Kamran Fareedi’s Blog Post

The Coronavirus pandemic is making me think about its relationship to the Anthropocene because our society is at a crossroads right now. If we don’t build a new world out of the ashes of this public health crisis, I think we’ll fail to survive the climate crisis that’s on the horizon.

I wasn’t so grim a few weeks ago. Back then, I had just started Spring Break under the illusion that it was time to go outside and reconnect with my friends from high school. After all, everyone I knew was coming back to Northern Virginia, and we had some free time to hang out, so why not?

While there were whispers about the Coronavirus in the headlines, the threat seemed far away. It may have leaped from China to the shores of the United States, but the fact that it was confined to Washington State rather than Washington, D.C. allowed me to remove it from my reality. As more news started to trickle down the depths of my Mom’s primary sources of information, Facebook and WhatsApp, she warned me that going outside would be a death sentence. I figured that she had to be overreacting: there wasn’t a single case in Virginia or anywhere around it, so how on earth would I get the virus?

Despite having severe heart problems and asthma, which are pre-existing conditions that put me in the “at-risk” category, I convinced her to let me go outside with my friends in a densely-packed area. We even started making plans to visit a laser-tag arena that week!

However, one day later, everything changed: Cases popped up all over the country, schools kicked students off-campus, hoarders raided grocery stores, and everyone locked themselves in their houses for the foreseeable future. I retreated to my room in fear that anything I touched would land me on a ventilator. All of a sudden, my Mom turned out to be right, and society was transforming overnight in the wake of a looming apocalypse.

The government’s response to the public health crisis has thrown our understanding of what’s possible out the window. When stock markets started crashing, Republicans started outflanking Democrats on their left by proposing Universal Basic Income. AT&T unilaterally decided to suspend data caps. Student loan payments were temporarily paused. Congress decided that it could inject $1.2 trillion into the U.S. economy.

After decades of telling working families to settle for scraps because sweeping changes to build a better world were supposedly unfeasible, our leaders suddenly rushed to enact them as they pleased. They proved that when lives are on the line, everything suddenly becomes possible, but the ruling class will only bail out the rich and powerful.

If we can print trillions of dollars and dump it into the economy during a pandemic, why can’t we do the same for a climate catastrophe?

If we can pause student loan payments during a pandemic, why not never resume them?

If coronavirus treatment can be free, why can’t cancer treatment or the rest of healthcare?

Most importantly, if we can mobilize the government’s resources to build hospitals and ventilators overnight to combat a public health crisis, why can’t we use the same tools for the climate crisis?

6.6 million Americans lost their jobs this week. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of lives, are on the line. We are facing a moment that is forcing everyone to contemplate the absurdity of the world we live in. For the first time, the limbo of our quarantine isn’t forcing us to sacrifice our days for scraps from bloated companies.

If we don’t seize this opportunity to indict a corrupt and fraudulent system that has governed our daily lives for decades, our ruling class will bail out the corporations again when the climate crisis finally arrives.

When floods and wildfires kill jobs and send crowds back to Costco, the government should use every tool at its disposal to bail out the people instead of Wall Street. We should redesign our economy to be sustainable and refuse to punish everyday people for using bare necessities. We should rebuild our society to work for the many, and not the few.

10 Replies to “Kamran Fareedi’s Blog Post”

  1. The coronavirus has “halted” the economy and the government only wants the coronavirus to be resolved because the so-called rich and powerful are suffering. Your arguments are convincing, for instance, when you mention that coronavirus treatment can be free, but not cancer treatment. Even at the beginning, you added your own personal touch of leaving for spring break and there being no cases of coronavirus in DC. And finally, your justification for the issue of climate change not being taken as seriously as this coronavirus outbreak.

  2. I understand your arguments and they make sense because the government and economy should be putting more time and money into the environmental crisis. The problem with this is that the government worries about current issues and COVID-19 is a current issue meanwhile climate change is getting worse over time and did not hit the world suddenly and immediately like the virus. I agree that there needs to be more action taken to future problems that will increasingly get worse overtime. Your blog was very good and really makes you think about how the government and economy is being run.

  3. I related to this blog post while reading it because I also believed that the coronavirus would not impose a threat to Northern Virginia at first, but as soon as cases popped up here, I knew that it would change everything. My favorite point that you brought up was that since the US is providing free coronavirus treatment, why can’t they make cancer treatment free. As a whole, this blog post made me think about the decisions that the government has made in regards to corona and whether or not the hypotheticals you brought up will ever be in place.

  4. I think your blog has a very unique style. COVID-19 is a problem that needs to be faced and solved by all mankind. Just like the pollution of the environment, it is not a single problem in one country or one region. It’s also something that we need to face together, like we fight the coronavirus this time. I like your blog because you talked the ideas that I haven’t thought before.

  5. Hey Kamran, I really appreciated the diction within your blog. It was confident and convincing. I also like your use of questions. Posing a rhetorical q like that really made me think about what our nation is capable of. I really enjoyed reading your post. I think some of us, including myself, can relate to your experiences. COVID-19 has put our nation to a test. I’m wondering when our next one will begin.

  6. I really enjoyed reading this blog. It definitely had a personal feel to it which I think is a necessity, especially when talking about COVID-19 because everyone’s experiences are so incredibly different. I really liked the use of rhetorical questions, they made me truly reflect on what you were saying instead of skimming the post. I do wish that this blog related to the environment a little bit more because it feels like the post is more about the economy instead of the environment. Overall, it was a really great read and it was very interesting to hear your experience with COVID-19.

  7. I agree with a lot of your points on your blog post, Kamran. It makes me wonder why does the Coronavirus seem to be more pandemic than global warming or climate change. Your Spring Break plans was interesting to read about because when there was an announcement for closings then everyone has different reactions and experiences during the pandemic. I agree with you on your rhetorical questions. There has to be many reasons why we can’t just shutdown the student loans, or print lots of money, or make treatment beneficial to all. I would like to hear more about how the Coronavirus affected everyone environmentally. It’s nice to hear about economics but there must be some connection to climate change.

  8. I really liked your style of the blog post. The way you used questions to further implement your point and opinion was very persuasive. I agree with you that this issue is just as important as any other and people need to address it in the same manner as they did for the newest COVID-19 outbreak. I also liked how you personally connected how the virus has impacted you and from your own experience. Good job!

  9. I agree with your opinion. The government should do something for the big party not the small party. When the virus happened, the first thing I know about the government is to save the economic, not the safety of the people. I can’t say this is not correct, but as a normal people just like most people is. The first thing I thought about is how to help normal people because the life is only once but economic could grow up again in the future.

  10. Hi Kamran! Thank you for letting me know about your mental activity and attitude before and after the outbreak. At the same time, I thank you for giving me a deeper understanding of the impact of the coronavirus on human society. Perhaps, as you mentioned at the end of the article, we can seize this opportunity for a change in society, and in doing so perhaps make the people who live at the bottom happier in the future.

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