Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Opinion: The Worst Is Yet to Come

The coronavirus and our disastrous national response to it has smashed optimists like me in the head.

Normally, downtown Salt Lake City wouldn’t look like this during morning rush hour.Credit...Kim Raff for The New York Times

By Farhad Manjoo

For as long as I can remember, I have identified as an optimist. Like a seedling reaching toward the golden sun, I’m innately tuned to seek out the bright side.

Of course, in recent years this confidence has grown tougher to maintain. The industry I’ve long covered, technology, has lost its rebel edge, and grown monopolistic and power hungry. The economy at large echoed these trends, leaving all but the wealthiest out in the cold. All the while the entire planet veered toward uninhabitability.

And yet, for much of the last year, I remained an optimist. A re-energized Democratic Party looked poised to push for grand solutions to big problems, from health care to education to climate change. There was finally some talk about reining in monopolies and creating a fairer economy. Things weren’t looking good, exactly, but if you squinted hard, you could just make out a sunnier future.

Now all that seems lost. The coronavirus and our disastrous national response to it has smashed optimists like me in the head. If there is a silver lining, we’ll have to work hard to find it.  Read more >>