Two Generations of Hoosiers and Their Encouragement to Voters

What Two Generations of Hoosiers Are Saying About the Coronavirus With the Upcoming Election

Aubryn Crotchett, Contributing Writer

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  • Graphic designed by Aubryn Crotchett: Trump photo by Great Falls Tribune/Biden photo from Getty Images

  • Photo provided by the CDC of the novel Coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China

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Kay Geswein, of Lanesville, Indiana, has voted in-person in every presidential election since the age of 18. In previous elections, Geswein did not fret over who the president would be. Geswein would merely vote, and whoever won the election, she would accept the results and move on with her life. However, for the 2020 presidential election, Geswein is worried about the coronavirus and how it will be handled by whoever wins the election. 

“My mother, who is about to turn 80, recently came down with pneumonia,” Geswein said. “Right now, her immune system is very weak, and that alarms me because it is easier for her to get COVID-19.” 

Why it Matters

 At 62, Geswein sits in the age group most vulnerable to contracting the coronavirus, but her willingness to make her vote count is greater than her skepticism for mail-in voting. She plans to vote in person, even though COVID-19 is a potential threat at the polls. 

“This election and voting process will be different than any of the others I have voted in,” Geswein said. “I would have never thought that a pandemic like this could ever threaten my health and the health of others for people voting.”

Geswein, along with other Americans, is scared to go out and vote because of the coronavirus. She lives in a town where predominantly older people, who have a greater chance of contracting the virus, reside.

According to the CDC, elections with in-person voting on a single day are at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19 because of the large crowds and long wait times.

The Big Picture

Geswein has struggled with breathing problems for as long as she could remember. A few months ago, Geswein had an upper respiratory infection and was frightened that it was potentially COVID-19. 

“The coronavirus is a serious threat to me and other Americans that have underlying medical conditions,” Geswein said. “The virus needs to be treated seriously, which is why I do not support Trump’s approach to it.”

Geswein thinks that President Trump has made a mockery out of the coronavirus by not wearing a mask and telling Americans the virus is not a big deal.

“Indiana just did move into Stage 5 of the reopening process,” Geswein said. “Now, people are out in public, not wearing masks, and the number of cases keeps rising. Something needs to be done.”

Geswein has been monitoring the news daily to see how the number of cases related to the virus keeps growing in Indiana and the rest of the United States. 

“There is no way I could ever trust President Trump because of how he has handled the situation and kept valuable information away from the public,” Geswein said. “Hell, the president even got the virus and still acts like it is not a big deal.” 

Backing Biden

Geswein plans to vote for Biden in the upcoming election because the presidential nominee has a plan to combat the coronavirus. 

“As I have gotten older, my health, as well as my family’s health, is very important to me,” Geswein said. “The virus itself is serious, and American’s deserve to have a president that will work hard to protect them during the pandemic.” 

Wearing masks and following medical experts’ guidelines are an important part of Geswein’s life routine now. Both of these things are included in Biden’s direct plan on combatting COVID-19. 

“Biden wants to step-up and personally help the United States combat the virus,” Geswein said. “Trump, on the other hand, wants to leave the power up to the states. If someone is the leader of our country, then they need to take charge to ensure that Americans are safe.” 

A Younger Generation’s Views on COVID-19

Elizabeth Coats, of Salem, Indiana, is a medical student at Ivy Tech Community College. In past elections, Coats has voted for both Republican and Democratic candidates. However, as a medical student who interns at a hospital, Coats believes that people should pay attention to what is being said in the news about COVID-19. Sometimes, information can be inaccurate.

“My mom and I had the coronavirus back in August,” Coats said. “We followed all of the CDC guidelines and still ended up getting the virus.”

As of right now, Coats is leaning more towards Trump’s approach to the coronavirus pandemic because there is only so much she can do to help stop the spread. 

“Even if guidelines are put in place, it does not necessarily mean people are going to follow them,” Coats said.

Coats thinks that Trump has done what he could for the virus including, providing support for people and businesses, implementing mitigation procedures to slow the spread of the virus, and working hard to get the American economy open again. 

“The president caught the virus and powered through to make sure he was still there to be a leader for the people,” Coats said. “As someone who is in their 30s and has had the virus, I could not imagine still holding that level of authority while having the virus, but somehow Trump did.”

Different Views, Same Message

Geswein, a boomer, and Coats, a millennial, share different views on the coronavirus. Although both Hoosiers are voting for different candidates, the two share the same thoughts on encouraging citizens to get out and vote.

“This will be the 11th election I have voted in,” Geswein said. “Voting is one of the greatest privileges you can have as a citizen, so make a difference and get out and vote.”