Outrage, wherefore art tho?

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.

Cue the hatery (should commentry ensue)

The numbers state that in 2015, the US had over 33,000 opioid deaths. For this, our elected president declared a “national emergency” (yet nothing seems to have been done). 

Compare that with the 30,000  a year in the US from gun violence. Yet again, nothing’s to be done. It’s not just this president, it’s been this way at least since I could vote. The sophists we elected choose to offer hollow words rather than solid actions.

This comes to my mind this morning as I listen to the sound of gunfire this morning on NPR,  brought to us from folk’s video in Las Vegas. It’s a sound I’m intimately familiar with, as well as the effects on the human body. 

I turned off the radio, not my usual action on a Sunday morning. At a point in my life, I volunteered for a job that exposed me to such things so I could better myself with college. I made a choice, others who chose not to make that choice should not have to be exposed to such things. That, to me, is America. You can choose what and what not to do. 

Yet, we’ve become too accepting of death. The vice-president speaks to the mourning and tells them we “are united in our resolve to end such evil in our time,” but the talking heads prove we are not. The casusists will drown out reason with purchased words. 

Once again we hear “It was a tragedy of unimaginable proportions.” Just like the last one. Just like Columbine. Just like Newtown. Just like Aurora.  Just like Orlando. Sadly, it’s become far too imaginable.  

Yet, to speak of any of this publicly will heap scorn and threats upon the writers, even if all we do is ask ” what can we do?”

Spending most of my life in the West, I’ve a more then passing acquaintance with guns. There’s a purpose out here. Hunting for food; defense from dangerous critters who mean us harm while in the hills. But there also needs to be a reasonable limit. But for this topic, reason seems to be slapped down by polemics.