The Pandemic in the Military

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The Pandemic in the Military

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When I found out about the start of lock downs and the fact that a pandemic was even happening, I was at the end of a training rotation at Fort Irwin, CA. My colleagues and I were extremely concerned about the welfare of our families as we had all been screened for symptoms, but there was talk of us not being able to return home until the DOD had figured out exactly how they were going to respond to the “sudden” emergency. I only put sudden in quotes because the government had plenty of warning that this was coming but decided that it wasn’t worth acting on until it had already started happening.

Once home, the adjustment to a new way of life was akin to being dropped in a foreign country that speaks a language you don’t understand and has none of the customs you are familiar with. While families, dependents, and civilians had had warning, albeit minimal, that lock downs were going to be a thing and that masks were now mandatory regardless of where you were going, those who had been away without any media or contact back home, were suddenly thrust into the lifestyle of April, 2020.

From that time to now, not only has vaccination and the reality of the virus become a contentious topic among coworkers, friends, and family, but what side of the issue you place yourself on has led to some of the worst division the nation has seen since the 1960s. Families have been ripped apart and friendships destroyed because the views expressed and sides taken on pandemic related issues, including the 2020 election, have adopted the same level of identity in our lives as our ethnic, racial, or religious backgrounds. Those who would have found common ground in shared religious belief, or shared culture now create new divides on the basis of believing that the vaccine works or not or believing that those who participated in the Jan 6, 2021 Capitol incident were justified or not.

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This item was submitted on April 29, 2022 by [anonymous user] using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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