Like everybody else, the pandemic is "top of mind" 24 x 7 for me. I'm writing to help myself not internalize all of it. You can find other posts in the series at https://odonnellweb.com/pelican/tag/coronavirus.html
Today is day 46 of staying at home for us. That’s almost 7 weeks. So far I’m failing miserably at my suggestion that I might write less. That might please one or two of you.
So, what am I thinking about almost 7 weeks into this? Basically I’m thinking that if you think your personal freedom to do whatever the fuck you want is more important than the freedom for any of us to live in a society where we can walk into a grocery store with a reasonable belief that we won’t catch a killer virus in the process, then you don’t actually understand the concept of freedom.
There is a virus on the loose that could kill me, and probably has a higher probability of killing my wife. Warmer weather isn’t going to change that (see Singapore, where it’s always hot and humid.) The fact that we’ve successfully flattened the curve in a lot of places doesn’t change that. The fact that Donald Trump finds all this inconvenient for his re-election chances doesn’t change that. The fact that you find it inconvenient doesn’t change that. The fact that you are bored, miss going to bars, hate homeschooling your kids, or whatever doesn’t change the fact that this virus can kill any one of us, and scientists really have no idea why some of us get sick and recover, some of us die, and apparently most of us never even know that we were sick.
If you are whining on Facebook, agitating to open the bars and restaurants, or marching on the capital with an AR-15 slung low to cover up your tiny little penis YOU ARE THE PROBLEM. Just STFU and stay home. The virus doesn’t care that you are bored. The virus doesn’t care that you are scared. The virus doesn’t care that you can’t pay your rent or mortgage. I sympathize with the probable majority of people that weren’t financially in a position to go without a paycheck for a month. However, “going back to normal” while a killer virus runs amok doesn’t help you. The best case is you get a couple of paychecks before the sick overwhelm the hospitals and the government has to shut down the county again. The worst case is you miss me saying “I told you so” because you can’t hear me over the sound of the ventilator counting down the last moments of your life. If you really want to protest try protesting the government that bailed out Wall Street again while leaving you on your own, all in the name of freedom and personal responsibility. I got news for you, America is very much a socialist country, but only for the rich.
We do need to work our way back towards a functioning economy, but it needs to be done in a controlled manner. The plan put forth by the Trump administration was published by the American Enterprise Institute, a libertarian-ish think tank that will never be confused for a humanitarian organization. By their standards no state is ready to move into phase 1 opening because no state in this country is even close to having the level of widespread testing needed to control future outbreaks, not to mention nobody has any plan for contact tracing and nobody has even hit 14 straight days of declining infections. If you want to protest something try protesting the fact (yes it is a fact) that the Trump administration wasted about 70 days claiming the virus wasn’t a problem when they could have been stockpiling ventilators, PPE, tests, and other needed supplies.
But really, just STFU and stay home.