There are many things to say about the devastating coronavirus pandemic enveloping the globe. In America we are seeing the worst of humanity (the Kentucky Coronavirus party and thousands of hate crimes against Asian Americans) and also the best (fashion designers sewing masks, Chef Jose Andres feeding the hungry). Here in the United States, we have become the epicenter of the ordeal and the medical system is being strained and tested like never before in our lifetimes. We are in the midst of a bloody war for survival, and the tireless frontline soldiers this time are the doctors, scientists, nurses, and first responders, not machine gunners, grenade throwers, and top gun pilots.
Every one who has called in for duty to battle the virus is a hero. Depending on which source of statistics to believe, physicians of Indian origin make up about 5-10% of all of the active medical doctors in the United States. The meaning of this number is abundantly clear: Indian-Americans are being desperately called upon by their country like never before in our history from sea to sea, in communities large and small. All eyes are watching, and this is our time to shine brighter than ever before as Americans. One can hope that this dangerous, selfless heroism is what we will be remembered for in years to come.
This plays out in different ways. At the macro level we are seeing the ascendance of CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta, giving outstanding medical commentary, author Deepak Chopra expounding on mental health with whatever pseudo-spiritual comfort gibberish the guy comes up with, and Administrator of Medicare and Medicaid Seema Verma standing steel-faced by the president and Anthony Fauci in the federal coronavirus task force briefings- regardless of what you think of her, playing a critical role in the federal response.
At the local level we are seeing tons of media interviews with Indian-American ER doctors and hospital administrators, and categorically they come across as heroic and informative. During b-roll footage we see plenty of brown scientists around the country dripping mysterious liquids into test tubes or plugging away at some medical machine. No doubt some of them will be at the forefront of vaccines and other treatments to be implemented. Indian-Americans are all over the media explaining what coronavirus is, and how to stop its spread.
Despite many pockets of individual greatness, the Indian-American experience has never before had such an awesome collective responsibility or calling. Throughout America’s past wars, Indian-Americans made up minuscule percentages of overall troop strength. That is all changing now in the hard war against the invisible enemy, changing for good.
Godspeed and bravo to all of those on the front line, but forgive me for cheering particularly loudly for the tens of thousands of Indian origin, many whom were made fun of as nerds when they were younger. A large number come from the ranks of family and friends.
Mahanth S. Joishy is Editor of usindiamonitor
What was America during the Revolutionary War? It was a bunch of ragtag guerrillas who traded in their shovels for muskets, sick and starving, horns locked with the historically mighty Red Military Machine of the British Empire. What kept them going was strong leadership and the idea of what America could be when the dark times passed.
Yes, “America” was a just the seed of an idea for a new third world country back then, a backwater elevated by a small group of courageous intellectuals who led not only a movement, but a REVOLUTION that changed the world, causing democracy to go viral in the coming centuries on every continent. Sure, these white male founders were deeply flawed, but I’ll stack them up against any other leaders anywhere else in the authoritarian filled world of 1776.
And America is once again regressing into a third world country today for the first time since the 1840s, with a key difference. Instead of being on the way up, we are clearly in terminal decline, the current dive being potentially irreversible. And we are dragging the entire world down with us. #MAGA is a forever fever.
This is what happens you have a criminally corrupt ruling class led by a rapey, buffoonish and mentally unstable dictator supported by the most racist and idiotic neanderthals among the population. It’s an endless cycle of lies, incompetence, and theft from the top. Once COVID-19 happened and all of us could see that the Emperor had no clothes, what did we expect would happen? Thanks, #MAGAts !
During the 2016 campaign I predicted that if #PervertOrangutan won, that trillions of dollars in wealth would be erased and we would enter wars that we would not win. To boot, there would be no wall and the poor racists wouldn’t get what they wanted either as their hopes and dreams were cruelly dashed into the ground. I take less than zero pleasure from my prescience of 2016, and I certainly wasn’t alone. But today the scientists and intellectuals are not the leaders as they were in 1776; they are the marginalized, sidelined pieces of what little scraps are left of our failed democracy.
Mahanth S. Joishy is Editor of… OH WHO CARES ANYMORE