As the news is constantly reminding us, anybody can get coronavirus at any time. Whether you’re young, old, healthy, unhealthy, surrounded by people all the time or mostly on your own, you only have to come into contact with the disease once to become infected by it, and once you’re infected by it, you’re at risk even if you had no health conditions whatsoever beforehand. Nobody is safe, and the members of the US military are no safer than any of the rest of us.
We know that the virus has started to circulate among members of the military because, unfortunately, an Army National Guardsman has already passed away. Tragically, he might be the first of many.
The extent of the spread of the virus is currently unknown, but if one person has caught it, the likelihood is that other people have too. Once you’ve come into contact with a carrier of the disease, a game of online slots begins between the virus and your immune system. We’re all familiar with the way that UK Online Slots work – they spin randomly until they hit upon the right sequence, and when the right sequence is hit, a payout is delivered to the payout.
Players are glad when that happens with online slots because the payout is a financial one. With a virus, it’s a payload rather than a payout, and it can be deadly. We’re all taking chances just as sure as gamblers are every time we walk out of the house – it’s just that with the coronavirus, we’re crossing our fingers and hoping that we’re not the winners.
The more services that the military is required to provide, the greater the threat posed to the men and women who make up the services becomes. With state-wide and national emergencies declared via various departments, it’s safe to assume that we’ll see the army take on more tasks in the perilous weeks to come.
In an extreme situation, they may be required to deliver food to people who can’t get out of the house to get it for themselves. Should citizens ignore official orders to stay indoors and stop congregating in groups, it’s likely that members of the military will have to be deployed onto the streets to maintain order. Again, this increases the risks that they face, and also increases the likelihood of an epidemic within the military. From a national security point of view, this is the last thing anyone needs.
Nobody goes into military service without knowing that they’re putting their life, health, and future on the line for the good of their country. That’s why active servicemen and women are held in such high regard, and that’s why we’re all thankful for them. They do the jobs that regular civilians can’t, and they know what they’re exposing themselves to by accepting the job. Nobody expected this, though.
America could be attacked by any enemy at any time. It’s just that we all expected that enemy to come in the form of a foreign power, not in the form of an invisible virus that strikes without any warning and can pass the front line without being detected. It would only take a few hundred infections to bring an entire department to its knees at the exact same time the services of that department are needed the most.
Taking all of the above information into account, perhaps it isn’t all that surprising that the US military has now taken the decision to stop providing full detail about how many cases have been recorded, where those cases are, and how severe the spread of the disease within the military is.
This decision hasn’t been taken lightly, and there are good reasons for taking it. Even in the face of a crisis that threatens the whole globe, there will still be foreign nations watching the American military situation very closely. That doesn’t mean that anybody would launch a direct attack on the United States of America, but there are various positions overseas that could be weakened if too many soldiers or other military personnel were incapacitated.
Areas, where American troops are keeping order or defending civilians, could be threatened. Even if there were no direct attacks on American forces, several of the country’s allies who rely on America for strategic support could be left exposed if it became clear that the USA isn’t in a position to help defend them. Not telling us everything means keeping the enemy guessing, and right now, that’s probably a smart strategy – but it comes with a twist.
If there wasn’t a severe problem with the spread of coronavirus within the military already, it’s doubtful that a decision to suppress information would need to be taken. Just the mere fact that there are enough compromised individuals within the ranks for the military to put a stop on further news reporting suggests that the number is high enough to merit concern. It’s perhaps even more concerning that based on the figures we saw most recently, the figure is higher at home than it is abroad.
A few short weeks ago, it would have been natural to worry about the health of those in military facilities in the Middle and the Far East, because that’s where the epicenter of the virus was. As recently as one week, ago it was a bigger concern in Europe than it was in the USA.
Now, with COVID-19 tearing through Florida and at the point of overwhelming New York, the US looks set to become a world leader in one of the very few areas where it never wanted to become a world leader. Ultimately, there will probably be more deaths and sicknesses reported in the USA than in any other nation in the world, and there will be military personnel among those figures.
We all rely on the military to keep us safe, whether that’s by defending our national interests or providing strategic and practical support to civilians and citizens at home. Thousands of military personnel will be doing exactly that in the weeks to come, and their lives are on the line in just as big a way as they have been in any military conflict in the past twenty years.
It’s right that we all take a moment to praise and support our healthcare workers and doctors – but spare a thought for soldiers and their families, too. It’s going to be a rough few months.