May 24, 2020
I watched the opening of the Coca Cola 600 with all the announcers and opening speakers offsite, drone live footage of the empty stands with the empty parking lots outside where thousands of RVs would have hosted parties and the drivers and pit crews six feet apart all wearing masks. It was eerie enough to make you realize the historic moment we’re in.
Jenny was sitting there with me and after all the Taps and 21 gun salutes and the flyover, she said, “What’s up with all the military stuff?” I said, “Uhm, Memorial Day?” and she and I appreciated the absurdity of how our days kind of blend together and it can be easy to forget where we are, calendar speaking.
Everywhere else I saw the images of the Ozark’s water park, the Sacramento “protest” that was more of a MAGA rally with special guests anti-vaxxer, Trump Pence signs and countless conspiracy theories than anything else, the footage of packed beaches. Some of my friends up here on FB were horrified, but I’d suggest that this perceived reckless behavior will undoubtably return valuable data. I mean, stay away from anyone for at least two weeks who is out there this weekend in the crowds and keep them away from vulnerable friends and family if you want to be careful, but in three to four weeks this weekend will really tell us how easily COVID19 spreads in the summer months. In essence these fellow Americans have volunteered for an experiment using live subjects.
If they’d been asked by our government to step up and volunteer to be part of this study for the “good of the country”, I wonder if they’d have. But for some this is “protest” and for others it’s just understandably getting out there after various shelters in place, precautions be damned, and it still works for data gathering, even when the Feds are encouraging scientist to stop tracking those numbers. I understand needing to return to work. This isn’t that. This is socializing with large groups of people in close spaces with no PPE effectively creating a rather large group of test subjects from which we can gather data on infection rates for the virus at this point in this pandemic.
And yes, if there are large numbers of new hospitalizations, our health care workers will bear the brunt of it. It’s irresponsible to give less than a squirt of shit about other people or the people who will eventually be the ones who may help you survive. But humans who don’t believe in science, let along shared sacrifice, don’t really care about all that. A lot of people are inherently selfish and stupid. I mean, come on, Donald Trump is President. That’s all you really need to know about a lot of Americans.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and just use the pre-Trump model of America and posit that had Hillary Clinton won in 2016 and this same virus appeared, we would have actually had a coherent Federal Response to it and may have had far less than half the 100 thousand US fatalities right now. We would be one of the leaders in a worldwide response to it and would have been on the ground last November working on ways to prevent the spread. If it got to our shores we would have implemented all the precautions a pre-Trump CDC would have recommended and we would have listened to the doctors and scientists. And we would have had a leader who was capable of compassion and empathy addressing our nation through this. And the Republicans would be beside themselves calling this the Clinton Apocalypse, the second 911 in terms of death, the End of the World because of horrible leadership that would have been far more science based, effective and organized than anything President Inject Lysol has done.
I’ll be watching for outbreaks discovered using cellular travel data (I didn’t realize this was a thing until recently) tracking people attending events then going back to their communities. I’m sure that’s all anonymous, right? Supposedly.
If we don’t see any new case clusters we’ll glean some valuable data regarding summer infection rates. That would be awesome. Thank you for taking part in this study. If we do see new hotspots well, hopefully states have secured PPE, Contact Tracing and health care capacity like California has. I suspect that the leaders and doctors in states that implemented Shelter in Place and worked to get to where California is all knew it would be nearly impossible to get all their citizens to abide by precautions and they knew this moment was coming eventually.
Three to four weeks. COVID19 doesn’t care about your politics. It is only looking for new hosts so it can reproduce. The people making decisions for SIP and all preparations for a New York proportion surge may very well be surprised it took this long for people to begin the Let’s Get Together and Test the COVID Spread Live Subject Study.
I for one salute these brave Americans who are out there taking part in the experiment to test summer transmission of this novel virus…. not really, but you work with what you’ve got, right? They are literally putting their lives on the line for science. Maybe it really is over despite seeing cities like Montgomery Alabama close to capacity in their ICU. Maybe the curve is flattened and bending downward. Maybe we’ve attained herd immunity. Maybe it won’t come back in the fall.
Regardless, the upcoming data will be useful and we thank you. I’m fortunate enough to be able to work from home and maintain my limited trips outside with my “mind control mask” and social distancing and to spend quality time at home with the best Shelter in Place crew I could ever imagine.
It’s too bad that most likely a significant percentage of the COVID Volunteer Exposure Force probably don’t believe in vaccines. A live sample this size would be nice to have to test efficacy and possible side effects if someone develops a COVID-19 vaccination and we need subjects to test it. Unfortunately the test subject crowd has already been notified by their YouTube that vaccines are just an evil left wing conspiracy to kill them all off, unlike the fake virus… or to microchip them, or SOCIALISM, or whatever. At this point I can’t keep up with it all. The manipulated acting out at other’s expense is painful. The stupid hurts. It’s exhausting.
Oh and we got a puppy. Tallulah is awesome.