By Don Keelan
In due time, the residents of the world, our country and state will see the end of the COVID-19 pandemic and, hopefully, it will be soon.
When it is over, what will come next will be the blame game, finger-pointing, accusations, and, of course, thousands of lawsuits claiming negligence throughout the pandemic. But for now, let’s set all of this aside and focus on one word, and that is “reliant.”
I believe that most people would agree that prior to November 2019, we were doing what we always have done, and that is relying on governments to keep us safe. It can be the world government (the United Nations), our own government in Washington, the governments of the 50 states, and, where applicable, county governments and local governments.
The fact is that, in the beginning, in the embryonic state of the pandemic, the World Health Organization had no idea what was taking place — not until late January did the WHO become aware that a monstrous contagion was in development. Its gestation period, as it turned out, would come to fruition in just weeks. Accordingly, the fully developed embryo had already arrived in Wuhan, China.
And weeks later, the monster was in northern Italy and Spain. Now it was up to the countries’ leaders to take charge, and in the early stages (in December in China), denial of a problem was the common response. China went so far as to reprimand the doctor, Dr. Ai Fen, who had called out the virus in the fall of 2019. The virus subsequently killed him.
The United States government also was in denial in January, and as late as February there was no cause for alarm — when, in fact, there was every reason to be alarmed and begin preparations for a pending economic and medical disaster.
States also were in denial, as one can see from how shutdowns were so sporadic — each having a different take on social-distancing, closing of schools and businesses, and adopting what became known as the “stay-at-home” mandate.
And not unlike being hit with a sledge hammer, our country’s states, local first responders, hospitals, congregate care facilities, prisons, essential government and businesses were caught with minimum preparedness. Also, there was a major shortage of respiratory and testing equipment, protection masks, gloves, medical gowns and ventilators. Why? Because for years past we were relying on governments to take care of such matters.
I have found it so ironic that a country that has billion-dollar stadiums, billion-dollar naval war ships, and so many other assets had a pittance of respirators, testing equipment, and PPE supplies available for a possible pandemic.
It was not only the federal government — even in Vermont, with so many physical and natural assets, our local hospitals and essential businesses were begging for PPE. Once again, we were relying on others; it was never perceived to be a problem, at least it wasn’t prior to February.
Places that have stood ready to handle the crisis were at the local town and neighborhood level. It was almost instantaneously that neighbors were prepared to help one another. The same was true with food service providers, whether it was the local grocery store, food shelf, meals on wheels, or the local public school staff. No one in a community would go hungry was the rallying cry.
We have to rely on our federal and state governments when it comes to a crisis. However, what we should have recognized and learned from 9/11 and Tropical Storm Irene, is that the first 72-96 hours belongs to us. What this comes down to is that we have to be prepared to go it alone until higher levels of government can take over.
We owe it to ourselves and those we serve to become more self-reliant, more self-sustaining. Governments can only do so much, and the time has surely come for us to recognize this.
Don Keelan writes a bi-weekly column and lives in Arlington, Vermont.
11 thoughts on “Keelan: Our need to get back to being self-reliant”
Don’t know what we don’t know much? US cannot be blamed entirely here – however need to be pandemic-prepared – obviously. That US did not have at the ready wartime or pandemic amounts of PPE and other supplies is bc stores were depleted under Obama and never replaced:
USA Today fact-checked that Obama administration depleted federal stockpile of N95 masks
April 5, 2020 | Tom Tillison
How could we and rest of world known US company-manufactured and rest of PPE in Red China would be blocked from export?
We can only plan for future from what we now know to be true and align w/nations who share our values and mutually respect one another.
Blame where due:
Dictatorship Red China’s Communist Party aided and abetted by China-friendly WHO chief – another communist – have perpetuated a great crime against the US and rest of world. To place US and China ‘denial’ responses on par w/each other is misleading as they knew well in advance what really happened. And the ’embryo’ has been found to be a fugitive escapee from their bioweapon-capable Wuhan lab.
At end of Jan…in a widely reported story a Wuhan nurse claimed at least 90,000 had been infected:
While restricting Wuhan residents’ movement to other parts of China and hiding their own epidemic for up to roughly four months, at least 750,000 on direct flights entered US alone after first Wuhan Flu case:
40,000 entered after travel ban:
Also hoarded supplies which were needed not just for US but to sell or donate in the world marketplace if need be – so also used our companies for their profiteering scheme.
Both of these actions serve as circumstantial evidence of purposefully allowing a regional epidemic to become a worldwide pandemic. WHO, CDC mismanagement and political motives notwithstanding – this is why and how we got here.
Huge mistake to allow a Marxist authoritarian dictatorship into WTO as rules are not similar – their ppl are not compensated the way the rest of the world needs to be nor follow environmental rules by polluting the air, water and rest of environment w/impunity which the Paris Accord did not hold China or India to.
Solution to self-reliance is that most manufacturing needs to return to the US soil as we are unprepared not just for a pandemic but for war. World manufacturing of supplies and essential goods need to be pulled out of Red China as they have proven to US and world they never could be trusted and what little trust they may have had has vanished. We were blindsided by the Chinese Communist Party. There are other manufacturing options such as ASEAN alliance and India – however India like China threatened to withhold medicines so we need to bring that back here.
If we manufactured in US before we can do it again. While company profits would be more limited as US does not allow slave labor and our state environmental laws may vary but unlike Red China we at least have laws here in the US. Plus pharmaceuticals is over 800,000 jobs.
Chinese investors need to find better holdings as they have decimated 401Ks in US and finances beyond our shore.
Generation Fail is in charge. Spoiled people that got to the top threw nepotism and believed in their own greatness after daddy’s money bought them a fancy college degree. Arrogant narcissist nobody can tell anything to, they knew it all, they graduated from Snob University. Raised an educated by the Greatest Generation ever adds to the joke.
They have no problem solving skills. They live in their own small little delusional lala land world of make believe surrounded by their own kind. There is little chance they won’t double down on stupid an dig the hole deeper.
They will cling to their failed post WW2 Culture right too the end because they lack any vision of anything besides the American Dream Cult they have been indoctrinated into. Generation Fail is totally 100% institutionalized into the American Dream Cult. Hundreds of years from now we will be in history books as a Primitive Tribe that believed in all sorts of myths, folk lore & fairy tales.
As far as the blame game is concerned, we can all point fingers, but let’s not forget, 20/20 hind site is infallible. Once this all behind us, let’s move on and pull together to pull us out of this mess.
The only thing that will be getting pulled is what’s left in our wallets. I have zero confidence that this legislature possesses the common sense to stop all the nonsense. What’s required is a State-wide RIF (reduction in force), 20% budget cuts across the board and a freeze on spending for non-essential programs.
We can let the ‘non-essential’ workers determine what those might be.
I agree, except that the Legislature hasn’t had common sense since the early 1960s. Nearly all of its members have adopted Marxism.
So the public needs to be offered another choice. This year everybody is allowed to run for office with no signatures. If all the commentators as a group ran we’d have something.
Many would agree that our government would work well with all new people. Doing nothing even would be better than what is going on. We do need to be more self reliant.
We all know the problems in Vermont, they cross party lines.
Affordability – School funding – Drugs
What is going to happen this year is well be packed with socialist and new world order types running and hiding under the banner of a democrat, which will not be healthy in our state. I do know people don’t want a third party, I know that we’ll. A friend said to me after the last run, “Well, you know the only thing the two parties can agree on is they don’t want a third.”
Maybe a group of independents running together singing the same song? Agreeing upon three common points, that everyone in the state agrees upon?
Everyone knows something is not quite right in Montpelier. They ( the new world order socialists) have us fighting each other, Vermonter against Vermonter, kind hearted smart republican against American loving fiscally conservative democrat, when this occurs who wins?
The group that wins is the trouble makers. The group that wins even call them selves radicals. The play book even states their goals, power and money,it’s not solving problems, which is why nothing in Vermont gets solved.
I’d be in, but I’m not waging another war all alone, it cost too much. We need people coming together. We need at least 12 men and women with good common sense, more is better but this might be enough to start a more self reliant group. Don the author of this article would be a great person. So would Jim, Cranky old Geezer. The list is long and I can’t remember them all, and can’t search while typing this. I’d be happy to help. You can find me at my real estate office, Johnson Real Estate Group, Ltd. 802-583-9400
All fingers should be pointing to China, let the ” Hammer Fall ” there on the CCP,
they caused and lied about this Wuhan Virus…………….
People died, financial disaster, loss of jobs just to name a few all because of the CCP
is corrupt and the world suffers.
The best way to hurt China is if it says “made in China” don’t buy it.
I agree in concept, but we no longer have the manufacturing capability to produce what we need. Companies have been driven from Vermont and from the USA by rules and regulations that China does not have. Until that changes, we cannot manufacture here.
Then, let’s start our own again. To accept the status quo in this instance is defeatism.
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