Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

NIGHTMARES

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Yeah, things are moving so fast that my old or standard style of blog posts become obsolete very quickly. So like the last post, I’m just gonna explore an aspect of my current thinking on Covid-19. 100,000 dead in the US now, I think that’s worth a comment. What’s to say though, to many people it’s a foreseeable global tragedy made worse by Federal government mismanagement. To the right it’s an unavoidable foreign caused tragedy that would have been much worse but for the Federal government’s action. I’m with the many, but if 100,000 dead doesn’t strike Trump supporters as a bit excessive considering other countries have held it to near zero, I don’t know what to say to them. If anything remotely like this had happened on Obama’s watch, the right would be howling for his blood.

So what happens now? At this point, who knows. We are truly through the looking glass at this point. Even the best and brightest can only speculate wildly now. Almost certainly, at least in the USA, it’s going to get worse before it gets better. Deaths have plateaued in the US, and numerous states are re-opening. Trump is even saying if there is a second wave, he’s not going to close the country down again in the interests of “saving the economy.” Yeah, when the rich talk about “saving the economy” they mean “We can’t let the rich lose money no matter what.” And under Trump, the rich are doing just fine thank you. The rest of us, not so well.

However, with that caveat aside, here is my worst case scenario thinking. (Read the Onion for optimistic speculation.) I’m thinking while we have kinda gotten Covid-19 at a low boil so to speak, by now it’s everywhere in the USA. And to put it mildly, public education on how to avoid spreading the disease has been ghastly, with mass non-compliance to mask wearing and social distancing guidelines. And efforts at setting up good testing and contact tracing systems to prevent hot spots from spreading are spotty at best.  And we are nowhere near herd immunity, or having a treatment or a vaccine. And finally, wildly encouraged by Trump and the GOP, the entire country is going to “open up” and  relax social distancing.

Well, what happens when a bonfire has been lit, stops burning, smolders for a while, and then someone blows on it? Poof. I could see the Covid-19 death count explode as millions of Americans go back to church and other crowded indoor activities with minimal to non-existent efforts at mask wearing and social distancing, a national  reopening with a Covid-19 carrier in practically every crowd. We could hit 200,000 dead faster than we hit 100,000. And while I may be a pessimist, so far all but the most extreme pessimists have been right. Trump promised it was all going to go away right up until people started dropping like flies, now he claims to have a secret plan to end it if only he is re-elected.

And what will happen if the second wave is worse than the first? My fear is that Trump is unravelling. He’s been cancelling long standing international treaties, reopened the nuclear arms race, and just in general is being belligerent on the foregn and domestic stage. I don’t see this as helping, and I don’t see it as being a sign of considered thought. Shooting from the hip is good for carnivals, in a real gunfight it’s a foolish move. So all hell might break loose. I feel like the guys in the Tolkien meme. Tolkien had been through World War One, he’d been there.

For my part I’ll keep blogging, and keep urging people to mask up and practise social distancing. The masks are to protect other people, not to protect the wearer. Why people have a problem with keeping their fellow countrymen safe is a mystery to me. Nobody is being asked to give up their freedom, they are being asked to do their part to limit the spread of a horrible disease until we have a cure and/or a vaccine. And we could reopen safely, but that would require effective national government, which seems to be MIA at the moment.

And just for fun, writing this I realized there’s even an uglier possibility. Hey, exploring the darkness is what I do. Next post. Looking like an extemporaneous post every three days might be my plan for a while. Well, impromptu? On-the-spot? I love the english language, a word for every shade of meaning. Stay safe and stay sane everyone.

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Public domain image from Snappygoat, quote is from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.)

Written by unitedcats

May 23, 2020 at 4:48 pm

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