Surviving Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) Day Two

Surviving C-19 Day Two
April 2, 2020 7 AM
74 Days since first US infection

Global Increase89,6675,880
USA Increase27,0891,056
1,056 Americans died since yestermorn

America has still not caught up to other nations in levels of testing.  Trump mucked up the first tests, refused the WHO tests preferring “American” ones, and thus we remain largely untested.  If you have severe symptoms and live in the right place, maybe you can get a test.  Are you rich, famous, or well connected, then no problem apparently. After all we tested whole NBA teams, but the fans, not so much. 

America sees this nationally, we see the need for a national health service, one which protects ALL the nation, not just the wealthy.  In a national threat those rich folk’s hospitals are in the same boat we are, we, the unwashed public.  The UK learned that harsh lesson in the Blitzkrieg, that in a national crisis we need a national health.  I wonder if Americans will learn and insist on a national health system for ourselves.

            Trump’s lack of action seems to perplex everyone, to me it looks like a simple divide and conquer tactic.  The same thing Putin desires, a divided America.  A divided America is Trumps election and re-election strategy.  C-19 insists on a unified response, or death, pick one.  Trump is selecting death to preserve his base, because to do otherwise is to alienate much of his anti-Government conspiracy driven base.  He fears if he acts too nationally they will see him as the ‘Deep State” who sold them out, and he will lose re-election. 

The GOP is furious because all the policies they despise for the sake of “The Economy” (Read rich mostly white people exploiting Americans for personal profit) are socialist and designed to help the people and our society. C-19 makes people see the need of a unified health system. Americans see the need and who is helping them, and who is not.

            The partisanship which was rife, is still rife.  GOP Governors all over the nation fear to close their states for virus control, because of the economy and their donor class supporters.  Others fear to do so without Trumps approval, but he and the VP have denied both responsibility and even involvement.  They take little action and leave the states to fend for themselves.

            The opposite of E Pluribus Unum.  It is so bad it has the appearance of an actual divide and conquer tactic for political reasons, ie, “If we let each state act on its own millions will die, but most of those millions will be Dems right?”,  A notion that the rural nature of the Red States will reduce spread and  the big blue cities will die, not “flyover” country which is strongly GOP.  Hence a hesitancy to act, for political reasons.

I’m tired of the horrid thoughts, and that was another. Another instance of the “Temptation of meaning”.

  I wondered briefly “is this an actual op, for Putin/China?”  Is Trump a Soviet “useful Idiot” which Putin fully expected to bungle everything and then the pandemic happened? I am not saying C-19 is a bio weapon.  First that idea has no legs, we know where it came from already.  Second, bio-warfare has a nasty habit of shooting the shooter in the face, you let a bug out as a weapon you may kill yourself even if you had a vaccine, it can mutate and kill you..  Further even if a bug was created it would never be possible to determine who made it, who loosed it or why.  To think it was bio warfare is to support the idea of a real world Dr. Evil, out to destroy humanity entire.  So I do not suspect bio-warfare at all it is another “Temptation of Meaning”.  The real time problem is “Will Putin attempt to exploit the  C-19 pandemic to his advantage?”  Are we prepped for those contingencies?

            Florida has charged a megachurch pastor with violating the distancing regulationss.  The Pastor held a mega service, and insisted the believers shake hands to prove they were not afraid of the virus.  “The Holy Ghost does not suspend common sense” Rev Al Sharpton’s comment the next morning. I thought “Belief in the Holy Ghost requires the suspension of common sense and it’s replacement with magical thinking.” Nonetheless a valid point from the Reverend and indicative of the religious rift in America.

            “E Pluribus Unum, out of many, one: motto of the U.S., appearing on most U.S. currency and on the Great Seal of the United States.  E Pluribus Unum is the traditional motto of the United States. Its inclusion on the seal was approved by an Act of Congress in 1782.  While its status as national motto was for many years unofficial, E Pluribus Unum was still considered the de facto motto of the United States from its early history.”-Wiki

            In 1956, during the height of the red scare we adopted H. J. Resolution 396 which made “In God we Trust” the official motto.  We have forgotten the meaning and value of E Pluribus Unum, we have been divided by the supporters of “In God we Trust” for decades, turning American against American so they can retain power and legislate their religious ideas into law over all of us, no matter what, if any, religious view the citizen holds.  That needs to end, the rampant church in state needs to end because not all of us are in churches and those that are religious are in different churches with different ideas, so what is beliefs are legislated by believers might not match your beliefs at all.  We need our Motto back, and even more we need to grasp its meaning and intent.  To grasp why it was embraced by the founders.  Look up “Porky’s Pledge” on you tube and see that our original pledge of allegiance does not include God in any way, not until the red scare, not until some believer legislated it onto all of us.

We need to unite to face a lethal viral threat, E Pluribus Unum.

            Meanwhile the cruise ship off Florida is a petri dish with human guinea pigs.  The Governor won’t let it doc, won’t let them off, unless they are Floridian, not American but Floridian.  Nope, you did not read that wrong. I guess Florida is no longer a part of America.   Seems immoral to me to let humans die when you could take action and all this comes from self-professed Christians who seem to have never read the book nor understood it precepts.  Christians all pick and choose which parts of the text they adopt and it seems like those in positions of power forget those bits about loving your neighbor as yourself.  Ethics and Morality questions ought to be required for office. 

We need to take these offices a lot more seriously, representatives, senators and the POTUS ought to be selected like we select astronauts.  Can you meet these criteria?  Are you smart enough, quick witted enough, diplomatic enough, psychologically fit, and ethically equipped to hold these offices of power?  I find more politicians inadequate to the tasks at hand in this new digital era. 

We can no longer permit ourselves to be led by those with the best support and best charisma and the most funds.  We cannot afford be run by those who can sell themselves the best.  Rather we need to insist upon the best, brightest, most adaptable, most diplomatic people we have.  We need to create a criteria for office, some standardized testing, health and fitness standards, educational requirements, an ability to understand and properly delegate authority in order to properly run an organization as big as the USA. 

            A rift runs through this nation, not on red and blues lines, not on wealth and poverty, not on race or ethnicity, but between the fervent believers and everyone else.  This rift affects all the rifts above and actually empowers racist, misogynistic, classist and political ideologies.  People who fervently believe see that belief as the paramount thing in their lives.  This worldview unites them as they desire that worldview/belief system above all else.  Many love it so much they are willing to set aside other lesser beliefs in order to support that one. 

This is not a majority, it is a vocal minority with roots grown into the power structures purposely.  Rather than live freely in a secular society which allows them those religious freedoms they want, they would prefer to legislate those beliefs into law so the world mirrors their worldview.  They ignore the commandment “Be ye in the world and not of the world” choosing instead to try to create the world in such a fashion that they can be in it and make it match their ideology.  That is a Theocracy, in America it is a desire and attempt to twist our secular nation into a theocratic one, a “Christian nation”, when it never was.

            I find it both telling and terrifying that it is these “Christians” as representatives, senators, governors, statesmen and the POTUS (who is a tolerated poser) are strongly GOP, whereas the majority of believers are traditionalists who do not believe their ideas ought to be forced onto others via law, but rather are the personal responsibility of each individual, between themselves and God, hence “In the world and not of the world”.  This movement amounts to a Christo-Fascism, a push toward a theocratic authoritarian style America. 

            The dark part of my soul hopes all such people fail to follow protocols and the Darwin effect removes the problem for us.  The human in me knows that is both false, (if they get ill, we get more virus for a longer time period) and lacking all empathy.  I will not devolve into the thing I detest in order to combat it.  “This above all: to thine own self be true. And it must follow, as the night the day.”

            In these recent days I have done a lot of surfing.  I look at MSNBC, CNN, and FOX first.  Since they all repeat their main stories ad nauseam its does not take too long.  I follow with French news, BBC, Canada, Australia, Africa, and Asia, much of through BBC affiliates.  I have noticed that the advertising reflects that same religious rift as well.  Most of the advertisers on FOX are either fervent believers themselves or support endorse that world view for power, politics and profit, even if they do not believe, or fervently believe.  It all seems aimed at that demographic.  If I swing further right to Brietbart and Co, then it rapidly becomes conspiracy world, with similar advertising.  If I swing left the ads shift to Big Pharma and autos and various credit cards.  On Fox will be an ad for the WWE event which won’t ever appear on CNN or MSNBC, followed by My Pillow (owned by a fervent Christian) or even ads for prayer apps which will also never air on those networks.  It is inverted on MSNBC.  No business person will waste ad dollars on a demographic not likely to be interested, so it is easy to see and confirm this religious bias in the ads themselves.  I truly hope someone with far better skills than I researches this and exposes the actual data, the appearance looks damning, but appearances can deceive.

            Here are the headlines through Ground news this morning.

“US Jobless claims spike to 6.6 million”
“More than 500,000 cases of C-19 in Europe”
“Duterte tells PI police to shoot dead lockdown troublemakers”
“Italy’s death toll far higher than reported”
“C-19 mask advice to change after new evidence emerges”
“Spain’s Coronavirus death toll surpasses 10,000 after another record daily toll”
“Pentagon seeks 10,000 body Bags for civilians in C-19 Crisis”
“EU health minister tests positive”
“EU urges restraint using Hydroxychloroquine malaria drug”
“Why China wants to test C-19 Vaccine abroad”
“Engineer tried to crash train into USNS Mercy in Los Angeles”
“Trump says he’s considering travel bans to C-19 hot spots”
“More than 1000 in US die in a single day from c-19, doubling the worst daily death toll of the flu”
“Healthy looking people spread C-19 studies say”
“Iran’s C-19 death toll passes 3000”
“UN nuclear agency sending testing gear to 40 nations”
“Russian Military plane with C-19 aid lands in US”

            As I watch the pandemic in real time, in an age of information the likes of which Homer could not have dreamt, my goal is to both give a window into my personal experience, my thoughts and feelings in real time, and document the tragedy in real time for the historians to judge, if we still have any.  The breadth of the pandemic reminds me of the words of Philosopher Slavoj Žižek in the “Examined Life”.  In that work he was speaking about ecology, but his point is very valid here and deserves consideration.  Forgive me Slajov, for my paraphrase.

            “I use ideology in the traditional sense of illusory, wrong way of thinking and perceiving reality.  Why? Ideology is not simply dreaming…about false ideas and so on.  Ideology addresses very real problems, but it mystifies them.  One of the elementary ideological mechanisms, I claim, is what I call the temptation of meaning.

            When something horrible happens, our spontaneous tendency is to search for a meaning.  It must mean something. You know, like AIDS. It was a trauma.  Then conservatives came and said its punishment…for our sinful ways of life, and so on and so on.  Even if we interpret a catastrophe as a punishment, it makes it easier in a way… because we know it’s not just some terrifying blind force.  It has a meaning.  It’s better when you are in the middle of a catastrophe.  It’s better to feel that God punished you than to feel that it just happened.  If God punished you, it’s still a universe of meaning.

            Nature is a big series…of unimaginable catastrophes.  We profit from them. What’s our main source of energy today? Oil.  What are we aware- What is oil?  Oil reserves beneath the earth are material remainders…of an unimaginable catastrophe.”

            I find this section of his work very aptly describes what I am witnessing in real time from our POTUS.  He has been in denial and remains in denial because the crisis is literally beyond his ability to imagine it.  “I’ve seen things I’ve never seen before!”-Donald Trump, president of the United States of America.

            It is yet another unimaginable catastrophe, it has no meaning but what we bring to it, and sadly the response we bring to it requires imagination, innovation, and action, none of which the POTUS seems to have.  His ability is charisma and getting other people to do things for his profit, not improvising solutions to the benefit of all.  This problem is compounded by his flagrant egotistical notion that he knows better than anyone, about everything. It was this aspect of his personality which caused him not to act.  He blocked the travel and became convinced that was enough, no need to muck up “the economy”.  He then held that bias, in his own determination, and his quotes illustrate that.  Gradually he is coming to the realization that this is not what he thought it was, but he never admits wrongdoing, never accepts responsibility. 

            Our POTUS, Donald Trump said “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China.”  On Jan 22, then did nothing stateside for weeks, no quarantine; no nationalization of industry to prepare for the viral war ahead; no activation of a national disaster to open up avenues of revenue to aids the states; and no use of the military to fight the virus that he is, in the end, responsible for.  Our unified response does not exist because Donald Trump did not utilize the office of POTUS to create a unified response. Rather he divides us into 50 separate pieces and says he will support those. 

            To this old cold war vet that is a divide and conquer tactic, something one would see from an enemy and thus a matter of national security.  It does not matter if it was a puppet or an incompetent acting in this fashion, the threat they place the nation of America is the same.  “I don’t take responsibility at all”;   that is our POTUS on Mar 13, blame shifting his inaction onto the states, dividing America against America, and yet another illustration of why we need to enact much better standards to qualify for POTUS.

In this digital age many things have changed.  News became corporate, for profit news.  In so doing it fractured from a few reputable TV stations and a backbone of newspapers the vast majority of which had great records of fact based news, with opinion restricted to the opinion section; to a morass of politically slanted networks each competing for views, watches, ratings, clicks, likes and shares.  In order to find a semblance of news a person is required to view a great many networks and perspectives in order to sift it out for themselves.  Most people never had the time to do that and so lived in a bubble of their own making, inadvertently reflecting the biases they already held and rarely if ever communicating with someone who holds a differing view.

            As a result of that the late night comedy shows evolved.  The first I noticed this was with the Daily Show with John Stewart, this was under G.W. Bush I think.  I have never been a big consumer of TV and for much of my life did not own one.  After VHS I collected films, but I cannot stand to have carpet baggers barking at me with some bs I don’t need and I have no desire to invite them into my home, so cable and broadcast TV have never been a thing in my life.  I missed all those social clues like “Did you see last night’s episode?”  No, I did not, I went out.  I had cable for a few years when my children were young, but dropped it before the millennium. As streaming came about, I adopted that.

Now we had a late night comedy show, which was humorous but also delivered the raw facts. Facts often buried or spun out of all context in the TV news, which was now indistinguishable in many cases, from the opinion columns of the newspapers.  The average person became inured to that crucial difference, between a panel of people talking about an event, like a plane crash, and the actual news of that plane crash.  After about 20 years the population began to not see the difference and to call a political opinion show, news. While this was happening the late night comedians bloomed, show after show, some with well-known names like Bill Maher, and others with people we had never seen. 

They had spin offs as good as the originals and new competitors on ever expanding networks as systems grew.  Alongside this grew the ever expanding world of data which began with the internet, expanded into phones and merged into one.  During this time I was always online, but I’m an analog man as Joe Walsh puts it.  Online I can stream content from all over and have access to the multiple data streams you need to get some clue as to what the fuck is going on.

Social Media came along, seemingly to give everyone a voice, but all that happens is the reinforcement of our own cognitive bubbles.  Our devices become full of people who think and believe as we do, and thus we rarely even hear the argument of the other side, instead we hear some pundits spin of that, some meme mocking it, some argument twisting it to fit some held bias.  We all wind up in little digital bubbles. 

C-19 does not care about your bubble, it does not care what you think, and it does not care how you feel.  It is another evolved life form, like us, only it evolved to use us as a four star hotel honeymoon suite and these C-19 squatters tend to tear down the walls.

You can probably guess, I don’t do smartphones.  I own an  I-Phone 6, which is my I pod for my truck.  I hated the damn thing, bad enough people can call while you’re driving, “fuck off already I’m driving here!”

By the time of Trump it became possible to call facts fake if they did not align with your bias and preferred networks and Trump touted any negative press as “Fake News”.  He treated C-19 that way too, at first, until its stark reality came to bear upon him.  “Nature is a big series…of unimaginable catastrophes” and C-19 is one of those, we have to hope Trump is able and willing to react and that does not seem likely today.

Headlines from the web since this morning
“Dr. Fauci forced to up security due to increased death threats”
“24,000 Americans stranded abroad from C-19”
“Healthy 30 yr old teacher dies of C-19”
“Senator Chuck Schumer calls for ‘Military Czar’ to handle C-19 response”
“Trump invokes Defense Production Act for ventilator manufacturing”
“Coronavirus mask policing: Texas city ready to fine citizens $1K for not covering up”
“U.S. eases ban on gay blood donors amid coronavirus”
“Italy reports 760 more deaths from C-19”
“Global confirmed cases pass 1 million”
“NY has ventilators for another 6 days”
“Democrats postpone convention till august because of C-19”
“Bolsonaro says C-19 not all its being made out to be”
“Iran’s parliamentary speaker positive”
“Canada’s C-19 cases pass 10,000”
“UK C-19 death toll rises to 2921, up 24% in a day.”
“Trump considering domestic flight and travel restrictions”
“Trump issues new guidelines on nursing homes”
“Nancy Pelosi forms bipartisan commission to oversee how the 2 trillion in funds are dispersed”
“France death total rises by 471, total 4503 deaths”
“US Naval command relieves commander of virus stricken aircraft carrier”
“US Nurse, “I feel like I am a sheep going to slaughter, I’m 28.”
“Millions of children potential collateral damage”—Africa

Trump Briefing quotes Transcribed by me in real time
“We are in a very critical phase in our war against the cornona virus”
“We’re going to save a lot of American lives”
“We’re in control of our own fate, very much so”|
“The paycheck prevention program launches tomorrow”
“Visit” they need help.”
“It’s witch hunt after witch hunt after witch hunt”
“Conducting these partisan investigations during a pandemic is a really big waste of vital resources.”
“We will win this”
“President has tested negative for C-19”

Why doesn’t Trump volunteer his properties to help with C-19?  Inconvenience? Why not tell his kids, who supposedly run all that, to put it all at the USA’s free disposal and be an actual heroic figure?  Answer, it is not in his nature.

When I heard this response tonight from him, I had to replay it immediately, and several times over to be sure I heard that correct.  I did.  Our POTUS chose the fate of our EU allies over that of our own citizens, more than once.
“”They had a big order for Italy for important outfits, and uh some ventilators, they made the order a long time ago and I said you gotta let it go, they had an order.  I could uh cut it, under the act I could have cut it . . . I said nope, you can’t do that, ya gotta let it go you know they got big problems but I said let it go, they have big problems, you had an order going to Spain, I could have stopped it, but I said let it go, we’re gonna be fine, let it go.”

“We’re going to be fine”, never mind we need respirators and PPE right now, nevermind that our Drs and Nurses are dying without those shipments?   We, in his mind are better disposed to die than the Italians or Spanish?  We are what, immune?  The CIC’s first obligation is to protect his citizens, not the fine citizens of Italy or Spain, while we die.  Italy and Spain both have leaders who are doing that for them. Where is the leader who protects the US Citizen?

Isn’t his slogan “America First”?

1011490 Infections                 52863 Deaths
242182    Us Infections           5850 US Deaths
While I streamed, surfed, watched TV and wrote today 59,589 were diagnosed with C-19 while another 4,579 died from it. During that time another 25,460 of my fellow Americans were diagnosed with C-19 and another 713 died.

Here in Maine we have 376 cases that is up by 32 cases.
Here in Maine we have 5 more hospitalizations but no new deaths.
Here in Maine we have very limited resources and personnel.

As a history buff I know that Nero did not fiddle while Rome burned, but nonetheless I wonder if that felt much like this.

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