Living with Coronavirus
Sunday May 30, 2021
I am ashamed this morning, not for the first time, but this morn is perhaps the most ashamed I have felt about my own nation. I was ashamed at Iran Contra, ashamed at the bloody quest for nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, ashamed at Mei Lai, ashamed at our genocidal ‘westward expansion’, and ashamed over and over again during the Trump presidency. All those feelings were over incidents. A poor, ignoble, or even bloody mess America made.
Today’s shame is qualitatively different.
On January 6, 2021 Americans attacked our nations Capitol. The crowd assembled at the request of then President Trump who promised chaos in his tweet “will be wild”. The crowd was egged on and amped up by the body of speakers, who lied to the crowd claiming the election was stolen, and urged them to go down to Congress.
Among this crowd were Trump supporters of a different ilk, one’s intent on mayhem and destruction, even murder, all to stop the Congress from preforming it’s sworn duty. Waving the American flag, alongside Trump flags and Christian flags, Blue Lives matter flags, and even the Confederate flag. These flags were often props for weaponry. There were flags hung on spears and baseball bats, as well as pipes and bars, all of which were used against the police in violent hand to hand combat.
Police were beaten with these flags. One died and 140 odd police sustained injuries, some serious. All were threatened, demeaned, and screamed at for hours.
We assume we all saw that, and I think most of us have by now. However, if you watch Fox or even further right news media like Newsmax or OAN, you do not see the violence. Instead, they show video from earlier, or far to the rear, where people were happy and calm, and claim the Dems are making it all up. The reality is both are true, people in the rear were older noncombatants, and people to the front were younger and came prepared to fight. As Trump and his cronies said, “fight like hell” and trial by combat” as well as many references to our revolution in 1776.
The attackers saw themselves as good, loyal patriots as they attempted to destroy what they claim to love, America.
This week the Senate voted on a commission to investigate Jan 6th, and find the truth, but the GOP, except for six brave and honest Senators, blocked the bipartisan investigation. It is obvious to all why they would do so, because such an investigation will shine a light on their own culpability, either act or by omission. Failing to act against the attack.
In crime, that is an accomplice after the fact. If you know of a crime and do not report it, you become an accomplice to that crime after it happened, because you chose to ignore the crime. In this case, since it was GOP supporters, Trump supporters, and perhaps even sitting members of Congress; any investigation seeking the truth of ‘how did this happen’ will illuminate the actions and failures to act, of the GOP. In short it would smear them with their own acts as the lead up to re-election, so they want no investigation.
Choosing their own welfare and re-elections over the security of the nation.
This is what makes me, as an American, feel such a deep shame today. Only 6 Senators from the GOP actually have integrity. The rest are self-centered people concerned only with the retention of power and money. This act ought to make them all ineligible for re-election because the job requires integrity. It requires putting the nation first and yourself second.
The opposite of Trumpism.
It is also not very bright or forward thinking. If they sought not to have the Jan 6 incident investigated, how do they fail to realize that over 400 criminal trials are pending on the attackers? Those cases will slowly wind their way through the courts and be newsworthy all the while.
I expect, based on polls and declarations, that the ‘base’ of the GOP won’t ever hear about those cases. They won’t be shown on their alternative news sources, like OAN, Newsmax and Fox. They have been coached over several years now to disbelieve news sources but believe their news source. Many have embraced QAnon, or downstream ideology from QAnon. That is they did not hear it from a Q source, but heard the idea repeated by people they know or a news source they now trust because Trump told them to trust them.
So, the bank robbers have just declined to have an investigation about the bank robbery, more or less. These same GOP members expect little or no fallout from failing to act to protect the nation from future assaults because their supporters won’t ever hear about that. They watch Fox, or OAN, or Newsmax, and those networks will simply not report on that.
“This is America” as Mr. Gambino says . . .
On the viral front we are doing well, but still have too many refusing to take the vaccine. Thus, they allow the bug room to spread, reproduce and mutate. This too is shameful. It is basic HS science. We are a fraction of the world’s population, but hold the highest death toll. This too is the GOP’s influence, downplaying the virus, falsely claiming it is a hoax, and making basic viral protocols a political statement.
The numbers are tending down, but remain at a high background level. New variants remain a problem, just today a new more contagious strain was discovered in Vietnam.
America is finally looking at a leak as a possibility. The more we find out, the more it appears to me that it was a leak rather than a zootrophic transmission. This is not a Dr. No situation, but an oops by folks who cannot make any mistakes, research virologists.
It is possible it just jumped species, that is how we got Sars and Mers and all historic diseases of all types. That is the normal pathway to humans from animals. It is the ease of transmission and the virus’s preference for indoor conditions which tilt me toward a leak as those are both commonalities of virus studied in a lab. Over time virus evolve to prefer the lab environment as the virologists breed the virus to experiment with it, the virus mutates and evolves. It is common to see those traits in lab specimens, and it is a feature of Covid-19 as well.
Correlation does not equal causation. Since we see these mutations in the virus, and since we oft see those same mutations in lab specimens, does not mean it is a lab specimen. It makes it a possibility we should investigate and I am glad the Biden admin is trying to do that. China won’t be much help. To admit it was a leak would be to open the nation up to endless suits for damages, from the globe. So, I expect that years from now, we will be right here, still not certain about it’s origin.
If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, does not mean it is a duck. It means it very well maybe, but it could also be a duck hunter with a duck decoy and a quacker making quacks. It means we should be open to the idea, not sold on it.
On a personal note, I have surgery Thursday to remove a polyp/nodule from my throat. I had one several years ago as well, a lifetime of acid reflux and smoking earned me that. Perhaps a week after that the labs will be done and I will know if it is another benign polyp or a cancerous nodule, and whether it was benign or malignant.
Global Infected 166,748,542 169,986,948
7-day average 462,629 infections diagnosed daily –DOWN
Global Dead 3,455,053 3,534,435
7-day average 11,340 deaths daily –DOWN
USA Infected 33,105,228 33,251,982
7-day average 20,964 infections diagnosed daily –DOWN
USA C-19 deaths 589,703 594,306
7-day average 657 deaths daily –UP
Maine Infected 66,863 67,651
7-day average 112 infections diagnosed daily –DOWN
Maine deaths 819 825
7-day average 0.85714 deaths daily –DOWN
As I prepared my room for summer in my hideaway home another 79,382 of my fellow humans died of Covid-19, of those 4,603 were my fellow Americans, and 6 were my fellow Mainers. Despite our numbers being down, the background level of disease remains high. Our deaths exceed a 9-11 event every week. We have improved from one 9-11 a day, to one per week. It is still far too many for my liking.