It has been a year since the outbreak began. A year ago, the models for C-19 said the ‘worst case’ could be from 3-6 million dead. That is with zero mitigation, no actions taken whatsoever. Best case scenario models were about 60,000-100,000 dead. We are 5 times the best cases models and 1/6 to 1/12th the worst cases scenarios created a year ago. Although not as bad as possible we are the worst example on the globe.
The numbers are down which is great, but down to a Titanic a day is not what I consider “All Clear”. Beats the hell out of a 9-11 every day, but is nonetheless a horror. Virologists and epidemiologists think we should remain in posture and get vaccinated ASAP. POTUS Biden announced everyone will be able to be vaccinated by the end of May. So, in my mind we may get back to something resembling normal by fall.
I expect it to be an altered normal. I expect that some people will continue to mask long after mandates and insistence by the CDC are gone. I will likely have an outdoor in public viral posture for life, as the general precautions for me with my pre-existing conditions spared me both the flu and at least one seasonal cold this year. They suck, but the flu sucks more.
People won’t mask everywhere, but will on the subway, or in crowded elevators, remember those? Some people will have adopted habits from covid which they learned also protected them from the common cold and flu. This year’s flu season (Annual Epidemic) was almost nonexistent because of viral precautions for C-19. We will also have the opposite, people who insist on never masking and who will mock or deride people who do, with no background knowledge on why those people are masking, but assuming it’s fear. Assuming that they are weak fearful people rather than intelligent people responding to a known threat.
I expect that to remain a political attack vector, and a damn stupid one. I recall some people reacting to seatbelts being mandated in the exact same fashion. Some people who see a simple imposition as a ‘restriction of Liberty!’ These same people often have no fucking idea what restriction of liberty actually is. This week one of the insurrectionists was caught on the phone live complaining how unfair it is that he has been in jail for a month, after posing for photos on the Speaker of the House’s desk armed with a cattle prod.
Any minority can tell you a month ain’t shit. I can myself recall several young black men, arrested for minor offenses, like a dime bag of weed, sitting in Rikers or some other hell hole like the LA Jail, for two years or more awaiting a trial, which in the end never happens because someone lost the dime bag of weed (50$). Two years of their life or more trashed, and what did they get? Nothing, GTFO, bye, our bad; with no legal recourse. Yet the white insurrectionist feels his month in jail is ‘unfair’?
White Privilege is what that is. White privilege is to me, a sense of entitlement, grown into over a lifetime, raised into as a child, an assumption that things are fair, the world is just, and the system works great for all. That all these things are what it is to be an “American” and that all Americans are entitled to such treatment by default, and if they receive treatment less than what their expectation is, they whine and complain. This man was at the center of the insurrectionist Mob, smiling, laughing, taking selfies with his feet up on Pelosi’s desk as if that was a good and noble thing. As if he was entitled to do that, never mind being armed with a Cattle Prod.
NY Times—”Richard Barnett, the Arkansas man charged with breaking into Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office and stealing her mail during the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, threw a tantrum during a virtual court hearing on Thursday, yelling at the judge and his own lawyers that it wasn’t “fair” that he was still in jail weeks after his arrest. One of the most recognizable figures from the Capitol assault, Mr. Barnett, 60, was photographed on Jan. 6 with his feet up on a desk in Ms. Pelosi’s office and a cattle-prod-like stun gun dangling from his belt.”
I cannot think of a single Native, Black, Latino, Asian, or any other minority I have ever known who would react in such a way at fucking court. Not pissing off the Judge is a prime consideration for every minority in the American legal system. Our legal system. Not to Mr. Trumpmobby though, Barret threw a fucking tantrum; go google the call. That is what the Trump supporters are, the White Privilege Party. That is what the GOP has become, and as evidence realize he is not the only member of the Mob who has acted out in such fashion, and therefore carry such a sense of privilege they think they are entitled to act out and throw tantrums in court and jail.
Stories like this are commonplace in all the minority communities. All of them. They are so common in Native, Black and Latino culture that everyone knows someone who has had some BS of that nature happen to them. Perhaps not to that extent, perhaps much more severely, but it is so pervasive that ‘everyone knows someone’. This is not third person knowledge, not hearsay. Its they guy who takes the bus with you, or someone you knew in HS you see occasionally at the store, but you know them. They are not just a name on a page. The WPP-GOP has no such reality and the ingrained sense of privilege to go with it.
As a side note to this thread I feel obliged to note ‘Charlamagne tha God’. An astute young man I saw on Real Time last night. The topic was ‘reparations for slavery’. I was unaware of the man; I had heard the name bantered and referenced but have no point of reference, I am utterly ignorant of his body of work. Wikigoogle shows him to be quite accomplished and I found him funny and astute, and for the most part I am in agreement with him.
I do take issue with one thing he said though, he said “Slavery is America’s original sin.”. Now that is a great turn of phrase; and it is true that until America address slavery and it’s evolution in a real way, there will always be a problem. America does need to address it’s history with slavery but it was not the original sin, only a part of it. America’s original sin was Invasion and Genocide of North America, which we call “Colonialization”.
America was not yet America, but Colonial Americans and Europeans were exploiting and murdering indigenous peoples on several continents. Natives stolen from Africa were enslaved here in North America while Natives here were savagely slain. Both indigenous groups were savaged by the colonial Americans, then citizens of the Crown. Both groups continued to be savaged by those Colonials even as they fought for freedom from that crown. Both groups continued to be savaged by those peoples under the new banner of “America”.
Those lavish southern plantations filled with slaves had to be first removed of their original inhabitants, who fought like hell to keep them. The owners, the original indigenous peoples of the Americas, over 500 nations of them, were forced to either leave or die. Slavery would never have been possible without the genocide and usurpation of Native Lands, which we call “America”.
In a great many places, the Original Native Name for land features remain as gravestones to the culture we usurped and exterminated to make way for a Chattel Slave economy. To say ‘Slavery is America’s original sin” is to deny the genocide which occurred before, during, and after the emancipation proclamation. Slavery is the sin on the back of Genocide; the beast with two backs.
In my mind these causes are linked as they were created entwined, and as both involve the exploitation of indigenous peoples. As the indigenous Americans were slaughtered to make way for the ‘Colonialists’, the indigenous people of Africa were captured and sold into slavery. Both groups were exploited in an intertwined effort by White Europeans of Christian background, with religious permission to do both from the highest Christian sources.
Since tribal or indigenous peoples were not Christian, they had no rights under the law and were seen as subhuman savages no matter if they were from Africa or North America. This was, and is, the Doctrine of Discovery. The Doctrine of Discovery gave them religious and legal authority to take slaves, as those slaves had no rights in Africa. After all they were not White European Christians under a king, were they? The same Doctrine was used to justify the wholesale extermination of Native Peoples in North and South America.
“The Doctrine of Discovery is a concept of public international law expounded by the United States Supreme Court in a series of decisions, most notably Johnson v. M’Intosh in 1823. Chief Justice John Marshall explained and applied the way that colonial powers laid claim to lands belonging to foreign sovereign nations during the Age of Discovery. Under it, title to lands lay with the government whose subjects travelled to and occupied a territory whose inhabitants were not subjects of a European Christian monarch.”-Wiki
The Age of Discovery is when the White European came to America. Plymouth Rock was founded under this Doctrine which literally means “I am a Christian from Europe under King Anyone, therefore these lands belong to him because I set foot here, and you are not Christians under European rule. So Fuck you, This land is my land. Don’t like that, eat cannon fire and musket ball, with many side dishes of disease and starvation for good measure, or never mind, I don’t want this land, I’ll just take you..”
Now here is my main bone of contention with ‘Charlamagne tha God’. Slavery ended in its Chattel form, but remains in many ways, from Jim Crow to the KKK to BLM and our criminal justice system. Slavery did not really die out, it evolved into the BS we have now. A little less lethal but never approaching just, that is why reparations make sense. Yet as I write this that very same Doctrine of Discovery is used against Natives here, to still take their lands, under the very same guise. Sherrill v. Oneida Nation, 2005.
Slavery is the sin on the back of Genocide; the beast with two backs. I think that the fight for justice, for equality and reparations can be neither just nor equal unless it includes the Native American Nations. Natives from two continents worlds away both had their cultures destroyed, both had their languages forbidden, both were force fed Christianity, and both still suffer under the same boot now written into law. In the African case they were forcibly removed from their homelands and forced into the white man’s world. In the Native American case, their homelands themselves were taken and they were forced into the white man’s world. One yanked off the carpet and one having the carpet yanked from them. At the same time, and in both cases it continues today in an evolved form.
I oft told my children “You cannot unring a bell”. This situation seems to me like such a case. We cannot unring the bell of Genocide of the Natives, or Slavery. We need rather to recognize that in many ways those bells are still ringing, even still being rung by some. We need to silence those bells wherever we find them, whether that is in the food desserts of LA or the chambers of Congress. Reparations must take the form of silencing those damn bells.
The Numbers are improving, but I am loathe to use the term good. The holiday spike has passed and the numbers have come back down to the horrid summer and fall numbers again. Back to “a Titanic a day keeps the morticians in pay”. Despite this the Texas Governor says Texans don’t need the Government telling them what to do. The TX Lt. Gov said he does not need Dr. Fauci’s advice.
Dollars over common sense and decency. “Please come back and eat at my restaurant, or drink in my bar, attend my event. It is far more important for me to get paid by you than for you to remain Covid free.”
Half a dozen other GOP states followed suit. This is a dangerous foolishness steeped in privilege. How is it that Texans feel the Government is telling them how they may live, when it is a medical crisis and simple public health measures to respond to it? If this were a fire, and the firemen said, “you need to stay out of the way.” You then scream “I am losing business! My customers cannot shop!” To which the firemen respond “Your store which is next to the fire right now, we are putting out the fire! You cannot open now; your store might catch fire!” So, the Governor decides go ahead open your store, fuck the firemen, fuck the fire, this is Texas.
Afterwards he expands and says ‘People need to use their personal judgement’. We use mandates for viral protocols precisely because personal judgements vary widely, and a viral response requires cohesion to be effective.
We are at the cusp, we are gaining ground, and the GOP wants to quit the fight because they are petulant kids who do like taking health orders? “I don’t like being told “I have to brush my teeth, so I don’t!” Yes, restrictions are a pain in the ass; yes, they restrict business; yes, they are costing us all; and you know what else they do? They save lives and prevent the spread of a novel virus we still do not fully understand. So what money, business, and economy; as well as personal liberty are of more import than saving lives?
I anticipate another spike in the bible belt just like last year and for the exact same reasons. They don’t like it, well welcome to the fucking club, no one likes it. Grow the fuck up, it’s a damn pandemic.
As the GOP does this, they fight the Covid relief bill, stalling, blocking, insisting parts are removed.
We are at the one-year mark. I have already survived this longer than I expected because of my preexisting conditions. Compared to most I am sure my restrictions are higher. I remain in one room all day every day. My room is winter sealed and under constant HEPA filtration. If I exit the room for food, drink or the bathroom I am N-95 masked. I am, in my own psychology, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Have I done all this only to relax and, get C-19, and die? Vaccines are in transit, but I won’t get an appointment for a while, too young by 6 years or so. Although I know of many people much older than I with less health issues the criteria is age + pre-existing conditions.
Two weeks ago, TX had an unusual cold snap, and many people still do not have potable water. That cold snap is my normal for this time of year. Right now, in TX spring is popping up, cottonwoods getting ready to bloom, average temps in the 70’s, not the 6 degrees it is here, plus wind of course. My world is white and frozen, Texas this time of year is green unless your out in the El Paso, in the desert.
My fear is that Texas and the Bible Belt’s loss of posture will give an opening to the variants out there. The worst is the South African which is not affected as well by the vaccine, which has re-infected survivors of the original flavor, which is more contagious and more dangerous because treatments we developed in the last year, it is non-responsive to. If these states relax and give the SA strain a foothold, then we all go back to square fucking one while down a half million Americans from the original flavor.
I surely hope that is not the case, but it feels like Tx is putting the gloves down by their side because its round 13, and they believe they have won the fight, and besides they are tired. You better hope the other Boxer is in the same boat or a glove has your name on it. I hope I am wrong.
Global Infected 113,873,450 116,600,908
7-day average 389,636 infections diagnosed daily –Up
Global Dead 2,526,906 2,589,638
7-day average 8,961 deaths daily –Down Dramatically (about 75%)
USA Infected 28,554,887 28,953,217
7-day average 56,904 infections diagnosed daily –Down
USA C-19 deaths 511,998 524,362
7-day average 1,766 deaths daily –Down
Maine Infected 44,634 45,794
7-day average 165 infections diagnosed daily –Down
Maine deaths 703 706
7-day average 0.42857 deaths daily –Down
As I hid in my hilltop retreat 62,732 of my fellow humans died of C-19, of those 12,364 were my fellow Americans and of those 3 were my fellow Mainers.