I’ve learned that the closest thing to the Coronavirus outbreak was the outbreak of Influenza A in 1918, but I didn’t realize how similar the timeline of events matched our last few months of quarantine. Just about everything that Trump and the United States government did wrong, were the same mistakes that were made in 1918. There are parallels between Trump and Woodrow Wilson, who both ignored and underplayed the severity of the virus. In both cases, it only left the country in worse hands than if we had taken the necessary precautions in the first place. What really surprised me were the similarities of how things started opening up again. I obviously knew that researchers and scientists were making these suggestions based on what they knew, but I didn’t know that it was also because they saw the exact thing happen before. The fact that in 1918, people started opening up too early and then there was a second wave, but we still decided to do the same exact thing 100 years later, completely shocks me. In his video, Trevor Noah says that the “un-American thing” to do is not learn from our history. We’ve been learning about many problems in years past that are present now, but this is concrete proof that we are all too good at repeating history and our mistakes. How is it that so much time has changed, and almost everything around us has improved, but yet we are still no better than we were 100 years ago?
The biggest thing I pulled from the video was Trevor Noah’s point about the lack of trust in leadership. This is a bigger problem that only seems to be getting worse and worse, especially in our current state. The problem is, our leaders, Trump specifically, tell us to ignore the Coronavirus for months. This only made the problems for us even worse causing us to go into quarantine. Our leaders are supposed to be helping and protecting the people but during that time, that was the last thing they did for the people who needed government assistance. People were left without pay and life essentials such as food and other basic necessities. Thes problems went on for months and are still going on. Then there are the many events of injustice that have occurred over the past few months that went ignored by the same systems that are supposed to correct these problems. I think there has always been a certain level of distrust with the government by the people, but throughout 2020, the government made it so much worse for themselves by messing up in every way that they could. This is a bigger issue that needs to be addressed but I wouldn’t even know where to start. The people don’t trust the government to do what it is supposed to do, and the government hasn’t been doing it’s job effectively, so how does this problem get fixed? Is there a way to rebuild the trust the people should have for the government?
The last thing I want to mention was something that was said at the end of the video which was that it is too late to stop us from getting to the point that we are at because what has happened has happened, even though it could have been avoided. However, it is never too late to learn from history. I think we need to take more seriously the value of learning our past. Being knowledgeable about history is only beneficial if that knowledge is applied for the greater good.