Hartlepool business boss in the USA describes America's 'perfect storm' of unrest
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Business boss Paul Gough spoke from his home in the USA to talk about his view of life in America after the riots in which four people died after the storming of the Capitol by pro-Trump supporters.
Paul owns and runs Paul Gough Physio Rooms in Raby Road in Hartlepool as well as branches in Durham, Darlington and Guisborough. He now lives in Orlando, Florida where he runs another of his businesses.
He said America was ‘so divided’ with people polarised into one of two camps. "Whatever they say, it is not going to get better, ” he said.
The country was ‘polarised beyond belief’ with more people voting for Donald Trump in the 2020 elections than there are in Britain.
"I am not condoning violence,” said Paul, “but we are not talking about five or ten million people here. 73 million people voted for him and they are not going to go away.”
He described the riots as ‘crazy’ but he added: “The USA has got so much history of violence in the cities.” He added: “Brace yourself for more unrest.”
He said debates were already springing up on this week’s Capitol riots with some people arguing on social media there hadn’t been the same level of outrage when there was looting and rioting in cities last summer.
"Businesses were burned down and shut. They are saying ‘why is this different’. It is chaos.”
Part of the problem, said Paul, was what he described as a political system which was ‘out of date’ and ‘didn’t make any difference to people’s lives at ground level. Four years later, nothing changes.”
He said a mix of the pandemic, job losses, debt, deaths as well as the political turmoil had made it a ‘perfect storm’ of unrest in the USA.
But despite all that, America was still a great place to live, said Paul. “We love it and the weather is wonderful. We miss home but we will be back.”
Paul is also impressed with the way the USA had embraced the coronavirus vaccinations in a big way.
The country has had more than 21million cases of Covid-19 and 361,000 deaths and infection levels went ‘through the roof’ after the Christmas holidays.
But the USA is now planning for Americans to be able to get vaccinations at chains such as Walmart by late February or March, and Paul said: “You have to give them credit for that.
"Every day, I read on social media that someone else has had the vaccination. They are rolling them out and getting ready to the point where I could walk into Walmart and get my injection whenever I want.”
Paul provides a coaching service for other physio businesses in America.
Back in England, his physio clinics in Hartlepool, Durham, Darlington and Guisborough remain open as they are considered to be essential operations under the pandemic, and Paul said everything was going well with his business.