Who will guide America through the COVID-19 pandemic?

Americans are anxiously waiting to return to some sort of normalcy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Georgia, Florida, and Texas are among the states whose respective governors are lifting stay at home orders for its residents in an effort to revitalize an economy that has been dormant since the pandemic began in earnest last month.

There has been much talk about possible cures for COVID-19. President Donald Trump strongly suggested the drug hydroxychloroquine as a cure. There’s many things to unpack here regarding this assessment. And we will need to put aside all personal feelings and political associations while doing the unpacking.

Trump is not a doctor. He made his fortune in real estate and furthered his celebrity as a reality TV star. Hydroxychloroquine is a drug that treats malaria caused by mosquito bites. It also has several side effects, with the most notable being anxiety, depression, and rare thoughts of suicide. As if having one of the most uncommon viruses in recent history isn’t stressful enough,  the repercussions of taking the drug supposedly designed to cure the virus is unimaginable.

On Thursday, Trump suggested that those infected with COVID-19 inject a disinfectant into their bodies. When asked about it again on Friday during a bill signing, Trump said he was being “sarcastic” to get a reaction from reporters. This isn’t the time for sarcasm. This is the time for leadership. The President is supposed to be a calming influence during times of crisis. Sarcasm and injecting disinfectants that have yet to be approved by medical doctors who have conducted extensive studies on the matter are not calming enough for many people.

There is no easy navigation regarding COVID-19, as the fear and anxiety it has created has become part of our new normal.  But there is hope. Consulting your personal doctor, or medical professionals that you can trust, is one way of COVID-19 navigation.  But on a personal level, nothing beats using these measures to navigate COVID-19. Only then will we truly return to normalcy.

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