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Articles, Ideas, Musings, Rants

Day 119: COVID-19

Its been over 100 days. Oomph officially has no office right now — we are between the former place, whose lease ran out, and the new place which has no certificate of occupancy. We are all officially remote workers. Overall its been ok, I’m used to it now, but the problem is that being around people is no longer normal. It feels strange to see crowds or be in one. We went to a protest a few weeks ago as a family and it was very odd.

Life is different, of course. But its life and its all fairly normal now. Its normal to hear awful things on the news and get an ache in your gut. Its normal to have difficult conversations, and to require a break from those conversations. Its normal to stay home in our little patch of 1200 square feet. Its out of the normal to have a small gathering of 15 people. That feels like A LOT.

It was the 4th this weekend. President Assclown had fireworks show at Mount Rushmore — the first in over 10 years there — that managed to piss off Native Americans, environmentalists, and health experts. Dr. Anthony Fauci recommended that people NOT attend as face masks were not required by audience members and social distancing would not be encouraged or even possible — folding chairs were zip-tied together so individual chairs did not present a fire hazard. Assclown’s speech was full of fire, fury, and false truths — if not outright lies. If his inaguration speech was “American Carnage” this was part 2. Sickening, disgusting, and a sign that he’d rather continue with the easy lies and fear as a means of stirring his base. He has no interest or capacity to play the middle and bring people to his side. Which makes me hopeful for the fall, but scared of the tactics he might use if he were to lose the vote.

Everything is heightened. The disparity between rich and poor, black brown and white, men and women, old and young keep growing. Its awful and we need a leader who can find the common ground that we all need to stand on in order to start real change. Instead we have someone who calls Black Lives Matters members thugs, racists, and instigators in a war against “real” American values. While COVID-19 spikes in this country and his administration clearly bungled it all, he stands firm about statues. His big pronouncement is around dead white men, former slave owners and confederates. He stands with them instead of the people of this country who are living right now. He is a demagogue looking for a scapegoat, hanging onto power by his fingernails.

Coronavirus cases are indeed higher. While the mortality rate has decreased slightly, the number of cases are way up and hospitals are starting to become crowded. Personal protective equipment is harder and harder to come by, with nurses and doctors on the front lines reusing their masks more often than they should. Tests are still hard to get, and when they are taken, results can take days because labs can’t handle the volume. States that were quick to reopen are shutting back down again. European countries now have the virus largely under control and are banning travel of people from the United States. We are the new hotspot along with India and Brazil. Brazil, whose leader is also a despot. Lucky us.

And yet life goes on. Everything is more emotionally charged but it does go on. It feels pointless sometimes, it feels like we should all be doing something else to save ourselves. In my darker moments I feel like this is one big Darwin awards — fine, people who refuse to wear masks or believe science or that the virus even exists, let them get it. But then those people can infect heath care workers and occupy ventilators that could go to other people who were trying to be careful, who took the right precautions but got infected anyway. It makes me really despise human nature and the selfishness that we can exhibit.

If we don’t start caring about someone other than ourselves, we are doomed. And it makes me feel like we are indeed all doomed.

My statistic round up:

  • 11.4M cases globally with 534k deaths and 6.16M recoveries (mortality rate of 4.68%, down from 5.98% 5 weeks ago)
  • 2.93M cases in the U.S. with 132k deaths and 879k recoveries (mortality rate of 4.51%, down from 5.73%)
  • 16,991 confirmed cases in RI with 960 deaths (mortality rate of 5.65%, up from 4.8%)