Voluntary Guinea Pigs
Some states are opening up for business in some limited ways. Some of it is absurd. For example, hair salons and tattoo parlors are opening up in Georgia. How do you maintain six feet of distance between you and your hairstylist? (On a slightly different, but equally absurd note, motor boating in Michigan is prohibited. People are throwing fits about their right to fish. Their complaint is not valid. You can totally fish–from the shore or bridge or you can kayak or paddle your boat to the middle of the lake. Why human-propulsion is okay but motoring is forbidden mystifies me.)
What is fascinating is watching Michigan drop down the list of states with the most coronavirus infections. Which states are flying up the list? The red states, particularly in the South, with Republican governors that have no concern for the health of their citizens. But this is what their residents want. People are demanding their right to go back to work and get their lives back to normal. Some of these states are seeing their infection rates increase exponentially. If these people want to infect themselves, I am good with that. But they don’t have the right to infect the rest of us. I will color and trim my own hair if need be.
All of this is so fascinating because it is like watching a variation of the AIDS crisis. AIDS and the coronavirus started on the coasts, NY and CA or WA, and worked their way inward. Do you know where the epicenter of the AIDS crisis is today? The Southern states, the ones that don’t believe in real comprehensive sex-ed or condoms. San Francisco has its AIDS problem under control, as does NYC. Atlanta is the new San Francisco of AIDS infections. Fascinating.
I will never forget the late 1980s and early 1990s, when Blacks and gays screamed, “You just wait until AIDS is as common among white heterosexuals as it is amongst Blacks and gays! Then you’ll care.” Problem? It never happened. Conservative whites had a stronger moral foundation, apparently, than Blacks or gays. This is where the conservative emphasis on individual responsibility literally saved their lives. Blacks and gays were waiting for white conservatives to develop this thing called “empathy” for their fellow human beings. Once again, it never happened.
What is the difference between the coronavirus and HIV? Coronavirus is not sexually transmitted. Having morals ain’t gonna save you this time around.
Now it’s 2020 and I’m watching this virus flock to the red states, just like HIV. I am a-ok with these states trying out early openings. I can watch, safely from a distance, how this all plays out. I wonder if watching their own families and friends die will help these conservatives to develop some empathy or just help them to give a crap about others. Nah. Probably not.