From the very start, it’s been almost like opposite sides of the same coin. From the moment the pandemic crashed our national party there have been two separate responses. On the one side, almost every reputable doctor, and most progressive politicians have warned of the seriousness of the coronavirus, and have preached strict measures such as mask wearing, social distancing, and even stay-at-home orders to prevent the spread if the disease until we could get a handle on it. On the other side, pretty much anything with a (R) after its name laughed the crisis off as a supercharged fly, and promoted business as usual.
When the majority of Democratic led states started shutting down, and most national businesses followed suit, GOP dominated states had little choice but to at least pay lip service to social distancing, and make half assed efforts to follow suit. But far too soon, these states, led by Trump have chafed at the economic cost of saving the nation and plowed forward with rushed reopening plans for the economy, even though everybody knew it would result in a spike in cases, and nobody has been disappointed.
After weeks of flat out lying about the numbers in his state, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has finally started publishing accurate numbers while there are still Floridians alive to read them, and letting Mayors force public mask wear. Brian Kemp must have had a long chat with Mark Sandford and discovered the Appalachian Trail, cuz he’s MIA in Georgia these days. Texas Governor Greg Abbott actually left shutting Texas back down open as a last resort in a press conference yesterday. The Utah State Medical Board wants the state to shut back down if cases aren’t under control by July 1st, and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey basically said that while he’s too stupid to wear a mask, people should listen to their Mayors, and wear one themselves.
And while these spikes have been devastating, there’s something wrong in the numbers. Because while these states are reporting near daily record numbers in confirmed cases, hospitalization, ICU capacity, and ventilator use, and while the infection rate is back above 1.1 again, actual deaths from the coronavirus are down!
How is this possible? Nothing has changed fundamentally with the virus, not it’s transmission or ease of spread, and the fact that as people stopped wearing masks and for closer together it spiked again shows it’s still there. There has been no miracle cure, and no vaccine, so why are fewer people dying? Because while there is only one coronavirus, it’s been dealing with two different populations.
When the coronavirus struck, we old fogeys paid very close attention. After all, by all news reports, we were the virus’s favorite pasture to munch on, and when we got it, we tended to die. So, the scriptures of social distancing, mask wearing, and sheltering in place became our new catechism. But most reporting seemed to show that those 35 and under were somehow or other wonderfully resistant to the virus, almost seeming immune at the time. So social distancing, mask wearing, and shut down bars and restaurants were an unwelcome intrusion on their personal lives, and all because of a bunch of old farts and the flu.
When the states started reopening, we seniors largely didn’t take the bait. We’ve been around long enough to know when all’s clear. Just look around today when you go out, go to a store, and look how many seniors are plodding along, their masks in place, staying well away from anybody else, many wearing rubber gloves. But where you don’t tend to see us is clustered around the underwear box at Wal-Mart, or nattering over coffee in a restaurant, or hanging around a bar hoping they play Barry Manilow again. And you won’t for quite a while yet.
But the indestructible 35 and under crowd? Oh boy, they bit hook, line, and sinker. Crowding bars, and filling beaches and restaurants. There was a report last week about a mob of these goofs who went out to a bar after work, and within days, 16 of them had tested positive for the coronavirus. Oh, they’ve all had their Come to Jesus moment now, but it’s a day late, and a dollar short.
This is why the numbers are so skewed when it comes to the death toll, in the pre shutdown round, the virus preyed on older people as a natural fit, with their preexisting conditions, and when it got us, it tended to finish us off. Post shutdown? Us snow tops are laying low, and taking precautions, we’ve had plenty of experience at waiting. It’s these young immortals who are filling the public places. And since the virus can’t get at us, it’s hitting them instead. And while they may get sick, often critically ill, their youth and resilience are on their side, and they’re not dying.
That’s your second spike, and the reason for the variance in the death totals. Unfortunately, it isn’t going anywhere. As anyone who has raised a child knows, once they hit 17, you can’t tell them anything. And until enough of them, or people they know get sick, they’re not going to take this seriously, after all, when you’re young, bad shit happens to other people. And until they take it seriously, the spike will keep right on booming. And us old geezers? Hell, we’ll just stay at home watching the news, shaking our heads in amused pity at the foolishness of youth, and keep on tanking Trump’s economy. We old farts know how to party!
To know the future, look to the past.before the insanity of the 2020 election, relive the insanity of the 2016 GOP primary campaign, and the general election, to see how we got to where we are. Copies of President Evil, and the sequel, President Evil II, A Clodwork Orange are available as e-books on Amazon, at the links above. Catch up before the upcoming release of the third book in the trilogy, President Evil III: All The Presidents Fen
Follow me on Twitter at @RealMurfster35S