Home Editorial EDITORIAL #441: Balance of 2020 less than 2 months before the elections...

EDITORIAL #441: Balance of 2020 less than 2 months before the elections in the US

As we practically reach the last quarter of 2020, it is impossible not to conclude that it has been a terrible year on a personal, collective and global level, and we still cannot predict what will happen in the presidential election on November 3 and how this fateful year will close.

We begin with a month of January that was so traumatic for Puerto Ricans, among other things, due to the earthquakes of which the southwest of the island has not yet recovered.

What we did not know was that just around the corner, in March of 2020, the Covid-19 disaster would begin, one in which we still find ourselves submerged in. The pandemic continues to plague the entire world, with the United States ranking first in cases, 6 million, and in deaths, 183,000 and counting. In the midst of the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of people have lost loved ones due to the virus, but also due to other ailments, in many cases poorly attended by quarantines and crises in hospitals.

But Covid is not just literally taking lives. It has left millions of people out of work who are struggling to support their families amid a panorama that, far from improving, is getting worse. In addition to the daily news about the fight for unemployment benefits and the wait for extra help that does not arrive, there are the closing of thousands of businesses, hurting the economy at all levels. The economic crisis in turn exacerbates mental health in homes, neighborhoods, cities, in the entire country.

And if we add to those old scourges that have plagued us for decades, such as systematic and institutionalized racism, or police violence, it is not surprising that demonstrations are intensifying across the country.

But one of the central problems in facing all these crises is the lack of leadership from the White House, based on the irresponsible response of the federal government to the pandemic, which resulted in the death toll being so high.

The historical moment that we are living, requires leaders who really care about the welfare of their governed and the nation; leaders capable of feeling empathy for others; leaders who not only want to be in favor with one segment of the population, to the detriment of others. Leaders who try to calm the nation and not foster division and exploit all situations politically and in their favor.

We would like to think that a majority longs for change and that this terrible year may surprise us at the start with good news at the polls.

On November 3, we will know if for many of us 2020 ends as resoundingly as it began, or if a door for hope opens.

Maribel Hastings

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