COVID-19, and Why We’re Totally Screwed

Here is a recap of a conversation I had tonight at the restaurant with a man who was wearing a camouflage American flag hat:

I was going to wear my camouflage American flag hat, but I couldn’t find it… #RimShot

Him: “How late are y’all open tonight?”
Me: “Eleven o’clock.”
Him: “What? I used to hang out here until 3am!”
Me: “Yeah… Because of the virus, restaurants in Nashville get in trouble if they have people here after 11pm.”
Him: “That is so dumb. In Williamson county — just one county over — they have like NO restrictions. I was just there the other day… The restaurant was PACKED.”
Me: “Oh yeah? Stuff like that might be why the U.S. had 183k new cases just yesterday.”
Him: “That’s only because we’re testing so much.”
Me: “We had more new cases yesterday alone than most countries in the world have had TOTAL cases since the pandemic started… You think that’s just due to testing?”
Him: “Anyway, it’s not the CASES that count. It’s how many people die.”
Me: “Unfortunately, we lead the world in that category as well. We have 4% of the world’s population, and 20% of the world’s COVID deaths.”
Him: “That’s only because hospitals are calling things COVID that aren’t COVID to get more money. They get like $10,000 extra to treat COVID cases.”
Me: “So you think doctors are all lying about it to get extra money? I have friends who are doctors and nurses, and I’ve talked to them about it… They are not lying.”
Him: “You think if you ask people if they are embezzling money, they’re just going to say Yes?”
Me: “So ALL of them are just lying for extra money?”
Him: “It’s mostly the hospital administrators. THEY’RE the ones pressuring people to say everything is COVID.”
Me: “And you don’t think — if the doctors & nurses were being pressured to LIE about COVID diagnoses — that anyone would come forward and tell about it? That’s a pretty big conspiracy theory, right there…”
Him: “I have a buddy from the military… Committed suicide. Put a shotgun in his mouth, and killed himself. They marked down his death as being due to COVID-19.”
Me [thinks to myself: “That didn’t happen.”]: “Hmmm. Yeah, well… I have a feeling we’re going to have to shut down again soon…. We missed our chance to take this seriously when we shut everything down in March through May.”
Him: “Europe took it seriously, and now their cases are spiking again just like ours.”
Me: “They’re cases are spiking again in some places where they stopped taking it seriously. Germany has 80 million people, but they only have like 15,000 deaths (the actual number is 12,619 deaths).”
Him: “The only reason the European Union is doing better than us is because they’ve got less people than us.”
Me [considers saying “Fewer,” but decides to say]: “Dude, the E.U. has about 120 million more people than we do.”
Him: “Nope. I just looked it up the other day. We’ve got way more people.”
Me [pulls phone out]: “Hey Siri, how many people are there in the European Union?”

I show him the screen that says “447.7 million,” he says, “I don’t think that’s right,” and I kiss my tip goodbye.

And, scene…

___________________________________________________________________________________________

In the middle of March, I was furloughed from my job working as a server. I know a lot of people look down at that job, but I don’t mind that much. I’m very good at it, and it has provided for my family for a long time. Like many other people, not having an income was a scary time for me. During the time I was out of work, I couldn’t have survived financially without the extra money the CARES Act added to unemployment benefits. I mostly stayed home. Going to the store to buy necessities felt like a panic attack… But at least I could afford to pay my bills and buy food for my family. But for people who lost their jobs in March & April, unemployment benefits have run out….

This past week, as the restaurant was doing enough business to bring me back on, I started back at work. It has felt really good to work hard and be able to earn money again. We are doing everything we can to keep people safe, but the numbers don’t lie. Unfortunately, while our nation has tried to weather this pandemic, we have been under the leadership of an incompetent narcissist, and now we are heading towards another shut down. We have 70 million people in this country who think that doctors & scientists are lying to us, but they believe the word of an ex reality show host & failed steak salesman… The sort of people who see a computer tell you how many people live in the European Union, and when they see the answer, they say, “I don’t think that’s right.”

In late March, when most states issued stay-at-home orders, there were about 26,000 TOTAL cases in the entire country, and around 1,000 total deaths. That was enough for the majority of the states in the country to issue stay-at-home orders. Then, before the election, as 1000 people a day were dying from this virus, a fragile, broken man was holding multiple super spreader event rallies every day, leaving his followers stranded in the cold (because he doesn’t pay his bills), and was jealous of the media coverage the virus was getting… Saying, “It’s covid, covid, covid. You can’t watch anything else.” Now, so far this WEEK, there have been just shy of 925,000 new cases of coronavirus in this country. Over the same six day period in the United States, 6,734 people have taken their last labored breath because of COVID-19… And for another 66 days, we are stuck with a monster who doesn’t care one bit. Trump & the republican party has completely surrendered to this virus.

The plan for how to deal with a pandemic is fairly straightforward. You listen to the experts, and you take their advice. Leadership provides clear messaging. Stay at home unless it’s absolutely necessary. Wear a mask. Social distance. Enforce mandates. Quarantine the sick. Access to testing. Provide detailed contact tracing.

Instead, what we got was a liar who didn’t want to spook the markets. We got a conman who pushed the debunked miracle cure hydroxycloroquine. We got a moronic child, who would rather file lawsuits about an election he lost than do ANYTHING to help people who are hurting. And we got a charlatan, who caters to the fear and bigotry of masses of people like my camouflage hat-wearing friend… Relentlessly deceiving them until they don’t have a clue what the truth is anymore. And when we finally have competent, compassionate, honest leadership for this nation, they will try to blame to pain of the new shutdown on the new administration. But make no mistake: The reason we will have to do it again is because we lacked the leadership to do it right the first time.

Thanks for reading. I love you all so much. Thank you for all the kind words of love and encouragement I received after the previous post. Honestly, from the bottom of my heart: Thank you. If you’d like to become a Patron and help support this blog, you can DO THAT HERE. If you’d like to leave a tip, you can DO THAT ON PAYPAL or Venmo me at “chris-boeskool.” There’s also a lot of fun happening on my FACEBOOK PAGE and also ON TWITTER.

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4 Responses to COVID-19, and Why We’re Totally Screwed

  1. joesantus says:

    BOESKOOL…as a 64-year-old who finds insufficient evidence for the existence of any “god” (but is not anti-theistic), lives very rurally about ninety minutes from Nashville, and is one of the minority in this area, along with my 58-year-old wife of 40 years, who consistently wear a mask and have announced to family that we’ll be foregoing all indoor family gatherings through the end of this year…I’ve found the discussions between myself and ones like your camoflauge-hat to exactly parallel discussions I have with Christians and theists of all sorts – – Covid-deniers and theists are not basing their beliefs on facts, nor on scientific investigation, nor on objectivity, nor on verifiable evidence.
    For both groups, their inevitable basis amounts to, “Well, I still believe so, because I need to believe so, no matter what.”

    • theboeskool says:

      I think you’ve gotten a little confused if you’re equating belief in a higher power with the denying of science. You realize there is a difference between denying evidence, and there not being evidence one way of the other… Right?

      I personally believe that concepts like Quality & Goodness point toward (but not prove) the existence of a “higher” moral law. It seems to make sense to me, and I am fairly agnostic about most of it. If we are particle & atoms with more space than matter, and WE have consciousness, what reason to you, Joe, see in the evidence around you that there can be no “higher” (for lack of a better word) power/consciousness that is pulling us toward a deeper understanding of Love & Goodness & Justice?

      • joesantus says:

        BOESKOOL,
        “….You realize there is a difference between denying evidence, and there not being evidence one way of the other… Right?”

        There “not being evidence one way or the other” to enable a conclusion objectively leads to reserving judgement, so stating, at most, “I don’t know.”
        If despite there “not being evidence one way or the other” of a higher power, someone nonetheless concludes, “But I still believe a higher power exists”, his/her conclusion amounts to a denial of that very lack of evidence….Right?

        “….what reason to you, Joe, see in the evidence around you that there can be no “higher” (for lack of a better word) power/consciousness that is pulling us toward a deeper understanding of Love & Goodness & Justice?”

        I see zero evidence around that there is a higher power pulling anyone toward those qualities. I find evidence for individual, familial, and tribal reproductive/survival instincts motivating us, similar to other mammals, to behaviors that we label “quality”, “goodness”, “love”, “justice”, and we as humans integrating, more or less, those instincts with our also-evolved attribute we label “self-consciousness”.

        While you might resist the fact, “love” and “goodness” and “justice” are not universally “understoods” of humankind. After all, those qualities are typically defined differently, sometimes radically differently, among individuals, families, tribes, and nations, aren’t they? For example, one person sincerely concludes that spanking a child is loving, good, and just; another person sincerely concludes spanking is hateful, bad, and unjust. Human history demonstrates that this variance in perspective has been constant.

        And, ironically if not regrettably, the very polarization between what you and I as “pro-maskers” define as “love”, “goodness”, and “justice” and what those such as your camoflauge-wearing customer define as “love”, “goodness”, and “justice”, vividly demonstrates that fact…Right?

  2. Bob says:

    All this bitching over a virus with a 98% survival rate, mostly by people that aren’t very health conscious in the first place. We’ve truly become a nation of brainwashed pussies.

    P.S. That conversation at the beginning never happened. Progressive writers love to make up stories in a shoddy attempt to be taken seriously. No wonder your wife divorced you!!

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