For the last few days, I have been brought down with the major sickness of our time, Covid. While my wife and I have been lucky enough to avoid it until now, it has finally struck. This sickness has given me ample time to reflect on how our country has gotten to this point.

America, one of the richest countries in the world, is still struggling to combat Covid, with thousands of Americans getting sick each and every day.

Why is that? While there is no simple answer, it can be summed in one word: politics. Without politics, there would be no polarization when it comes to getting the vaccine. There would have been and continue to be countless lives saved from death and ruin.

But no, we couldn’t have that. Instead, our country was split into two camps, as it has been for decades. We had one side doing everything it could, even perhaps too much, to stop the spread of the virus. On the other side, we had our country’s leaders telling us that everything is okay, and that we are a bunch of babies for being so worried. Everything was turned into a political statement.

Wearing a mask while in public was politicized. Working from home was politicized. Schooling from home was politicized. Getting vaccinated was politicized.

Every single thing that could have helped this great country suffer less was politicized by a group of people who knew better and didn’t care. They knew the truth about the virus. They knew that people of their own constituencies were going to get sick and die. They also knew that with the best healthcare on earth, nothing was likely to happen to them. They decided to sacrifice American citizens to make a political point.

It hurts my heart that this is where we are today. That still, a full three years later and a full year after the vaccines became fully available, we are still dealing with this crisis.

Those in power who brought us to this point, who gave the okay to sacrifice our citizens and to lie to our faces, should be ashamed of themselves.

I truly do believe that this American experiment in democracy is a good thing. I do believe in our history, in the promise of the constitution, and the fact that we can do better as a nation. But we can only do that if both sides actually care about this country and its citizens, not their own gain.