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By Jane Clark Scharl, Crisis Magazine, March 31, 2020
Jane Clark Scharl is a senior contributor at Crisis. Her work has previously appeared in National Review, The American Conservative, and The Intercollegiate Review.
There’s nothing like a catastrophe to show us what it is that we worship.
The past few weeks have further proven that many Americans believe they can buy safety—witness the shocking stripping of basic goods from grocery stores at a level far beyond what people actually need. And in just the past few days, as Congress has wrangled out a stimulus package ostensibly designed to support struggling businesses and individuals, it has become abundantly clear what the real gods of our nation are: on the Left, identity politics, and on the Right, unbridled economic growth.
As early as the beginning of March, it was clear that something would need to be done to help small businesses and hourly workers get through the coming days. A case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the United States in mid-January. The first example of community spread was confirmed at the end of February. By March 4, there were cases in multiple states and governors had begun canceling large events as a precaution. Based on the shutdowns in Wuhan, Italy, and South Korea, it did not take a genius to figure out that American society would have to follow suit to some degree or another. One by one, states announced shutdowns, mandated the closure of restaurants and coffee shops, and issued emergency stay-at-home orders. ….