Four days close to the 9/11 toll. Apparently Stalin was right, one death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.
We’re nowhere near a million in the States right now, but averaging an American death a minute for the past two weeks, we’ve got the can-do attitude to try! As promised by our voted out President, the United States is number one!
I’m bitter this morning as I was at my Mom’s skilled nursing facility early this morning. They’re locked down to a Covid outbreak, but I was allowed special dispensation to come in. Mom’s not a Covid case, but the entire west wing of the facility is all positive.
I watch as people do the NIMBY version of masking and shutdowns, “How dare you tell us what to do!” The businesses I feel for, their at the whim of the general public, and until the public acts together to mitigate the crisis, their plans for themselves and their employees can only go test by test for a foreseeable future. They’ve no control outside their doors, and outside their doors, the virus knows no border, line, limit, or party.
But of the people, the public that the businesses rely on, the customers who “are always right,” a large enough precentage don’t give a fuck. They seem to believe the virus does care about what county you live in, has the wherewithal to know not to cross a state line, the brains to know who you voted for. And that special insight gives them permission to give the finger to anyone else trying to stem the tide.
A band I follow has a lyric, “Cause we’re breaking down, and I can tell it’s deep. / There’s a tidal wave that’s rushing towards the beach.” Feels all too true right now. I see the copy-n-paste commentary on pages crying out wolves of conspiracies and misinformation, comfortably ensconced behind their keyboards, while I read from health care workers on the raggedy edge, trying to take care of patients while fighting to take care of themselves as well. One that sticks out is a nurse in Idaho who watched a patient succumb to Covid over a couple ICU weeks, the whole time the patient arguing how Covid is a hoax. The nurse had been working fourteen hour shifts in the ICU for eight weeks at that point, sleeping at the hospital so she wouldn’t inadvertently get her family sick. All the while her commumnity protests wearing masks and distancing. Such is community support these days.
When 9/11 happened, the American people responded as one, as well as easily traded their privacy for security. But when we face a daily, recurring toll equivalent to that one day, simple tasks are too much too ask.
When the debates come up BLM v All lives matter, they’ll fight and scream at each other, but when it comes to actual lives, simple tasks are too much.