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War For The Planet Of The Covidiots

War For The Planet Of The Covidiots

‘The war has changed’ blares a Washington Post headline, referring to an internal CDC document reassessing messaging about the coronavirus in light of the new delta variant. What’s changed is that the prevalence of a mutated strain of the virus, which can spread even among the vaccinated, means it might make sense for masks to come back on and for people to start practicing social distancing again. But how well can the CDC influence people’s behavior, with the deep levels of mistrust in our society, and the fact that the CDC’s messaging has shifted around over the course of the pandemic? Never mind that the message changing actually makes sense, given that the science also changes, because we are dealing with a novel coronavirus.

Now look what’s happened to the prospect of herd immunity. As this cartoon by Kevin Kallaugher implies, there was just too much vaccine resistance to get to the levels that could have prevented the spread of this variant. And with the mad rush to “return to normal,” it’s probably too late.

So we don’t just have a war against a disease. We have a war against impatience. A war against ignorance. I’ve already blogged about what a shame it is that the pandemic became politicized. That was probably unavoidable, given that everything gets politicized these days. But political affiliation isn’t the only thing dividing the vaccinated from the unvaccinated. Race, income, and education level are also factors. The implosion of trust in our society has been very costly.

If GOP leaders would just get on board with a vaccination program, it would go a long way towards increasing vaccination rates and getting us to the other side of the war. Instead, we have to wait for the Republican con job to exhaust itself. Eventually the marks will all clue in, even if they have to sneak their vaccinations in behind their friends’ backs. You know, to save face. It’s truly pathetic.

I hope that we are in the winding down phase of this Crisis, and that the war will soon be won. From my vantage point, not leaving home much, it’s hard to tell if we’re in the darkest hour, or in the denouement. I think I’ll just be staying under lockdown and keeping my mask on for a bit, ’cause this ain’t over yet.

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Covidiots

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Covidiots

I still sometimes see people out and about and not masked. I call them “death spreaders” and give them a very wide berth. There was a death spreader at the Post Office over the Christmas holiday. It was in much too close quarters for anyone to be unmasked and it pissed me off. It’s sad that this is still a problem, with the pandemic raging and the numbers just getting worse and worse.

When I first observed this phenomenom I called these people Covidiots. Their presence was ominous and invoked the feeling of being in an apocalyptic movie. How can it be getting worse?

We all know the real problem. The pandemic has been politicized. One side of the political divide believes the pandemic is a lie, just as they believe the election is a lie. And now the Covidiots are out on the streets, armed and dangerous, attacking democracy itself.

It’s only going to get worse before it gets better. So get ready for the final chapter in the trilogy, coming soon to a country near you.

Rise Of The Planet Of The Covidiots

Rise Of The Planet Of The Covidiots

It’s more contagious than other deadly coronaviruses we have encountered, like SARS. And it’s far deadlier than other very contagious viruses, like H1N1. That is what experts are telling us about SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the respiratory disease Covid-19. To reiterate, the virus is both very contagious and much more lethal than the flu. That is why mitigation is warranted.

The current case fatality rate is around 6%, according to this dashboard. That is like, if you get the disease, you roll a d20, and on a 1, you’re dead. Do you like those odds? Do you want to be infected by this virus, or have someone you know become infected? I would hope not. So why don’t you just wear a face mask in public? And avoid crowds? Why is this so hard?

I think about this whenever I see the viral videos of beachgoers or partyers ignoring all social distancing recommendations, or of the crowded hallways of a just opened school. I think about it when I drive by a restaurant and see people out on the tables dining, or even when I walk up to the Post Office and see them gathering at the ice cream place that’s up the block, standing in line or sitting on the benches without wearing masks.

I mean, seriously, it’s that important to eat out? You know you can get takeout, and all parties involved, both the customer and the vendor, can be masked, right? If it’s really that you’re trying to support the restaurant business, you could get takeout but tip like you were dining in, and just forego being waited on because, you know, pandemic.

But apparently it’s all too much for an impatient country, restless from months of being stuck at home. A country with failed national leadership and no cohesive plan for dealing with this disease. A country that bases its beliefs on the science of the pandemic on political partisanship, so that whether or not to wear a mask depends on being part of the blue zone or red zone.

So we almost flattened the curve, early on there, but then pent-up energy and sheer orneriness overcame us, and back up it goes.

I feel like we’re at the beginning of some weird apocalypse movie trilogy. I call the current installment Rise Of The Planet Of The Covidiots. I see them everywhere – the anti-maskers, the plandemic conspiracy theorists, led by the Covidiot-in-Chief. Now I’m just waiting for the inevitable sequel. Lord knows what madness comes next.