For Whitewater – and other places – the pandemic hasn’t changed contemporary politics or culture, it has revealed plainly the character of contemporary politics and culture: divided, debilitated. Whitewater’s meaningful changes began years ago, with the Great Recession (2007-2009). For small towns like Whitewater, that recession never ended. It’s as if a man with poor circulation was improperly treated as he began to suffer strokes, first slight, then more pronounced. The wrong treatment would only assure that with each transient episode, the successive toll would become worse.
An easier path to recovery was years ago; it will be a rougher course now.