November 23, 2020
Covid Denial in One Picture

Photo: Pat Kiernan via Twitter. Caption: Mask distribution attempt on Staten Island. The borough is firmly the New York City coronavirus hotspot with a positive test rate of 4.8 percent. November 16, 2020. ⠀

Covid Denial in One Picture

We’re always looking for the most “storyful” news photos, and this one delivers a “no words” indictment of American negligence. Pat Kiernan’s caption below fills in the gaps, but the scene itself is a painful snapshot of a post-truth America, and the relationship between heedlessness and the unfolding dark winter.

Given that the administration bungled, then buried the pandemic while fighting mask use and safety mandates, on top of the fallout from densely packed campaign rallies and multiple superspreader White House events, the photograph says it all. It was taken in a Staten Island train station where a health care volunteer was giving out free masks.

As American infection and death rates spiral, let’s hope that something or someone helps this man in the train station come to his senses. At least for the sake of those around him, if not for his own.

-Michael Shaw

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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