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The Groove - The differences in our suffering
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What is the difference in suffering between other countries and their people?

As the United States fights COVID-19, we tend to forget how the virus has impacted other countries, especially those who are in a Third World region.

The statistics are easy to lose track of. However, we can’t ignore those individuals who can seem to be worlds away.

As human beings, it’s our duty to view others as being equally important, regardless of which country they’re from, the color of their skin or the language they speak. 

I’m not making light of how coronavirus has hit the United States, since we have the most documented cases in the world. However, I can’t help but look at how other countries are unable to test and treat their citizens. We tend to forget how lucky we actually are.

On March 30, USA Today stated individuals in Africa were overdosing on a particular drug which could possibly treat COVID-19 and is apparently being tested on citizens.

After President Donald Trump touted an anti-malaria drug called chloroquine as a possible treatment for coronavirus, thousands of Nigerians started taking the medicine, some of them overdosing in a rush to "prevent" infection.

In Mali, there is an estimated one ventilator per 1 million people – about 20 in all, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Infection, which serves 31 of Africa's 54 nations. The devices are critical in helping to prevent the respiratory failure that has contributed to a worldwide coronavirus death toll of more than 34,000. 

Kenya, a country of more than 50 million people, has 550 intensive-care-unit beds. Many sub-Saharan nations have few medical workers. Some have no isolation wards.

These statistics mean that while New York City, the most heavily hit area in he U.S., has 6,500 ventilators, the entire continent of Africa has only 4,000 ventilators in its private hospitals and 2,000 in those which are public. 

In researching the above statistics, it made me question if all human beings are being valued the same way. 

How many lives will be lost as we remain ignorant to the fact we are all equal? How long will our eyes glaze over to those who need aid?

How long will we believe we are in some way superior?

How much longer will we be blinded by our differences?

It’s sad that an epidemic had to occur before I was able to fully open my eyes and understand how differently and unfairly others are being treated. No matter the location or differences, we’re all connected, and feel love, pain, happiness, sadness and all emotions the same.

I hope to make a positive impact on this earth and others before I’m gone. Even if I only help one person, that’s one life I was lucky enough to benefit in some way. Our souls are the same, and we must value each one. It’s up to us to make a change.

Standard reporter Atlanta Northcutt can be reached at 473-2191.