In the podcast episode linked here: Uncommon Knowledge, you’ll hear an excellent episode about the pandemic.
Two key points: Herd Immunity is defined as when you spread the virus to one person or less—not some miraculous moment when a community is completely free of the disease.
Secondly, the interviewee preaches harder than any actual sermon I’ve heard in years and years and years—and he doesn’t even raise his voice (nor is he a preacher). He says that all the folks claiming to want to protect the poor, the elderly, and the children in pre-pandemic times had their chance to shine during the pandemic—and blew it. Those groups have all suffered the most because of the lockdowns. (If you’re not seeing the connection, try, the people who were going to stay employed during lockdown were all in favor of it, no matter who said what about how negatively it would effect the poor, the elderly, and the children of the world. Way to go, hypocrites!)
Okay. I feel like this second point may turn-off some possible listeners, so I want to be clear. The doctor guy didn’t rub it in anyone’s faces or anything. He’s compelling throughout. I rub it in their faces because I am under the stress that we all are this week as we see what happens to our co-workers come Nov. 1.
In the last such post, I offered that one handle on the pandemic was to consider that it was the result of the absolutely damnable wasted opportunity to keep our citizenry educated. (Public Schools must be abolished.) Today, I want to comment on another aspect of the uncertainty, and in so doing add a second handle.
Much like an earlier post which attempted to take a god’s eye view of white-collar managers’ all-time favorite sport of office-switching, which I wrote in order to lambast the clearly superficial effort that somehow still takes place, today we’ll similarly view the present uncertainty with a view from the sky.
To do this right, we need to spend a minute on assumptions. There are six.
1. To be a pilot you must be brave. So in a pilot’s eyes, everyone choosing to alter their lives because they might die is cowardly. When afraid, learn. Your fear will disappear with knowledge.
2. Normally, to be cowardly is thought of as weak and unmanly, but for the purposes of this thought experiment, it’s fine. Because at least we know where each other stands. And now that you’ve admitted your fear, you can overcome it.
3. We know that the virus doesn’t kill us at an alarming rate. So we shouldn’t fear contracting the virus. Got CoVid? So what? Yet we still live in fear.
4. We know the positive test result doesn’t mean we will have symptoms. Tested positive? So what? Yet we still live in fear.
5. We know that people who wear masks still test positive and still show symptoms and still die from the virus. You’re wearing a mask?! So what? Yet we still wear masks. Yet we still fear.
6. Another assumption: Something should be different today due to the timeline being different. Just like our perspective changes the higher our altitude, our understanding of the situation should be different now than it was in March. Why? We’ve had more time.
Assumptions stated. Now let’s talk.
So what’s the difference? We now know that the only real burden the pandemic places on us is that we don’t have enough hospital rooms/beds. That’s it. If there were enough hospital beds, the, ahem, leaders would have nothing to write home about. If there were enough hospital beds, we’d no longer be afraid. If there were enough hospital beds, we’d know, in precisely the same way as we do with all the other diseases we’ve been living under threat of, that if we get sick, we go to the hospital.
Now let’s imagine I’m really onto something and that we fix it. More hospital beds? Poof! Done.
Now let’s take a look at our planet from the heavens. With me? What do you see? Yup. Me too. We moved people from one place to another.
Aren’t we smart?
Aren’t we compassionate?
Aren’t we little scientists?
Aren’t we really doing it?
Here’s the thing. As I get older, I’ve been struck by the thought that you’re not older than me. You’re either the poor performing football star of high school or the poor performing partier of college. In both cases, you never learned how to read. You didn’t know what you were doing then, and you still don’t. And yet you get a thrill out of having something to do. Well, guess what? You’re still illiterate. And if you’re not reading, then you aren’t doing anything. You’re certainly not helping. You’re middle management at best.
Building a hospital bed helps stop the pandemic? I won’t have to wear a mask because we built more hospital beds? Are you serious?
You were a placeholder before the uncertainty began and you’ll be a placeholder when the uncertainty is over. Why? Who knows? Because you want to be. That’s probably why. What I’m asking is that you stop playing adult and start living as one. Life includes disease. No amount of hospital beds can fix that. Have a different fear than running out of hospital beds? Fear something besides “overburdening” the healthcare system? I’m all ears. And then I’ll help you overcome that one. For now, stop telling me what to do. You’re as stupid as you were in high school and college. I didn’t listen to you then. I won’t listen to you now.
More in the “diary” vein of blogging.
We don’t have a tv. Consequently, my step-son doesn’t watch movies or tv on the regular. Every once in a while I show him something on the laptop. Last night was Sandlot. He noticed this one as I searched for Goonies the last time, and so I figured it’s a good wholesome film and it might even set him up with the desire to attempt some baseball in the coming season. It’s also uncannily about a boy moving in with a step-dad (who won’t let him touch his stuff) and being new to the neighborhood–all true-to-life circumstances for A-.
Let’s play baseball again. This post serves as my call for MLB to return to the field. Despite not being the most fanatic fan, I still cannot imagine an American summer without America’s past-time. Sooooo, instead of canceling summer, let’s cancel panic and play ball. I’ll be there the minute the gates open.
Second, and I hid this point on purpose, we need to talk about what panicking is. Actually I can’t. I shouldn’t. I want to, but I won’t.
Suffice it to say, I’ve instructed my family to not buy a toilet paper pack bigger than 18 rolls the next time we find any. 18 is the size we’re currently on, having purchased it back in February sometime before any of the hysteria. So that’s why. But from now on, if the choice is 18+ pack vs. 4-pack, then we get the 4-pack. Someone has to set the example.
What are we going to do without toilet paper? After a quick internet search, I’ve come to resolution. Cloth rags and a diaper genie. And probably a lot less fast food.
You all are going to have to live with the fact that you panicked. I’m going to have some extra laundry.
But maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to claim that I encouraged others to end the hysteria.