Even a pandemic has its humorous aspects. Isis terrorists have been warned to stay out of Europe for fear they will catch the coronavirus, (The Week, March 27, 2020, pg. 6.) Sex workers in Nevada report a booming business (Ibid, pg. 6) And there’s a rumor floating around that Netflix started the pandemic to increase its streaming business. Even funnier is a poll that reveals 74% of Republicans trust what President Donald Trump says about the epidemic. (Ibid. pg. 17)
That trust may explain why a majority of Republicans also agree with Rush Limbaugh that the virus is no more dangerous than the common cold. (Ibid pg. 16.) The Wall Street Journal reports 80% of Democrats disagree and think the pandemic will get worse, by the way. (Ibid pg. 16.) I don’t bother to include the opinion of scientists as no one seems to value what they think.
Having money to buy good health care could account for the difference of opinion between Republicans and Democrats. Among the one-percenters, according to the 2008-2011 Gallup poll, 41% of them identify as Republican. Only 26% are democrats.
A good education is something both groups share in common, however. A majority have post-graduate degrees, which is a marked difference from the general population where “..few adults in low-income households have postgraduate education.” Among the middle class, that number rises to 13%. (See pg. 6 of the report)
The Gallup poll draws a link between education and money, obviously. Other surveys do the same. So, here’s a story about the coronavirus that isn’t funny. The Republican Senate has passed a stimulus package to soften the effects of the pandemic for businesses, large and small. Meanwhile, for education– k-12 and child care– the amount allocated is a pittance*. Of course, students laboring under college debt fared worse. They received nothing more than a 60-day suspension on their loan payments. They might consider that provision a joke.
*Details of the Congressional package for education came out after this blog. See current information: https://www.usnews.com/news/education-news/articles/2020-03-27/educators-stimulus-not-nearly-enough-to-save-schools