Eight days ago the president (and you'll forgive me my pettiness in neither typing his name nor capitalising his title, something I still managed to do through Presidents Nixon, Reagan, and two Bushes) crammed thousands of unmasked supporters into close quarters on an airport tarmac in Omaha to chant and cheer as the positivity rates were soaring in Nebraska and our hospital systems, already stretched thin, warned we were seeing exponential growth of Covid. I know maths are hard to understand, even for the very stable geniuses amongst us, but here's the deal as simply as possible-a quantity that increases with a rate proportional to its current size will grow exponentially. As the quantity increases, so does the growth rate. Nebraska has a good hospital system, but they can't help you if they're out of staff. You can build all the field hospitals you want, but without people to work them, we are, pardon my coarse language, completely fucked. We can't just bring in workers from out of state as the whole country is facing a similar situation. We know better, but without leadership in places that matter (and I am looking squarely at you governor) there's going to be nightmarish numbers of dead. You think spring was bad? Welcome to Covid 1.5 (we aren't even in the second wave yet).
We have some of the very best infectious disease people here. I can't think of a better place to come down with a new virus than Omaha, under normal circumstances. If the politicians would just listen to the very good guidance available, we'd be in a better position, but somewhere along the way they decided having the lowest unemployment rate in the nation was more important than having the highest coronavirus rates, and here we are. Eventually they will run out of low wage workers, but I guess no one is thinking that far ahead. Everything is open for business, schools as well. Kill everyone, that's capitalism, folks.
As I type the helicopters continue, and the news networks have cut away from small "p's" press conference as he was standing there spouting lies about the election. If only they'd approached him that way from the start of the pandemic. I wonder how many people went blind or had heart attacks from taking mega doses of Hydroxychloroquine? Bleach I.V. anyone?
We had 486 cases today in Douglas county. Our population is 571, 327 (this includes areas outside of Omaha). Our total number of infections so far is 24, 737. Our total number of deaths stands at 242.
For the nerds, here's a link to the county covid dashboard, if you like that sort of thing HERE
You don't need a maths degree to see where we're headed, and it is nowhere good.
I'm not sure at what point, if ever, we'll start listening to the public health people. Does anyone really think a vaccine will miraculously make this disappear? Besides small "p", of course. Does any rational adult that hasn't thrown their lot with the conspiracy crowd, honestly think you can vaccinate the entire world in a short period of time with a 100% effective vaccine, and then, "Poof" your fairy godmother waves a wand and we all go back to life as we know it? We know what helps though. Masks, social distancing, good hygiene. Why wouldn't you do what has been proven to help as we wait for long term treatments? To make a political point? Are you willing to die or kill to "Own the Libs?"
I am worried. Small "p" is still going to have the ability to do a shit tonne (not an official mathematical unit of measurement) of damage to our country (and probably a few others as well) before January, assuming he ever leaves and doesn't just brick himself up in his residence behind a wall (we know how he loves walls) to protect himself from his own people. I'm picturing a wooden sign nailed to the front gate, slightly askew reading in sloppy hand, "No Girls" with the requisite backwards S. We can build a new house. Let him have it.
When Danny was starting school, we read aloud the short work by Edward Everett Hale, The Man Without A Country. It left an impression on a five year old, as he still remembers reading it. I know small "p" has probably never read it, and wouldn't see himself in it, but that's not my point. I comfort myself these days with the thought of small "p" imprisoned on a Navy frigate (preferably one named after a certain dead senator he couldn't stand) just in view of his tower in New York, the big gold letters visible in the night sky through a tiny porthole. As daydreams go, that's a rather good one.
Meanwhile, the helicopters and ambulances keep beating paths to the hospitals.