Today, as the country gets ready to lock down again, for what’s the fourth wave in a viral pandemic that carries the -19 identifier because it started IN 2019, we are seeing record numbers of infections, in children and adults, the vast majority of whom haven’t been vaccinated.
In the second post, I ended with the following flat statement:
Talk to me six months from now. If all of this is a distant, awful memory, I will thank you for reminding me that it wasn’t as bad as I thought it could be.
And here we are.
Have we started rounding up people who are infected? Nope. Why? Because we got lucky.
In November of 2020, we chose a Democratic president and on January 20, 2021 we shoehorned the old administration out, though not before they thought to try one last ditch coup, the aftereffects of which we are still suffering almost a whole year later. Meanwhile, in 19 states, we have seen 33 laws enacted (so far) to restrict voting rights in the run up to the Midterm elections and we have no idea–none–how many of the sick and dead would have voted Democratic. Not that it matters, since many of those laws give states the right to throw out election results they don’t like, on whim.
Primaries start March 1 with Texas.
It only took me a matter of a few months into Lockdown 2020 to become a believer and I’ve since moved to wearing masks whenever I go out (not often), and purchasing the vast amount of the things I need or want online, without darkening the threshold of a store. I’ve attended events from weekly gatherings to holidays to conventions to funerals over Zoom and YouTube, and I’ve become a firm believer in the power of the live stream and binge watch, but we are completely unprepared for the coming Midterm elections and we have no idea what Omicron will do to our voting numbers and to the people who cast those ballots.
And that’s really at the core of why I decided to write this post today, at the end of 2021.
This is a tiny selection of quotes from the posts I made on Facebook over the time from December 2020 until today.
I found a new job in December, came onboard in March, and before the end of the month I was on lockdown here at home, all because an American President thought a virus could tell the difference between Democrats and Republicans and because he didn’t want to look bad.
Zoom and Microsoft and Google and, yes, Facebook and Twitter have all saved our asses. Imagine for a moment what this would have looked like with wired telephones and newspapers and the nightly news.
And at the very same time, it’s these platforms that are killing us. Why? Because people who ought to know better are out there spreading “It can’t happen to me, that’s someone else’s problem” propaganda so they can get together with the family one last time because who knows when or if they’ll see each other again.
You know what?
That’s complete and total BULLSHIT.
I just spent the better part of a week wandering around my family tree. There are over two thousand members of that tree, by blood or marriage. And I cannot begin to count the number of children who should have seen old age, who just didn’t. Including my own Great Aunt, aged 17 years in 1917 when she died in a coma as a result of a secondary infection from the Influenza pandemic.
So when I tell you that I hate this experience but I’m staying home, it’s because I don’t trust you to be safe to be around.
I worry that I will bury my children because of this. Or that they will die and I won’t be there because nobody will tell me.
I worry about my friends who have possibly preventable conditions that can’t be treated because the hospitals are overwhelmed with people who thought masks were stupid or optional.
My issues with masks have to do with two things: An unreasonable paranoia about having my face covered, and difficulty with reading lips (because even though I can hear, I don’t do a good job of filtering words, especially if you mumble or look away from me).
We will be on lockdown way past Easter at this point, and we will be damn lucky to see that.
I said months ago that we would see half a million dead before the end of this year. We are more than halfway there now.
If you don’t get it, for whatever reason, I feel sorry for you. Perhaps you should spend some quality time looking at your own family tree and seeing how many babies your grandparents buried.
March 22, 2021
There’s nothing I love more than an argument that compares the 1918 Pandemic to today’s COVID-19 Pandemic.
Seriously. I’ve dug these stats up before. They’re not rocket science.
Over the two-year course of the 1918 event we lost 675,000 people in the US. My great aunt was among them, a teen about the current age of my younger child at the time of her death.
For perspective, today’s toll is over 541,000.
We are just 134k deaths away from the record, and we are just barely a year into this.
A friend wrote: “We do have a much larger population than 1918.”
I responded: “And we are well on the way to infecting the same proportion of them, at the rate we’re going now.
My point remains valid. Talk to me when we reach the same date equivalent the 1918 pandemic was declared over and THEN compare stats.
We are still dying at rates over 10k per week. This isn’t the time to say they aren’t the same.
We breached 675,000 U.S. deaths somewhere between September 15 and 16, 2021:
And this is where we were two days ago (December 29, 2021):
I know this is a wacky concept, but at what point did we decide a non-zero case rate was acceptable at any level?
I ask because today is the 104th anniversary of my 17-year-old Great Aunt Deborah’s death from influenza and we should fucking well KNOW BETTER now.
We know about the 1918 pandemic in hindsight. That hindsight includes my great aunt.
Perspective? My younger child is her age now.
Still think there’s no difference between the flu and COVID-19?
Not boosted yet? Why??
When can we talk about responsible gathering and the insane push to put people together without protection, at stores, church services, school classes, concerts, theatre performances, and conventions?
How many more will we bury before we get a freaking clue?
IF we choose capitalism over humanism, who will be left to buy the crap our factories produce? And by “our” I mean everywhere, in all the countries, not just ours.
How many kids are an acceptable sacrifice? How many teachers? Factory workers? Postal employees? Sales clerks? Entertainers?
What pisses me off is that we worked hard to keep this shit from happening and the reason it’s happening now is that the rich are afraid they’ll be poor all of a sudden, so they’re throwing everyone under the bus.
And what little progress we’ve made in the last year will be lost over the next ten months if we refuse to pay attention.
That’s the story. It’s been the story all along.
And like the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come, it will remain the story unless we act to change it.
What will I write this time next year, I wonder?
ETA: Like clockwork. Confirmation bias or dire warning?