End of pitching in

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End of pitching in

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At the beginning it was different.
April and May of 2020 was not the later, divisive and hate-filled environment that would allow the Covid virus to flourish, not the largely “every-man-for-himself” climate whose popularity grew to mirror the surge of the pandemic itself. Back then, everyone was hunkering down, the streets were empty, and Santa Monica was more like the city I had seen in pictures from the 1940's.
The light even seemed different. Despite the specter of certain death, or at least alongside it, was an almost relaxed feeling: we were all in this together, against a common (if mysteriously deadly) enemy, and there is nothing we could do. Well, except stay indoors, and avoid contact with other humans at all costs.
I know that during WWII, Santa Monica hummed with activity, with defense plants working three shifts, and Clover Field roaring with warbird take offs and landings almost continuously, and in the Spring of 2020, Santa Monica was still largely of the “we did it once, we'll do it again” mindset—everyone had a job to do, and it was actually an easy one: all you had to do was to keep to yourself. Loose lips may not sink ships anymore, but uncovered ones (especially in public) could spew a deadly toxin—the origins and makeup of it almost completely unknown—and leave devastation in its wake.
This feeling couldn't, and wouldn't, last long; humans being what they are. With a national figurehead in a leadership position that was unable to understand complexities, and that largely and specifically promoted failure, the home front grew distrustful of the concept of a “common good”. Citizens quickly grew weary of making sacrifices, of doing without the niceties to which they had become accustomed. Under the guise of individual freedoms, all suffered. “It will all just go away very soon”, we were told, and eventually it did.
Not the disease. Our American way of life.

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