Shell Game

I really hadn’t planned on writing more than one post on COVID-19. I thought I got all my snarky venting out and was done. And yeah, this probably isn’t going to be a snarky post, but a more somber one. Almost 17,000 Americans are dead, so far. And the current badministration is fetching about, attempting to cast that as a WIN. Because it must be a win, right? We are NUMBER ONE again. (No, not quite; Italy still has a higher death count, but they’ve been at this a lot longer. Don’t worry, we WILL gain the top of the podium soon.)

So, yeah. THAT didn’t happen. So, Revisionist History 101, we change the story. We have 325 MILLION people, ok? What are you, crazy?? Never gonna happen. Who needs stinkin’ tests anyway?? ( the story as of 4/9/2020)

Just REMEMBER THIS little tidbit, will you? IF you are not TESTED for COVID-19, you don’t HAVE COVID-19. IF you don’t have COVID-19, you can’t DIE from COVID-19. Wraps it up in a pretty bow, doesn’t it?

There’s more than one way to keep the number of cases low, isn’t there? If you don’t want to really enforce social distancing or wearing masks because your tan may rub off, just stop TESTING. Presto, the COVID-19 positive numbers will stop rising. Maybe all those pneumonia deaths are simply coming from somewhere else…

Irrevocably damaged or destroyed–families, communities, companies. THAT is what we will find, on the other side. Because at some point, we WILL find the other side. Each city and town will get there in their own time. But no place will be truly unharmed. Some towns will just have scraped knees, some counties will have broken bones and some cities will sadly find they lost limbs. But, in the end, no one will be able to escape SIX DEGREES of separation.

I already, with this disease not getting anywhere near my personal, physical, geographic circle, exceed all my fingers to count the number of People I know who know People who lost People. And it’s early. And, it’s talked about in the most banal and impersonal terms. Because how else can one manage talking of the death, day after day, of so many?

It DOES feel like a slow-roll 9/11. I was in NYC and watched the towers fall, and for weeks; it was never “personal” unless the death was an immediate relative…. if you were asked, “were you ok”, it wasn’t the the time to say you lost a childhood friend or a cousin or an in-laws neighbor, because didn’t EVERYONE?? No, you lost someone if it was a spouse. A child. A parent. There was a surrealness to deaths that were once individual, with wakes, funerals, obituaries, gatherings of loved ones together, laughter at memories and tears at reality… suddenly becoming also-ran.

Now, with COVID those deaths are now reduced to they died, alone, of course, and three others in that household are sick and….multiplied by factors of scale that dwarf 9/11; geographic impact that isn’t just something that happened somewhere else….and something that just keeps going, rolling downhill, gathering speed.

And, all of us, deep down, have to admit, we have to know it didn’t NEED to be this way. We HAD warnings. And so, I felt compelled this morning to gather some screenshots, some tweets. For posterity, for clarity of the vision around me, in my mind. And you, dear reader, get to partake. To see in black and white the absolute trainwreck that got us to this moment. To see the revisionist statements. The I AM NOT AT FAULT-ness, the bareness of the way this government is trying to evade any blame.

Look at March 5th. ELEVEN dead. 36 days later, there are SEVENTEEN THOUSAND DEAD. And that number is nowhere near the end of this horror show.

STAY HOME. Hearing that as many people who were expected to die haven’t died DOES not mean this was all an overreaction.

IT MEANS IT IS WORKING.

Oh, Corona

This is gonna be one of those stream of consciousness thingy-s… you know, where ya kind of spitball thoughts, and see which take hold, which are the bits that feel like they want to be fleshed out… Hardly any of it it is probably unique, or profound, and I probably absorbed some of it by osmosis from something in the air…
Kind of the way you absorb a virus, if truth be told… you can’t see, hear, smell or taste it… you just kind of touch it there, on the door knob, unaware, or walk around the corner in the grocery store, right into the miasma of someone’s 30 second-ago sneeze…and Bob’s your uncle, tag, you’re it.
Wow.
Ok,
So, we as a country, (we will leave the world out of this momentarily, they have enough of their own problems without being saddled by contact with the virtual shthole country we are proving to be)—-we as a country, we move. A lot. Like, we wander (drive) in and out of towns, cities, counties and states without much regard for where we are in space and time. I mean, I live in the county, work in the city, and if I decide I want to go shopping in the metro area today can easily find myself in two other counties and one other city. I didn’t even cross state lines in that example, indeed I didn’t even consciously GO to SOMEWHERE ELSE, I just drove…it takes no more than an hour in the other direction for me to leave the state, though.

And the thing is, I barely know what the city restrictions are for this coronavirus, and those I know only because there is, at work, some information passed along.

Local TV news doesn’t really exist any longer. If I turn on the TV, I get the orange shtgibbon flinging feces for a few hours of free rally time, where he determines by yesterday’s review of his reality TV episode which of the supporting cast gets lines in today’s episode.

(Tell me where I am wrong. The ONLY person who has the sense god gave him, Dr. Fauci, is on and off the show, based almost solely on how much positive news coverage he took AWAY from donnieboy* the day before. If Dr. Fauci gets too much positive press tonight, you can set your clocks on the fact tomorrow he will be unavailable to speak.)

And, just as an aside– NOT that I want to see their smarmy faces, but has he sent his children into hiding? Maybe it isn’t a hoax? I mean, Ivanka—why doesn’t she know HOW to solve all of this with a well-placed shake of her blonde, blonde head? I mean, she hangs out with Jared the Important, doesn’t she?

Yeah, ok, off topic. I warned you it would happen.

Anyhoo… what I was getting to with the county/city thing is this.

THE BEST RUN, MOST RESTRICTIVE town, county, city, state government is going to be USELESS if someone who lives in a state where they believe Jesus has the wheel is in charge, and they are doing nothing to stop the spread pops on over into The HazMat Zone, (THMZ) right?

I mean, they are bringing their grimy, virus-infested car and cash into the well-scrubbed, disinfected hourly CVS’s and Krogers and Stop and Shops and 7-11’s.

And those from The HazMat Zone who feel the gubbermint can’t tell them what to do, no sir, it’s a free country, they take their own, up till now perfectly healthy selves, off into that Jesusy state and buy up all the loo rolls to make a profit on a street corner in Mayberry, THMZ, carrying in the virus on their return.
So, yeah. Our Federal government today believes Federal government is too big and that STATES RIGHTS (Civil War, anyone) should supersede. Ok, fair enough. Whatever.

But, if the GOVERNOR of your state isn’t doing anything either, you are now relying on county and city officials (many county and city officials are PART TIME). Not everywhere is huge, NYC or LA sized, you know. City Council is a part-time gig, one Tuesday night a month, to decide do we or don’t we put a right turn on red signal at at the intersection of Main and Broad.

Now, we are down to brass tacks, aye? So. Your town council believes in the creation of THMZ. And they issue a press release, guidance for the companies of their little fiefdom that they RECOMMEND they follow the protocols. But they are doing it without the full force of LAW. Just a “hey, it’d be nice if… it might be wise to…”

You, citizen of the USA, may get into your car and find a more amenable city or county from which to hoard bread. And you take or bring (your mileage may vary) The VIRUS along with you on your way, potentially poisoning either your here-to-for healthy home OR bring the nasties to a once healthy town or city or county.

And big, corporate-run companies, with outlets in every state, most cities and many counties– –well, the god Profit is a hard god. And capitalism is a state religion. And, so, IF they don’t NEED to make any changes from the TOP DOWN, they will wander in the dark, tweaking this, trying that, seeing what the market may bear.

And, yeah, what is vacation time for, if not for use during self-quarantine? No vacay? Too bad, so sad. Call out if you feel something coming on, IF you have sick time. If not, I guess it’s even odds…

YOU are supposed to sit in your home and assess– Is that just a HUNGER headache or Covid? Is the sudden hotness just menopause or Covid? Could that clogged-nose coughing fit be just seasonal allergies or Covid? And don’t show up at the doctors office if you think you HAVE Covid, please god, don’t do that. Just stay quarantined for 14 days or till you need to be intubated, whichever comes first.

What a way to run a pandemic, am I right??

IF EVER there was a time where ONE government, the FEDERAL government should be running things, it’s a pandemic.

I like patchwork quilts more than the next gal… I am a quilter. I can appreciate how all the little pieces create something of great beauty, when alone they were just scraps.. But this isn’t time for quilting.

Pence, 3/23/20 “The President wanted us to make it clear that the federal government will do whatever it takes to support an effort that is locally executed, state managed, and federally supported.”

In other words, IF IT DOESN’T TURN OUT THE WAY YOU EXPECT, don’t come bitching to me. Blame your county executive, or your mayor, or senator or congressman, or governor. (why do we not ALL have Andrew Cuomo as governor right now???) But NOT the PRESIDENT*

In case you need that translated into something even more understandable—

Ok, yeah, now I’m gonna go quilt. While on my day off. (Not in quarantine, not in forced social isolation, because hey, retail. )

Christmas Photo a Day, December 31, 2019

I KNOW Barbara Walters’ voice is in your head as we get ready— Say it with me– “I’m Barbara Walters and THIS is 20/20.”

Word of the year.

2020 hindsight… .people always say, well, if only I had known this would be the result of that, I’d have done it differently, … that idea that being able to see into the future would change the decisions you make as you go through your life….

But your life, your life experiences–all of them, good bad or indifferent– have put you in the spot you are standing right now, with the people you are surrounded by, loving, working with, raising…. so, if you had 20/20 hindsight….would you use it? Of course, if you had known that I-95 was going to be backed up 6 miles, you might have taken 288 instead, right? Then your boss wouldn’t be on your case about being late again.

But, what I mean, is for the big stuff, would you use it?

When I was 13, my mother, who had abandoned me when I was three, convinced my newly teenaged rebellious self that I was wanted once again. That my strict grandparents only wanted to deny her more than an every second Sunday visitation, and that I would have freedom and love and A MOTHER if I moved back with her. I believed her.

Instead, I became Dobby the House elf and the primary caregiver of my 3 year old brother, and disappointed my grandparents beyond belief. They still loved me till the day they died. (I don’t recall getting the love part, or the mother part.)

In hindsight, though, using that 20/20 vision…. I can’t say I would change a thing. Because I met my daughter’s father on the bus-stop going to high school in sophomore year. A bus stop I would have never been on, going to a school I probably wouldn’t have attended. Then, I wouldn’t have my daughter. I might have had other children, but not HER. And that would mean I would be missing that experience, that child that I love, that woman who I adore with all my heart. THAT I can’t imagine.

And if I hadn’t had her, then, maybe I would have gone to a different college, and not met friends who are still my besties 35 years later. I could had a different career, in a different place, and met different people, and not had the chance I had when I met my hunny, and if hadn’t met him, I also wouldn’t have my granddaughter, and…. It’s not even close, is it?

LIFE IS WHAT HAPPENS WHILE YOU ARE BUSY MAKING OTHER PLANS. (john lennon)

So, how to tie this into a word of the year?

CLARITY. That is the word of the year.

clar·​i·​ty | \ ˈkler-ə-tē  , ˈkla-rə- \ the quality or state of being clear.

How I see it being used this year is somewhat amorphous … unclear… I know… It’s a work in progress, even to define…

2020… we are heading into the Roaring Twenties??

But it is important that we (I, it’s MY word of the year) see things clearly. Be certain that decisions and opinions are coming from a place of clarity and informed thought, rather than knee-jerk reactionary behaviors. This can be as little as if I am posting a Meme, have I done due diligence? Do I know that the website it may take you to isn’t simply collecting your personal information for purposes that may not be honorable? I don’t want to misinform, and I DO want others to have clarity of information, because decisions need to be made this year, and we need to be eyes wide open and we all need to see clearly, no matter how uncomfortable clarity of vision may be.

So, CLARITY. What do I want and how to get there, visualized? Like I have said in years past. the word appeared, as it does, without my prompting– I will go with it.