The Pandemic Panic

Our national response to the global pandemic has been heartbreaking. For many, me included, the local response hasn’t felt much better.

Nearby Bundy Dog Park closed due to COVID-19, photo by author.

I was hoping a global threat such as a pandemic would show us the power of humanity to unite  and solve any problem that comes our way.  If not on a global scale, at least a national scale.  It’s heartbreaking to see what’s going on in our country right now, but it’s clear the pandemic simply exposed a deep sickness in our culture that must be addressed.  

From a local perspective, I believe the residents of the District want strong, credible, and transparent leadership through this crisis.  Given a clear and believable path forward, we will unite to do the right thing. 

Unfortunately that’s not what we’ve had on a national scale, and on some level a local level.  Pandemic mitigation strategies came too gradually, the strategies and rules seemed inconsistent and half-hearted.  A mask mandate came four months into the pandemic.  And metrics for reopening DC are nearly impossible to understand for even a data-savvy citizen like me!  

I was so frustrated with DC’s seeming lack of understanding of how to track exponential growth patterns, I wrote a series of blog posts sharing my own analyses.

For me the biggest letdown was watching cities all over the world react quickly to open underused streets to pedestrians, bikes, and businesses to help us stay fit, well fed, and healthy while DC did nearly nothing. We do finally have some progress along these lines, with the slow streets program which is rolling out and some streateries. But the city shut down the Adams Morgan open street program that was a huge success of coordination and planning by ANC 1C. Dear Mayor, if something it too successful to be safe during a pandemic, don’t shut it down: do more!

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