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Home / World / The election has been decided. But America is still waiting – like it had all year

The election has been decided. But America is still waiting – like it had all year

On the other hand, it’s nice to know that waiting – and all the anxiety and sadness it brings – has always been part of the electoral process.

Waiting is all we have done this year.

Waiting for test results.

Waiting for vaccines.

Waiting to meet loved ones.

Waiting for things to get better.

And now, even with Joe Biden elected as the 46th President of the United States after months of devastating political domination, it seems the end is not to come.
Lehigh County workers count the ballots in Allentown, PA.
In Georgia, which appears to have turned blue because of the thinnest amplitude, the race is so tight it is likely that a required tally will be reached. In Pennsylvania, election officials say it could take several days to complete a full vote count.
Even if a unanimous winner was declared, President Trump made it clear that he would not go down without a fight. Several states are settling lawsuits filed by his campaign based on empty allegations of voter fraud. Trump himself has said that he will not give in.
Meanwhile, the pandemic has swept the country with renewed vigor, possibly bringing in more tighter locks, more volatility, and more worries that a return to normal is ultimately unattainable.

We have a penchant for instant gratification

Voters lined up to vote in Oklahoma City.

There are two reasons why this waiting is particularly painful.

First, we tend to be immediately satisfied.

It’s clear in how we consume: About 126 million Americans have an Amazon Prime membership, all of them buy and receive in 2 days. There are over 195 million Netflix subscribers nationwide, with access to more hours of entertainment than one can watch in real life.

If someone has the money to spend and the means to get it, we are used to getting exactly what we want when we want it.

This instantaneousness is the foundation of our commerce and our lives. It is priced high, leading to the illusion that money and power can make anything appear in thin air.

But we have to hold our breath

A commuter reads a book while waiting on a Brooklyn subway station platform.

But money cannot buy our election results, and it cannot buy our way out of whatever problems this year has come to us.

The world has brought millions towards a solution to end the global pandemic that has frozen us all in time.

But in the end, a virus cannot be praised, persuaded or paid to go away, and it can take months before a viable solution appears, let alone put to use. .

In particular, we have been told that we may not be released immediately after the long months of political domination that have led us to the fulcrum of this presidential election.

And yet, we held our breath until our face was pale.

Because we don’t like to wait. Because we want it to end. Because it feels like everything is happening at the same time, but nothing yet.

We are no longer in control

Adjacent to our habit of instant gratification is the very American idea that we are architects of our own destiny.

“Part of the challenge now is that we want to control everything and decide everything on the terms of me.

“We are used to making decisions about how our lives work, when we do things, where we go. Reliance on an external process can be difficult.”

In addition to voting, wearing masks and generally trying to embody ideals we believe in, the average person can’t do much to stop a pandemic or accelerate the outcome of an election.

Our habits have been changed

A tourist waiting for a flight at the San Francisco international airport.

Above all, when we have to wait for things, we are comforted by at least knowing when they will happen.

The numbers, the date calendar, the holidays, and the schedule organize the movement of our lives, mapping out the destinations ahead.

Baseball starts in April. We will be planning a trip this summer. School is studying. Election day is in November. Church on Sunday. We will meet on Thanksgiving.

The inner sense of time is deeply ignored, it’s not just the uncertainty surrounding the key questions – about our presidencies, about our financial future, about our health. – keep us awake at night.

It is the deeper worry of not knowing when these moments will happen.

Time has no meaning. Without these familiar frames of reference, without a sense of control over the future, the act of waiting becomes a painful chase with no apparent end.

But waiting can save us

People queue to vote in Des Moines, Iowa.

But this waiting, which we do so badly, may be what saves us.

After all, the main reason things like voting and medical breakthroughs take time is because they’re so important to mess up.

In the days since the election, proponents of all political tendencies have come together behind a single message: Every legitimate vote must be counted.

CNN commentator John Avlon writes: “That’s why we’re still in the middle of election week in an instantly satisfying society that isn’t used to waiting for progress.

Likewise, the successful development of a coronavirus vaccine requires careful, scientific rigor and careful scrutiny – all the impossible and not in a hurry.

And the fact is, even a successful vaccine is not an immediate and widespread fix. Medical experts around the world have advised that we cannot hope for a single remedy.

“A vaccine will not eliminate the need for vigilance and prudence with our public health measures,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said in September.

In these moments of suffering, we can see what patience really is like: Not a passive state, but a practice in itself.

Instead of feeling helpless, we can encourage doing things the right way, not quickly. We can protect the ballot. We can keep each other safe.

We can wait.

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