What Does Biden’s Win Mean for America’s Future During COVID-19?

The Biden campaign lights up buildings in Delaware to celebrate their victory. Photographer: Natalie Pearson.

The Biden campaign lights up buildings in Delaware to celebrate their victory. Photographer: Natalie Pearson.

Rufaida Rahman, Staff Writer

After several days of keeping Americans on the edge of their seats throughout the elections, families everywhere received the news: Donald Trump (232 electoral votes) had been defeated by Joe Biden (290 electoral votes), on the morning of November 7th, a day that will go down in U.S. history. 

Cities across the U.S boomed with cheers and celebrations as soon as the news broke around 11:30 am EST. Singing, dancing, shouting, and the noise of banging kitchen utensils on pots and pans were heard outside in places like Philadelphia, NYC, DC, and more. 

“It felt like there was a weight lifted off my shoulder when results were announced,” recalled freshman Mary Ayata. “To me, it was such a relief, because now I have hope that things will get better.” 

But what does this really mean for America’s future during COVID-19?

Although there was a great difference in the electoral votes between Biden and Trump, the nation is nearly divided since the results were immensely close in the popular vote. It seems as if half of the country completely disagrees with the other half on how to deal with major issues in America; the biggest and most recent being COVID-19. Many U.S. citizens are displeased with the fact that the cases of the virus continue to rise every day. 

“I think right now, the reason as to why so many people are getting sick is because of an incompetent president, and I’d be happy to see a change because it’s for the good of the people,” Eburn said. 

Many living in the U.S blame the sudden increase of cases on Trump’s handling of the situation, which is a big reason as to why so many people voted for Biden instead. 

“I’ve seen many people, such as students from Penn State, especially around downtown, that don’t wear masks or practice social distancing. I think this is one of the key factors as to why we see the numbers increasing,” Ayata said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly urges each and every person to wear a mask while in public. However, President Trump believes that these masks should not be forced, and instead, should be optional. Trump also believes that vaccines should not be obligatory or forced upon people, and therefore has left it as a choice for Americans. 

“In terms of public places, such as neighborhood parks, I believe that it should be an option. As for businesses, I think it’s completely up to the store owner,” said Republican and sophomore Ethan Brauser.

In contrast, President-Elect Biden wants to completely mandate masks, as well as vaccines. 

“I think the U.S could do a lot better with the way they are handling masks. They should definitely be worn by everybody because it’s for the best of the country,” freshman Al Eburn said.

There have also been many disagreements between whether or not there should be national lockdowns and curfews in the U.S because there are advantages and disadvantages to either option. When Biden officially becomes the next president of the U.S, it is more likely that he would place the national lockdowns than Trump. If the lockdowns do get put into place, there may be more harm to the economy, as well as a higher unemployment rate, resulting in more people in poverty. 

“I see a lot of businesses right now that are falling apart,” Brauser said. “The place I work at had to close down completely, and it really hurt the businesses, and the government didn’t do much about it.” 

Despite the fact that these national lockdowns may lead to a higher unemployment rate, the amount of people getting sick every day will slowly decrease, and Americans will be able to get back to their normal lives quicker. 

In terms of lockdowns, Ayata said, “I understand that they have disadvantages, but I feel like we need to start taking notes from other countries, since there are also benefits that will be able to come from this.” 

If national lockdowns do get put into place, it is very unlikely that these will last very long due to these issues, and they are not yet confirmed. 

“I am okay with a lockdown,” said Brauser, “as long as those businesses and people get what they deserve in compensation.” 

Throughout his four-year presidency, Biden plans to bring a change to America mandating masks and vaccines and initiating possible lockdowns, which he believes will decrease rising cases of COVID-19. While the future of COVID-19 in the U.S. is still uncertain, many–including State High students–are looking to the future with hope.