Yup, it’s been 10 weeks now. 10 weeks of grocery shopping with anxiety, very little news watching or listening or reading because of the stress and anger, walking around with masks on and wondering why other people don’t have masks on… the little stresses that hardly compare to the larger ones of having a family member who is Covid positive or a wife or husband working on the front lines. 10 weeks and now these things are normal.
10 weeks of slowly hearing about everything closing, quitting, or cancelling. 10 weeks of other businesses struggling and asking for help and getting help, in large part. The community has rallied is many ways. 10 weeks of people freaking out about being alone and away from people. 10 weeks of people creating memes to express their confusion and stress and frustration and trying to find the humor in it all.
So quickly the commercials on TV changed. Zoom-style TV commercials are common now. Companies pay their respects to healthcare workers while touting their curbside pickup, online ordering, and contactless delivery. The merits of shopping local are balanced with whether or not I can put my order in and schedule a delivery or pickup time. Farm Fresh RI’s Mobile Market sells out in 20 minutes when the server doesn’t crash.
A magazine came to our door recently where the June 2020 published date was circled underscored with a handwritten message “(we think).” We’re all in on the same jokes.
I don’t know what to write about anymore. There is plenty of sad but also plenty of determination and hope. I am not even clear about what stage we are in as far as reopening RI and the economy here. I haven’t been paying attention because it seems clear that we may never get back to where we were 10 weeks ago.
And in some cases we shouldn’t. The economic disparity in our system has been laid bare more than ever before. The workers who now are ”essential” like grocery store clerks, delivery people, and some tradespeople don’t get paid in proportion to the risk they are taking by working in the first place. Our broken healthcare system as well — the one that still can not provide enough tests for people who want them or ventilators for people that need them. The system where nurses have to improvise their own personal protective equipment.
Meanwhile, citizens who feel like they are being burdened to help keep other people safe are protesting stay at home orders and guidelines for wearing masks. Give me Freedom or Give Me Death has taken on a new form. — its un-American to infringe on my right to be an unsafe asshole. If it is too much of a burden to wear a mask, I should be allowed to infect the elderly and my at-risk neighbors because why should I put in the effort? We’ve seen this blatant disregard for others before, but now, again, the selfishness has a sharper edge to it. Its life or death but some folks would rather see others die so they can be free — as long as those ”others” are of a lower class or are somehow disposable and I’m not the one at risk — because hell, if I am at risk than everyone around me better be wearing their masks. Give me Selfish Convenience that Makes Others Die.
That took a turn. Sorry about that. Clearly, it make me angry.
My statistic round up:
- Over 36 million Americans have filed for unemployment (up about 6 million from 2 weeks ago). That’s almost 10 percent of all Americans, working age or otherwise
- 4.81M cases globally with 319k deaths and 1.79M recoveries (mortality rate of 6.63%, down from 7.01% 2 weeks ago)
- 1.54M cases in the U.S. with 90,694 deaths and 289k recoveries (mortality rate of 5.89%, up from 5.74%)
- 12,674 confirmed cases in RI with 499 deaths (mortality rate of 3.94%, up from 3.18%)