Looking at Probable Realities
Things are starting to get ugly across the country. Things are changing and it is hard to imagine what the new normal will look like.
Conservative governors are going to destroy their citizens and voting bases. All of the governors that refuse to issue shelter-in-place orders are Republican. They are going to destroy their own science-rejecting, reality-denying constituents. Karma is such a bitch. As a human and a Buddhist, my heart breaks for the unnecessary bullshit suffering. As a Democrat, I say, “Fabulous. Let them kill themselves and each other.” The problem? Their refusal to follow common sense guidelines imperils every single American to some degree. Like it or not, we are all in this together. I am avoiding everyone to protect them, not me. How could I not have been exposed?
Here’s the problem. We are extraordinarily late to the testing game. I suspect Trump is preventing testing to keep the numbers artificially low. Everyone knows about “flattening the curve,” where the increase in the number of cases slows and the graph starts to level off. By preventing people from being tested, the graph can level off. Flattening the curve will have been achieved–even as the actual number of cases and deaths is still accelerating. Who is being prevented from getting tested? Just about everyone that is not in the healthcare system or presenting with a ridiculously specific set of symptoms. I haven’t been tested. If people don’t get tested before they die, because they already have COPD, the number of coronavirus deaths will be bizarrely under-reported.
Here is something I have heard and desperately hope is not true. I saw some scientists comparing the coronavirus to the Spanish flu of 1918. Things were bad in the spring, improved a little during the summer, and came back even more deadly in the fall. If this is how it plays out, we are so screwed. But guessing is all we can do at this point, that and test, test, test. We can compare this outbreak with previous viruses. Have you heard the virus referred to as “novel”? I have. I have never heard that designation in my life, but it scares me. I so hope they are wrong.
I am trying to prepare for the autumn possibility of recurrence. But I suck. My motivation to do anything is close to zero. I have run into a wall of resistance. I feel like, “What the hell is wrong with me? This time off is the greatest opportunity ever!”
What do I think will really happen in this country? People will go stir crazy and start disregarding the guidelines. We will go back to work. Staying home indefinitely is just not practical for an entire nation. The states with the stricter guidelines will see an eventual decline in cases. States without such guidelines (or even forbid common sense measures, such as Mississippi) will increase their caseload and cases from those states will be shipped to states that have slowed the pandemic. It is already happening on a micro scale in Michigan. Detroit is overloaded and is now shipping some of their cases to Lansing. The pandemic is like water, seeping everywhere and soaking all of us. It affects everything and everyone.