Living with Coronavirus
Sunday October 24th, 2021
I did not feel like writing again this week. To me this is not a blog but a personal record of this pandemic, a common man’s history writ in real time for the future to judge. However, I myself feel it is futile. I oft feel the same way about writing itself. What can I possibly say that has not already been said by others with more craft, education, and talent? This feeling is compounded by the reality of this pandemic and the political atmosphere into which it appeared.
The political reaction, or lack of it by the Trump administration, and the politicization of public health measures in response to it literally boggle my mind. If your house is afire people do not scream at professional firemen working for your hometown; that they are unwelcome at your fire because “that’s socialism”. We do not scream at them, harass them and whine about our individual freedoms because we see it is not in our own best interests. The house is afire after all, trespassing firemen are not unwelcome, but desired.
The persistent misinformation and disinformation have so warped the views of many Americans they no longer can discern between a hard truth and a lie spun by talking heads for profit and power. What can be done about that, especially when the lies and misinformation are still being repeated every day? That is a lot of Americans who firmly believe the lie that Trump won when he lost. Believing that lie and loving your country makes a person think that a revolt against your country is actually supporting your country.
Talk about gaslighting.
Right this minute there are Americans who believe Trump is still president, and the GOP does nothing to properly inform their base. Instead, they are either silent, or in open support of that same notion, despite no evidence of the claim ever being found. There was no widespread fraud in the election but it sells well to their “base”, so the lie is repeated lest the liars, Donald Trump and Co, come down on them costing them votes for reelection.
This is why I do not “feel” like writing. A large swath of my nation has been fed lies through media and social media for years now. As a writer I am well aware that repetition works.
Simply repeating something over and over makes it stick in the human mind. The truth of what is repeated is not of import, because if it is repeated enough, you will recall it. Over time you may even come to believe it, even if it is false, because it was repeated so often it seems like it “must be” true emotionally, even if the facts disagree. A person so convinced by repetition won’t have a good empirical reason for believing what was repeated, but rather a feeling it must be valid or else it would not be so repeated. No single person can overcome such effects without resorting to using their own repetitive tactics. When media and social media so drench individuals in repetition regardless of the truth, it is easy to see how millions could be deceived, and impossible for any single person to overcome without also resorting to repetitive tropes.
It feels insurmountable, and thus I do not feel like writing. I am still convinced that if humanity survives climate shift, then the how, when, where and why of the events around this pandemic will be of use. So, I am at odds with myself, torn between my belief that all this might be of some use to the future generations, and my fears that the misinformation age we have entered will not allow for the necessary changes to enable human survival to be implemented. That would leave no future generations to learn from what we are witnessing.
The good news is our numbers are still dropping. The bad news is it is blooming again in the Baltics, Russia, and parts of the EU including the UK. Yet again we have a new worrisome strain, Delta plus, entering the variant watch lists. Overall, the US is down, but pockets of high transmission rates exist, mostly in red/GOP states.
Total Global Vaccines administered 6,611,327,844 6,798,136,087
Gain of 186,808,243
Global Infected 240,488,646 243,497,616
7-day average 429,852 infections diagnosed daily –Up
Global Dead 4,896,379 4,946,552
7-day average 7,167 deaths daily –Up
USA Infected 44,918,127 45,428,030
7-day average 72,843 infections diagnosed daily –Down
USA C-19 deaths 724,166 735,799
7-day average 1,661 deaths daily –Up
Maine Infected 97,725 100,967
7day average 463 infections diagnosed daily –Up
Maine deaths 1,095 1,112
7-day average 2.4285 deaths daily –Down
America is .32 billion, the globe is 7.8 billion. That is .32/7.8 but this week, with lower numbers, we are nonetheless 1/5th of the deaths from C-19. Why does no one seem to notice that? Simple, it is not repeated over and over, so that truth gets buried under repetitive lies.
Climate will kick us in the ass again this week, as the GOP blocks bills aimed at addressing the climate. A bomb cyclone accompanied by an atmospheric river will drench California putting an end to the wildfire season. However, it will drench millions of acres of baked soil from extreme drought and millions more acres burned and charred by wildfires.
The soil will be so dry it will not absorb the water fast enough, and the soil will float on the water because the waters is coming so fast and the soil is so dry that the soils will float, and run downhill with the water. As it piles up it becomes a mudslide, which often carries large rocks and burnt trees along with it. The center of the country will suffer extreme weather in the form of thunderstorms and wind, lightning and possibly tornadic effects. As that disturbance moves east it may reform into a Nor Easter which could hammer me in northern New England.
As I worked on this in my retreat another 50,173 of my fellow humans lost their battle with C-19, of those 11,633 were my fellow Americans and 17 were my fellow Mainers.