The death toll from the Coronavirus in America has reached nearly 260,000. Five times more people have died – so far – than were killed in the Vietnam War.
Words are not enough to express the magnitude of the pain. Nor can the effects on the world's psyche and economy be assessed.
There are, of course, talented writers and historians who, with their novels and books, will analyze and record this dark period. And they will allocate responsibility.
Today, terrified by the nightmare, we move around like automatons. We cover our faces as much as possible. We avoid approaching people. We plan to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas alone or in a close family circle. We spend our time recalling the beautiful things in our lives, before the Coronavirus entered it, even if at the time things did not seem so beautiful.
We can, however, start dreaming again about the future now that vaccines have been developed. Not necessarily big and great feats yet, but, just to be able to go to Church, to take the train without fear, to eat in a restaurant, to go to school, to travel – would make us feel a lot more at ease.
In the meantime, it is true and very human – though in a way unbelievable – that it is difficult to learn from mistakes and even from disasters.
We usually repeat the same mistake over and over again.
Schools in New York were closed, again, because the infection rate has exceeded 3%.
It is just a matter of time, probably just a few days, it seems, before they impose a new lockdown, something similar to what we experienced in March.
However, our politicians have not learned much. They still do not understand why the people do not trust them.
It is certain that history will not judge us favorably. It will be written that we deprived our children of their adolescence. That we are depriving our young people of the opportunities that we from the older generation had when we were their age. History will say that we almost derailed the democratic state. It will say that from being a beacon and school for the world, America fell to the level of those countries Washington used to denounce for their abuse of democracy.
Human progress over the centuries has never moved in a straight line. We forget this and over time, we fall into the same mistakes.
And yet, man's thirst for freedom, economic development, human rights, as well as equal application of the law does lead to progress in the end.
“The arc of the moral universe,” as Obama likes to quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. “is long, but it bends toward justice.” Its course may waver, but history leans towards virtue and equality among people.
And it will always lean that way. No matter how skeptical we are sometimes.