Miriam Laing (50), a Democrat from Lake Worth, FL, has spent most of her career working for nonprofit Jewish organizations. An activist since childhood, she is very involved with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and lives just 32 miles from Parkland, Florida. She believes it is important that her children “understand what it means to be involved in your community and to give back and take responsibility.”
What do you think about the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic?
I think that the federal response has been atrocious. From Trump’s denial of a problem, to rejecting testing kits from the World Health Organization, to racist language laying blame for the virus, to Mitch McConnell’s long weekend in the midst of a crisis–it’s just shameful.
What do you think about the response in your state/community?
I think the response in Florida and in my community has been a bit slow, but that’s because they have been taking the lead from the Federal Government. It’s no wonder the roll-out of mitigation efforts has been slow and a bit halting.
Has the threat from the virus been overblown?
The threat from the virus has absolutely not been overblown. All one needs to do is look at the charts from Italy to see that we are on the same tragic trajectory.
What measures have you taken in your own life to protect yourself and others from the virus?
We are working and schooling from home and are among those lucky enough to have those options. We are limiting our “outside” activities; are cooking more at home, keeping kids home from team sports practices (prior to those practices being cancelled), and not visiting with our boomer parents/grandparents for a while. Also, a bit of bullying of the Boomer parents to make sure they are taking this all seriously as well.
Are you concerned about casting your ballot during the pandemic? Have you or did you already vote absentee?
I chose to early vote over the prior weekend. I was just unsure of what might be happening regarding the coronavirus and didn’t want to skip voting.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
This is frightening. We’ve literally never experienced anything of this magnitude in our lifetimes. As a Gen-Xer, I grew up fearing nuclear war and watched a space shuttle explode; as a kid, I dealt with sexual harassment on a regular basis without any understanding that it was unacceptable, and as an adult saw planes hitting major public structures killing thousands. But I think this is even more frightening, because we are watching it happen live, across-the-world. My husband and I are working to manage our anxiety as parents to better manage our children’s anxiety and boredom. And we started re-watching the West Wing so as to live in a temporary fantasyland, where our leaders are moral and care about the American (and all) people.