selves are proving to be among the least.

Blame circulates freely. China. Trump. Democrat delays. Trouble is, in a democracy, you have one place to look.


A solid argument can be made that we left the rails of representational democracy long ago. But the trajectory has always followed the will of the people. Our complacency, our willingness to be seduced by an all or nothing narrative, has led to this moment.

By turning politics into our religion, we have surrendered governance to faith, not rational decisions. Political spin has created entirely new realities. We inhabit those realities willfully at the service of our government and not the other way around.

Because of this, we have elected leadership which can never be held accountable. Pick a side, red or blue, you have been conditioned to believe there is no choice but to defend your team. Do otherwise? You are a traitor. Unamerican.

In the face of this pandemic, serious and deadly mistakes have almost certainly been made. None will answer. Your deaths will become the fuel for a partisan rage. Another statistic to be used for gain in the upcoming elections.

This blind faith has eroded our capacity to process the dizzying amount of information hurled at us through the hourly news cycle. Whether we survive the virus or not, the underlying conditions for our failure are being laid.

Already, pundits watching the death toll and seeing the height of the curve are declaring the loss of life acceptable, conveniently forgetting those sobering numbers only apply with stringent social distancing policies in place. Without? Those numbers explode. Millions die. Soon they’ll argue that our best course of action would’ve been to do nothing and save the economy from ruin. Many already are.

Some are calling for you yourselves to take one for the team. Sacrifice a loved one for short term financial gain…

Russ Linton

Nomad, science fiction author, former cryptocurrency miner, trailblazer. Find out more at https://www.russlinton.com