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Backward To Death

It is not a good time to be a Georgian with two kids of school age.

If you are paying the least bit of attention at all, you know that the South is about to get a fresh shellacking from the novel coronavirus. The southeastern seaboard in particular is in the crosshairs, thanks to a triad of feckless and incompetent Trumpite governors from South Cackalackee to Florida who give no fucks about life so long as someone’s bottom line is achieved. This is a bad long term solution; once people start dropping from too much exposure to the marketplace, they, um…well, they don’t come back.

As a nation, we have failed utterly to tamp down this virus. Only a malevolent, insane swamp creature like Donald Trump could have mishandled our response to COVID the way he did. In point of fact, it’s a bit of a stretch to say he fucked it up or even handled it. Fucking it up implies agency and since he’s literally done nothing, it cannot really be said that he bungled it. We survive to the degree that we do in spite of him. The federal government has ground to a halt at the worst possible time in our nation’s history. We know, now more than ever, that we are on our own. Our citizenry is bonkers too. A significant percentage of brainwashed zombie people are convinced that wearing a mask during a pandemic equals a loss of freedom or, ironically, a health hazard. Observe these Karens and Kens (all white) losing their shit because they can’t deal with a piece of fabric on their face:

I’m not joking about zombies:

The internet is rife with these Don and Donna Quixotes raging against the machine, so you can continue to laugh or cringe when you are done here.

Now, back to my kids in Georgia.

As of this writing, they are expected to show up for school on August 3rd. That’s less than three weeks. They want to go- lockdown has been hard on them.

But new cases are on a steep incline here. And soon, the number of deaths will rise in proportion. They call fatalities a “lagging indicator”, which I believe is fancy speak for a statistic that hasn’t yet caught up to other related statistics. Trump and the GOP want to point to a flat death rate as evidence that the danger is waning. They won’t be able to do that soon enough. We simply haven’t done anything positive in particular that would cause the death rate to stay miraculously low. It’s not like we are tracing or quarantining, so we are at the same place we were in March, except we’re running around like nothing happened. This virus appears to have an incubation time of approximately 3-14 days, and that is the reason for the lack of current dead. It’s coming.

And in this climate, I am nonetheless expected to have my children attend full time- right when cases are spiking with death following close behind. It’s wrong and it’s dumb and I hope our Board of Education is watching closely but I suspect that they will not be as perspicacious as San Diego and Los Angeles. My oldest, 17, struggles with depression and when last we told him that we are under lockdown, he fainted and busted his lip open. It could have been worse, he went down like a sack of potatoes and my dresser, thankfully, broke his fall. So I have that to contend with.

I have to give thanks to my father, who is occasionally nothing short of oracular when he’s not watching titty flicks and Fox News, reminded me that I will never be able to live down one of them dying from a bad decision I made. I can’t argue with this logic. The choice seems clear, I just have to figure out how to frame my decision so that both boys understand that I am trying to protect them. I need time to watch what happens in the schools before I put them back in. I have to have a semester to be sure sending them back is an acceptable idea. This isn’t Florida, so I can still choose.

Un-Kempt

My brother lives in Buffalo. I live in Georgia. He loves Jesus, I’m an atheist. We always joke that our families should switch places so we could both be surrounded by people who thought like we did.

When COVID was beginning to tear its way across New York, I, joking again, said I had changed my mind about us switching locales. Our family likes gallows humor.

Things aren’t as funny on my end as they used to be now that Georgia may be the first state to open for business without federal protections, and most surprisingly, without heeding federal guidelines outlined by the Trump administration.

That’s correct. My governor may be dumber than the president.

Georgia, if it fucks around too much, may be ground zero for the next outbreak now that we’ve gotten permission to move freely about the cabin. All of the distancing we have done to “flatten the curve” may be for naught as there is no testing and tracing in the hopper. With no other plan in sight for fighting the virus, there seems to be zero chance that it’s OK to go out heedlessly. We are guaranteed another spike, and for what? Well, the government giveth, and now it taketh. It’s clear were only given checks to buy things (since surviving on them is impossible) and now we gotta give that money back to the almighty fucking market with no regard for the lives that will be lost, and no regard for already buckling healthcare system once it is shown that the virus has been licking its tiny RNA chops for more victims to infest.

Outside of Georgia, there are politicians who say the quiet part out loud and are happy to send their citizens as bellwethers in a social atmosphere that is still deadly. You’ve all seen these, but they bear repeating for posterity.

Only in America can the economy come before the health of its citizens.

Now we can see what garbage capitalism is. It’s a virus unto itself in a way; it’s called Mammon. I mean, yes, any ideology that kills its human capital is bad, but we need to focus on our failed economic system, especially now when it wants us to risk our lives so people can profit.

I’m certainly not going down for its sake. Y’all can stick your fingers in all the bowling balls you like and get on the treadmills and huff and puff all over people; I’m still hunkering down. Fuck all of you. This clan is going to keep sheltering until science says it’s OK to go out. I refuse to be a statistic just for someone’s bottom line.

PS: While I’m at it, let’s check into the president’s mental state:

When it comes to Trump, there is no bottom. He’s a force multiplier for death.

Safe American Home

There’s a lot of drama going on in the US of A.

We’re watching the Democratic establishment spit the irritant called Bernie Sanders out. C’est la vie. The Democratic establishment represents Democratic voters and they don’t need an insurgent with no respect for the machine that brought them to the dance. His viability ended with that dumbshit tweet. You don’t goddamn bite the hand so blithely. Biden didn’t have to lift a finger to bring Buttigieg, Booker, Bloomberg, O’Rourke, Klobuchar, and even Kamala Harris-the candidate who drew first blood on Biden in the debates-over to his side all because Bernie believes in his own hype.

Sanders supporters are agape and agog and angry at the wholesale updraft to the Biden campaign. They simply don’t understand American politics. One day, when they do, it will be a good day. I mean, they could have gone for Liz Warren, an actual Democrat with exciting and new policy ideas in a similar vein as Sanders, but unfortunately Bernie has nurtured something of a cult of personality as an auslander and many will throw their vote away to spite the process that did not nominate their anointed candidate. It is worth noting that no other candidate’s following does this withholding of a vote bullshit. I find it grossly privileged to do so. If you have been on this rock a few revolutions, you ask for a lot-that’s all well and good-but after you have fought, you settle for a little. Even Saul Alinsky understood this. It’s just poor tactics to bury your bullets. It doesn’t do anyone any good.

So: let’s talk COVID-19. We’ll ignore Donald Trump, because he’s golfing while this virus flies across the countryside, and when he’s not doing that, he’s trying to manage the crisis by lying about it not being a big deal. No one is listening. People are a little panicky right now, if the grocery store shelves are any indication. There’s rationing of Clorox wipes, Purell hand sanitizer, and Lysol disinfectant spray. I bought a can of wipes and some spray for the hell of it. People are genuinely scared that this COVID is coming for them. And who can blame them, stuck in an information vacuum?

Since even the fucking CDC seems tainted by Trump’s insistence on handling every crisis by the seat of his pants so he can get much needed adulation, I have had to resort to alternate information on who has COVID and where. I’m happy to say I found a great site for raw data like that. Johns Hopkins is compiling a visually striking case and fatality list. I go to see the location of the virus and I like to take an average of the estimated US population to the number of infected people…see what kind of odds I’m facing. I know that the incidences are much higher but you go with the numbers you know. I did it last night and we have one case in every 600,000 heads. This morning, the odds changed to 583,000 to 1, just to give you an idea of the velocity of this baby. President Asshole may not think this virus is big shit because we’ve only had 566 cases and 22 deaths so far here but the fact is we don’t know a damn thing about this virus from a biological perspective but we know a few things empirically: it’s exponentially contagious as all get out and it kills the vulnerable and we have no vaccine.

While we’re on the subject of coronavirus, let’s talk about the stock market tanking. Currently, the market is in a 5,000 point slump from the loss of consumers and producers due to the virus. It’s either a great time to buy, or a horrendous time to leave your 401k exposed to further volatility. This might be the big recession everyone’s been heralding; we shall see when things like earnings come out. The world’s central banks have emptied out the toolbox to fill the gap left by the virus’ arrival to at least keep the stock market bubble stationary. It did not work. It’s clear that there’s a fundamental rupture somewhere and the good times might be gone.

Something’s gone horribly wrong in the greatest country in the world. Perhaps all that is going on is that we are realizing we are just another country in the world. One thing is certain: we are not going any place special with the fucked up “leadership” we have right now.

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