Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Quick post here - I've papers to grade.

I seem to be pulling out of my illness. I've a lingering cough and my tonsils are still quite swollen, so I'll continue to isolate so I don't expose myself to anything new.

The puppies are loving never being alone, I think, and they are bouncy and happy, if terribly nappish. I think they must sleep more than 20 hours a day. Rough life! But it's nice to have little cuddlers around the house, too.

As of today at 1:13 pm, the number of confirmed cases of covid-19 in the world is 1,475,976. The number of infected Americans is 404,352. So Americans represent somewhere between 1/5 to 1/4 of the infected people in the world. Hmph. Out of how many billions? Okay.

Mayor of nearby middling sized city announced yesterday that lockdown will continue until first week of May for the area.

This is not to backpedal, but to make a concession on what I previously said. I came across something online in which a scientist talked about the shelter in place plan giving the virus impetus to mutate, and that it would be less apt to mutate into something even more nightmarish if we let it have its run of the healthy population among us. He said of course the elderly and immuno-compromised should be kept apart from the exposed general population, but that letting the virus run its course was the most sensible approach. I can see his reasoning, but sheltering the vulnerable really is the problem, isn't it? It would be something people would need to work out with friends and family to make sure the vulnerable folks were supported with food deliveries and such, but how would they get handoffs safely from people who are circulating and possibly infected? I guess it's not THAT much different, but it does seem a logistical problem how that might be accomplished.

I guess one of the major problems here is the perception of safety. Panic is always driven by perceptions of things real or imagined. Panic is not rational, nor is it predictable. People are connected via social media, and they are idle. Lacking purpose gives fertile soil in which the seeds of anxiety germinate, and people simply work themselves into a lather over every little thing. War and rumors of war, etc.

It is perfectly understandable for people to balk at being told they MUST shelter at home for any given amount of time. Perhaps I shouldn't have been so hasty to call people jerks, but I felt like it was reasonable to act in a way (up to a point) that is mindful of those most vulnerable in our communities. I don't think this is a black-or-white situation, and my reasoning in the last post must have sounded that way. It's possible for me to believe we should be careful of people in the community without having some draconian mandate from the government that forces the actions of the people. It's clearly true that people who don't think business or life should be formally disrupted under state, local or federal mandates don't simply wish the most vulnerable in our communities to die.

One thing making people fearful is the potential for coups in which a government is utterly gutted and reconfigured at a time such as this. Hungary has never been known as a bastion of democracy, but the Prime Minister of Hungary pulled a major stunt last week which has people all over Europe quite concerned, and with good reason.  These are some of the interesting times in which we'd prefer not to live. Still, this is where we are on the continuum. I still think this crisis at this moment is not as frightening or dangerous as the bubonic plague or even the Spanish flu. We still have safe homes replete with the modern conveniences, and we have the world at our fingertips so we don't have to feel THAT cut off or isolated. There's something frightening about watching terrible things from a distance and being unable to affect the outcomes of those events. I don't think that a giant coup is happening in the United States, but I do think there are those here who want that kind of outcome here. I just pray for all this to settle down as soon as possible and in the best way possible.

Like pretty much everything, this is complicated, and I suppose there's not an end in sight. I'm hoping the whole mess will clear up seemingly overnight, but that seems unlikely. Ambulance Driver has lately been reporting thousands of new cases daily in Louisiana, and he's on the front lines. It will be good for this to be over. I hope this is the last incident of its kind, and that people home and abroad will be able to recover quickly.

There is still beauty in the world. Babies are born every day and bringing great joy to their families. Flowers are blooming. The winter is moving with haste to the back of the rearview mirror, and hopefully soon COVID-19 will join it in the past. Whatever happens, though, I'm still optimistic. Bad things have happened before, and we've gotten through. We will get through this.