Ok. Here it is— the day of no surprise. Coronavirus cases, and deaths from them are rising as bad as they were at the beginning of this whole mess, except in most of New England and New York State. Why is that? Not to put too fine a point of it, but it’s because we’re not stupid! Really, that is the answer. On March 28, I not a scientist, not an expert in any way wrote a piece called “Seriously, Don’t Be An Idiot, or Evil”.
I listened to the experts, I live with people who know enough to explain what was happening, and I talked to actual people I trusted to know what to do. Lastly, my state has a governor who did the same things. Ned LaMont, whatever you think of his politics , stepped up and led our state through the absolute hell of the period from March til now. People in other states saw what was happening. They saw Governor Cuomo give a daily briefing on how horrible or good things were. He told them “this is what you’re facing”. It was a learning moment/teachable moment and that should have been enough.
There were plans on how to cope with the virus. Most of our government didn’t follow the plans. Dr. Fauci did, or tried to describe what they were supposed to be, at the least.
We had a chance to stop this thing, and we didn’t. The government stopped believing in science. Then people played politics with it, and things got worse. The government kept protective gear away from certain states, possibly so they could make money off of the infighting between states, and things got worse here than they ever needed to be. But the rest of the country saw this happening! Did they not think it could happen to them??? I guess not. Meat packing plants kept opening against the advice of experts. Lots of people died.
Once we knew that asymptomatic people could transmit the virus, we here in the North understood that if we wanted to not kill others, we would have to wear a mask. A month later, the governor of Georgia, I think, suddenly discovered asymptomatic transmission was a real thing.
But putting aside the government’s response, people —individual people — with no particular institution they were attached to — decided that no one could force them to wear a mask. People were having anti-vax parties and now they were having “COVID parties”. They died, or they got really, really sick.
Back to people— regular people. They were told to social distance. They drank, and partied, and didn’t social distance. Surprisingly to no one they got sick. To prove that they knew what it meant to be free, people without masks brought guns to the State House of Gretchen Whitmer. I’m sure that some of them got sick. A state tried voter suppression by forcing people to vote in person. Worried for their lives, they went anyway. Some of them died. Then all hell broke loose and there were riots in the streets. Many of the protesters and rioters and the police wore masks. Still, rates of the virus went up. More people died or got sick.
Now Texas, Florida, and many other states have rising virus rates. Texas and Florida were warned time and time again (see above!) that this would happened. WHAT DID THEY THINK WAS GOING TO HAPPEN?!?!
Now, we’re here, at this place and this time, and we are back to square one. Do I care that people there will die? Of course I do. Do I care that idiots die of this thing? Kinda not so much!!! But here’s the problem: I have come to understand that you can’t separate the idiots from the innocent ones who had to put up with this insanity. They seem to live in the same place.
If there were a way to separate idiots and intentional killers out, I’d be happy to let them “take a long walk off a short pier”. I’d actually be ok with that. If you’re from out of state, and you did this, understand that now. I don’t want you here! Stay out! Deal with your own stupidity. You want to talk about personal responsibility and pulling yourself up by your bootstraps? Well, here’s your chance. Do it. Learn your lessons. Then, if you’re still alive, maybe you can come here. The problem is…
There are lessons to be learned here, things to take away from all of this. If you (or I) don’t learn these things, we are simply going to die. If you want to die, don’t listen to them. It is as simple as that.
1) Science really works. Listen to actual scientists. Learn from real experience.
2) The laws of science are bigger than politics. Since facts don’t care about politics, choosing politics over science is a deadly choice.
3) The laws of science are bigger than the economy. An unscientific world view kills economies. Ask the meat packers.
4) Because scientific facts apply everywhere , everyone is important. Inequality leads to death. Who was most hit by this pandemic? Senior citizens in nursing homes were. Those people we tried to forget about and throw away? They were the epicenters. The people who staff those places often don’t get paid enough, or there aren’t enough of them for the job. That person wiping poop off of your relative’s butt is just as important to society as the CEO who’s not. And all the deaths which will come from the protests , and the cheated-on voters? All of them would be less likely — unnecessary, in fact — if we valued Black lives as much as we do White ones. If we viewed poor people as at least as important as rich ones, meatpackers wouldn’t be dead. If we viewed immigrants as equal in value as citizens, they wouldn’t die in our fields, or in cages, with no way to distance. If we gave housing to the homeless, they wouldn’t be messing up the streets of Los Angeles, where another spread is happening.
5) Finally, because we all share air, and facts are for everyone there is no “least” of these. We actually are all in this together. If we don’t take care of each other, and have concern for one another, our society will die, and take all of us with it. If we don’t get that the unknown cashier is just as important as the famous celebrity, or the wealthy CEO, or the grandmother or the grandchild, when we tackle the climate issues we face (and we must do that, too) we’ll die again.
These are our choices. We can learn or we can choose not to. I pity us if we choose not to.
Resisting with Peace,