In the year 2020, our society has changed significantly.
In the span of just weeks, the entire world changed. It’s as if a light switch was flipped, and as a result, our ways of normal have been changed indefinitely. There is nothing normal about this year, but what one can say in dealing with a public health pandemic is that for Native Americans, this is not our first rodeo.
Communities in the United States differ in their opinions on following the public health guidelines around COVID-19, and the sense of entitlement for freedoms to live “normally” grows in abundance as we struggle to contain the virus and reach the needed level of cooperation. This pandemic has exposed toxic displays of political rhetoric and racist reactions.
Aside from the historical Spanish Flu of 1918, this is the first time the entire world has changed significantly overnight from a virus, and the response differs between those who take it seriously and those who believe it is nothing more than mind control conspiracies. COVID has crippled our ways of everyday life. Everything has changed.
This brings me back to the historical reference in an earlier dispatch of what has happened to Natives in America, and how the arrival of Europeans brought with them a plethora of diseases and viruses that wiped out a very large population of tribes across the Country. From smallpox from blankets, to the bubonic plague, to influenza and several other versions of sickness, Native Americans have historically been a victim of public health pandemics that were not a result of their own doings.