Real countries fight COVID-19

Masks Are Great Again

It’s been a while since I wrote a COVID-19. If I lived in a country that took on the situation with, you know, science, we’d be on the downside of the curve. Back in mid-March, when Individual 1 said he was a wartime president, combating in combating the novel coronavirus, I thought “fine.” Though a tad hyperbolic, I thought, finally, he’s taking it seriously.

Of course, he then mucked it up bigly, with lies about everything from how long the virus would last to the availability of PPE.

Worse, though, was his astonishing self-contradiction. “Slow the testing down,” he says in Tulsa on June 20, where Herman Cain likely contracted ‘serious’ COVID-19 symptoms. His press secretary said he was kidding; he says he doesn’t kid. He proved it by moving to end federal funding for over a dozen testing sites. And he said he believes anyone who dies from Covid-19 is a ‘loser’.

Some of the states followed his lead into an infection disaster. Dr. Anthony Fauci says that if the US doesn’t take drastic action to arrest the spread of the coronavirus, we could see 100,000 new cases a day. We’re already more than halfway there.

Yahoos such as Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick claimed Fauci was “wrong every time on every issue” related to coronavirus. Patrick is the guy who, earlier this year, had suggested it was acceptable to “exchange” the lives of seniors in order to save the economy.

Ticking me off

It’s clear that “wartime president” response is shrinking. He seems to have waved the white flag. Is COVID-19 spreading too rapidly to be brought under control? “It’s not just discouraging. It’s enraging. The virus may be a natural development… But the reaction to that virus was a series of human choices.”

The United States could have had a coordinated federal testing program but it did not and does not. A 60 Minutes investigation has found that federal officials knew many COVID-19 antibody testing kits had flaws but allowed them to enter the U.S. market. Laredo, Texas is one of the many locales stuck with flawed assessment tools.

The United States doesn’t have a national system of case management and contact tracing. Leaving this to the states is grossly irresponsible.

The United States doesn’t have consistent nationwide regulations on how to conduct social distancing. The country relies far too much on local mandates as to when businesses and gatherings should be closed, or when/whether to enforce stay-at-home orders.

Masks are political?

Possibly worse, the United States doesn’t have something as simple as a national mandate to wear masks. They have been proven as one of the most effective measures in slowing the speed of the virus. Instead, you get to see Florida’s anti-maskers “taking a stand” for a false sense of freedom.

The webpage Medpage Today implores:Docs Must Stand Up for Public Health Officials. “We have laws against defecating in the streets. Is that infringing on somebody’s rights?” asks an exasperated Ted Mazer, MD.

Even “Fox & Friends” co-host Steve Doocy is on board with masks. “I think that if the president wore one, it would just set a good example. He’d be a good role model. I don’t see any downside to the president wearing a mask in public. MAGA should now stand for ‘Masks Are Great Again.’ Let me give you some marketing advice right there.”

As the recent Randy Rainbow song parody proclaims, COVER YOUR FREAKIN’ FACE!

We are dooming ourselves

The LA Times reported on July 3, “As California faces an alarming surge in coronavirus cases, officials desperate to keep people inside and away from crowds that will spark new infections are facing a challenging reality. Even though COVID-19 is just as dangerous as ever, people are less afraid of it, and that lack of fear during the Fourth of July weekend could bring disaster.” Throughout the country, social distancing protocols are clearly breaking down.

In the “are you kidding” category: Alabama students allegedly invite infected guests to ‘COVID parties’ in hopes of catching the virus. There are a lot of COVIDIOTS out there. Weak and selfish people, IMO.

As the Boston Globe reported recently, “With confirmed coronavirus cases spiking across the Sun Belt states, a range of evidence suggests that a job market recovery may be stalling. In those states and elsewhere, some restaurants, bars and other retailers that had re-opened are being forced to close again.” It’s also causing a strain on the medical infrastructure.

The Census Bureau notes “Adults in Households With Children Report Higher Rate of Late Housing Payments and Food Shortages Amid COVID-19.”

In other words, we could have had that downward trend that we knew how to do. But we didn’t. The Europeans don’t want American travelers. Folks in the Northeast want folks from the Sun Belt to self-quarantine for a couple weeks. The economy – the ostensible reason for opening up – is poised to tank as states are forced to close again.

Your optimistic assessments in the comments, please. I don’t have any, myself.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

One thought on “Real countries fight COVID-19”

  1. I am grateful that my mother (in good health, but she is 84) is fully retired and has enough money that she can just stay home and make weekly (masked up) runs to the grocery store.

    I am hoping and praying that when my campus re-opens in August for “in person” teaching (the current plan) that I can stay safe. I have masks and my department chair is going to try to get us those plastic face-shields like dentists wear – especially important if I have a student in class who needs to be able to read lips as an adjunct to hearing me speak. I will not lie: I am apprehensive as we have many, many commuter students, and a core of students who kind of feel “immune” from health problems. I hope we don’t wind up having to abandon campus in a panic a few weeks in, though this time we may be better prepared. I am just planning as if they will decide to go entirely online from Day 1 and have materials lined up that can be done remotely.

    I think back to April when I hopefully thought “Well, if people are good at locking down for a month or six weeks, we’ll drive the virus down to where it’s infrequent enough we can maybe go back out and not worry too much” but yeah, that didn’t happen. We are impatient children. I admit many times I have longed to just go to a craft store or a bookstore but have resisted that impulse. I hope it’s less than a year before I can give into it without being too concerned.

    More importantly: I hope it will be safe for me to travel (by train, too far to drive) to see my mother at Christmas but I fear even that will not be possible, that’s how badly we’ve, uh….micturated away the chance we had to get some kind of robust testing and tracing process in place, and to prevent a wildfire of cases.

    I feel like I’m one of the few playing the “marshmallow test” the way we’re supposed to and everyone else is grabbing and eating the marshmallows and there won’t be any left for people like me at the end.

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