An all-American friend of mine sometimes accuses me of having a pessimistic European view of life. It’s true: I (used to) like sad movies. I might have a slight touch of melancholia.
Partly, I think, it comes from being foreign-born (and perhaps in my case being Jewish too). If you grew up abroad, in Europe West or East not too long after WWII, in the USSR, in Africa, in large parts of Asia, your psyche is more aware of potential disaster.
So much has gone perfectly wrong our country’s response to the virus. The worst part of it is bad actions by people who seem not to care what happens as long as they can convince the public not to blame them.
But I wonder if some of the broader unwillingness to take strong nationwide measures stems from an American lack of that sense of the possibility of tragedy.