The COVID-19 pandemic influenced us as a nation in ways we haven’t seen before and strikingly on freedom, order, and equality. What stands out the most is how our freedom was impacted during the height of the pandemic. We were confined to our homes – except for a few select people – we were mandated to wear masks in public to get vaccines, and people were worried about heightened security and monitoring from their government through the COVID tracing systems.
We saw an economic boom during this time while people were contained in the technology sector in particular, and we saw more people working remotely. When we are told what to wear, how to live, and where to go sometimes people feel as though this encroaches on their personal freedom as an American to do as they please, others see it as a necessity for our survival.
Some saw the heightened technological use and remote work as a way to contain the American spirit. In this way, we saw our long-standing order ultimately put at odds. We had chaos coming from the extremes of both political parties causing riots and daily minor infractions such as acting poorly in public places to take a stance.
Some wanted to see more order put into place, while others wanted to see to it that the authorities in place dethroned. We saw ourselves at odds because the threat to order was coming from within, and we were ill-equipped to handle it.
The order that came with vaccine mandates and hospitalization of the sick also saw how our equality was put to the test. Limited access to care for those with the virus or those who saught out the vaccine was blatant, especially in the beginning, for those from underprivileged areas.
We also saw Americans like my brother-in-law get abused or harassed simply for being of Chinese descent during this time. Equality to access resources and equality amongst one another is one of our core ideologies, and it was struck to the core during the pandemic. Our shared political culture as Americans is centered around these three ideals. It gives us such a strong bond despite our vast differences as Americans.
These extreme values that were exposed during the COVID-19 pandemic were put to the test during a time of unprecedented circumstances. Luckily, we’re a country that carries on, and we have been able to begin mending the damage and will come out the other end even stronger.