How Ready is the U.S. for the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Not very ready at all, it turns out…

Daniel Fincher
5 min readMar 17, 2020


Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash

Like it or not, America is infected.

With schools, churches, and even the police closing their doors to the public, people in the U.S. are finally starting to take COVID-19 seriously. What remains to be seen is whether it is simply “too little, too late.”

As early as mid-February, investigators were finding that physicians in the United States were not confident about U.S. preparedness regarding the Coronavirus threat.

65% of healthcare professionals surveyed reported having no access to COVID-19 testing kits.

(Read: The people at the highest levels, whose job it is to prepare for the worst and let us know when it’s go-time, knew our country wasn’t close to ready for what was coming. And said so.)

Before the lion of March came roaring in, reputable publications like Scientific American were trying to make some noise and bring attention to the fact. They were hardly alone in doing so, but the media, in general, does have a bit of history with trying to find a balance in influencing fear in the public. As such, people tend to wait for the Centers for Disease Control, or CDC, to announce that we should be afraid.

In the case of the novel Coronavirus COVID-19, however, the CDC seemed to know that community spread within the U.S. was inevitable, yet maintained a poker face that belied the gravity of the situation.

If the CDC had made a hard decision in those crucial early moments in late February or early March to subsidize 2 weeks of paid sick-leave and Covid-19 testing to anyone that showed symptoms — we very likely would not be almost dead last among developed countries for Coronavirus preparedness.

What? How Is This Possible?

We are among the most technologically advanced countries in the world and possess access to some of the best epidemiologists and other relevant scientists and doctors.

How can it even come to be that a global pandemic emerges only to see almost every other developed country more prepared as they face the threat?



Daniel Fincher

Freelance Writer, Storyteller, and Poet — Founder of Artistic Autism and Five-Minute Fiction