How did we get to a place where people carry semi-automatic weapons in a peaceful protest? Where government officials — people elected to represent us — say that we’ll just have to let some of us die because re-opening businesses is more important? Declare that “lots of grandparents” would gladly sacrifice their lives to get their grandchildren back to work — as if that were the choice before us? Where the president of the United States says, “It is what it is,” when referring to a mounting death toll that now approaches 100,000? And never once proposes a national day of mourning or a momentary pause in our day to mourn or reflect on the lives this nation has lost and the families who have had loved ones torn away? They were unable to be with them at the end of their lives and are still unable to gather to celebrate the lost life. Where the Senate majority leader tells states suffering catastrophic losses not to expect to aid from the federal government, but recommends they apply for bankruptcy?

We, Americans, are capable of so much generosity and selflessness. How did we reach this degree of brutality and meanness?

Lynn Palermo is a founding member of Susquehanna Valley Progress.

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