A parent watching real life Hunger Games play out

By Jen Frank, Lancaster Healthcare Rights Committee

Submitted as a local Letter to the Editor

Covid-19 has affected all aspects of life and community.  But, in reality, such a disaster has exposed the shortcomings of our country and painted a picture of our society as it functions today. Unfortunately, that picture is not pretty.  The virus (and the inappropriate handling of the pandemic) has dismantled the “taken-for-granted” structures in society. It has exposed social fragmentation and differentiated the value placed on certain lives and not others. 

Throughout this crisis, marginalized groups have been pitted against one another to serve the interests of the power holders. The divisiveness in society is amalgamated by stark divisions around those willing to wear a mask for the safety of others and those who believe individual liberty and autonomy are paramount. As a result, millions are out of work and at risk of homelessness, while another segment of the population has seen their fortunes skyrocket.  

As a parent, it has been disheartening (to say the least) to watch school boards and administration play street hockey with the lives of our children and teachers. It is like a real-life episode of the Hunger Games playing out in real time. Power holders are using children to test out the risks of a return to “normal,” without the security of proper safety protocols.  

As we all scramble to protect our families, our livelihoods, our health, and our children, we also need to review what the on-going pandemic has exposed in our society. We must re-evaluate if this is who we really want to be, as a country. My hope is that such a revelation might pave the way toward more inclusive, collectivist, and holistic approaches to healthcare and community.

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