Monday, July 13, 2020
[Op ed piece – potentially provocative]
I try gather some of the tastiest bits of news around the world and condense them in this feed, but sometimes don’t get a chance to research enough, like this week. So rather than push out a lot of content that ends up being random ramblings I sometimes have to digest it, regurgitate it and ruminate on it some. But I still want to give the overall sentiment what’s happening this week in the world.
1) Seems like chaos, but slightly more controlled. There apparently still is no control to the spread of this pandemic. Despite what “cheerleading” and talking points and politics get into the foray, “virus don’t care”. And neither does illness or death. Apparently there’s enough concern in the world that the United States was blocked from visiting European countries as those countries try to reopen. For a country that was a superpower (at least militarily) it sure is getting a royal @$$ whooping from an unseen force. You know the saying about an immovable object meeting an unstoppable force? Well the stars and stripes is getting mowed over by this plague. In several states, California, Texas, Florida and several other states there’s definitely a resurgence. So we had NY as the epicenter and it’s been mitigated to a large extent. What happened? Just weeks to a month ago we were talking about Domestic Production Acts and waging war on this virus and mobilizing factories to produce N95 masks, and having beer, spirits and alcohol suppliers convert domestic to wartime production type demands for medical grade sanitization alcohol supplies. And just a few days I saw a piece that said something to the effect that “Oh, I guess we’ll just have to live with it.” … What’s that say? Oh, oops, I guess we lost to the virus, guess it’s part of daily life. Messed up now it’s everywhere and you have to wear a mask or you’re on your own and some people are gonna live, some are gonna die. eh. What??
The fact is this virus could have been slowed down, a lot of people could have taken this more seriously. And we still can slow down. America, and other countries have never been one to just roll over. Even the Asian protesters / demonstrators have more spirit of fighting to the death and bitter end. And unfortunately everyone has gotten too comfortable with this thing.
I guess people said okay two weeks… TWO WEEKS! Remember that? We thought it was going to go away in two weeks and that it would just “miraculously” disappear. Or some other saying. But someone promised you a fairy tale and everyone bought into it and not reality. Most have been denying reality till it hits them. In fact most people are walking through life as zombies, watching TV and dancing and singing talent shows till they are faced a SHTF scenario and can’t hack it. There’s Zamperini reference where this war veteran faced enemy fire, sharks, and starvation at sea but he was able to survive because he had the mental state to be prepared and conditioned. As George Carlin says, we’re too soft … and used to our creature comforts. And most of us couldn’t make it through a bit of discomfort.
The fact is now we have this debate about masks. We have this debate about school openings, state openings, who to give medical service to. Sophie choices. And we never really needed to get here to the point but here we are and we now all have to have that difficult talk and discussion. This is now about ethics and also freedom. We can’t have nice things to play with now because we weren’t all in on the same boat or page. That’s not bad necessarily. But it’s like a team fighting two separate wars two separate ways. Can you imagine if people tried to do that in WWI or WWII?
We’re not going to get into which way to go on this site. You likely have your opinion entrenched in you for personal reasons. Perhaps you’re pro stance because like seat belts and DUI’s, safety affects everyone, or perhaps you’re of the other side wanting to have the option to choose and not be forced to think one way. At the end of the day you have to live with the decision.
2) It seems to be a big concern schools are opening. There’s also a big underground political movement of “anonymous” social media followers and influencers on the “Bird” that seem to follow a particular individual. However I can’t seem to understand the total disconnect with reality with the “conspiratory” theories and how far they disconnect from the reality at present to such an extent that they would rather sit back rather than ask important questions, confront what’s going on even if that means questioning their fundamental beliefs. It seems to be idolatry and laissez-faire kool-aid drinking at best. The thing is that if schools open and the leaders and people that at the top are advocating opening an obviously tenuous situation with tepid ability to do so safely then this whole Covid situation is only going to get worse. An article stated this isn’t just affecting boomers or millennials. All of us are in deep “doo”. The boomers may not live to see their hard earned retirement and the millennials just got out of the Great Recession crisis and now have to deal with this mess again. All we know is that whoever inherits the mess at the end of this election cycle has a lot to clean up.
Speaking of which, the political ads are a total mess. You can see the poking and jabbing. Yet we’re not even out of the end of the year. And how did we all get here? We’re in this administration now.
The political underground movement which seems to advocate “thinking of our youth”. Think of our kids. And they complained about the shutdown. But now if we have an outbreak with kids who catch this viral mess, who’s going to catch heat? Think of the kids? If we have sick kids or even worse there’s going to be a lot of upset parents. And that’s gonna influence votes.
I don’t think that the people pushing and parroting and asking for reopenings realize everything they are asking for. And I don’t think a lot of citizens even bother questioning the people above them or leadership. Remember the captain leaking the illness on the ship vessel and got applause from his crew in a hero’s welcome? Think Stanislav Petrov in 1983. People will debate all sides. Remember the reveals of the phone mass data surveillance? Remember the oil rig spills that occurred in 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico that occurred and might have been prevented if it hadn’t tried to be shushed up? Many people need to think about what they are tasked to do. We’re finally getting that. It’s not that it’s never happened, it’s just that we’re finally more informed and aware thanks to the Internet and more information. There’s the equality movements on race and gender and equality this year. And many companies are realizing that to stay silent is to be dangerous. At some point in time like in Les Miserables you’re forced to choose a side. If you don’t ask and question then what have you become? Remember, the people that were working that day in May 2020 that started the Minneapolis riots were simply “following orders” as were the people in WWII. Think about that.
3) One of the other things I had to digest this week was that some businesses are never coming back. Irreversibly. Like never.
There was another piece that I read this week probably on CNBC that delved into how some businesses were not renewing their lease agreements. They were instead (if I recall) having it sent to some of the worker’s houses or other arrangements to work from their home. Another example was that one industry had did a layoff of a lot of their workers hoping to bring them back after the pandemic was over, but they had to actually truly lay them off for good because it’s not getting better folks. And so they have to notify them now. I think it was in the aviation or travel industry? Life is changing. And it’s disproportionately affecting the people that are already well to do, and the people that were already struggling paycheck to paycheck or trying to make rent are worse off. There’s people now in dire straits and many mentally not in a good or happy place.
We will in the near future see many more remote opportunities, laptops given to employees, and even many startups being only virtual. The landscape has transformed such that people are scared still and not sure when life will get back to normal. Some have gotten used to staying at home. Some have become out of shape and sore also from staying at home. And we’re a scared society now too. Some of us may have to bite the bullet and be brave and face the world to be able to still provide the services we used to have and receive like indoor dining etc. But it sure is weird. I saw the other day because of a local mask enforcement that went into effect that multiple billboards were outside stores saying “due to local ordinances, masks are required” or “due to local mandate/ orders…” Another stated that you could still eat barbecue but must have a mask on to eat our barbecue… Question: How in the world do you eat barbecue with a mask on? Answer: Very carefully…
The world is getting weird. No one ever really wanted to have to wear a mask growing up. After all masks are for superheroes or bank robbers right? I saw a social media saying the other day: “Everyone wants to be a superhero till they’re asked to put on a mask.” That has so many meanings.
And we’re asking also as parents for our kids to be brave and go out there and put on masks and go to school. And they may or may not have a concept what they’re dealing with yet. It made me remember a science fiction story, “All Summer in a Day” by Ray Bradbury about a class of students on Venus which has perpetual rainstorms all year for many years. And Margot who just recently moved from Earth to Venus is new to the classroom. And still remembers the sun which she describes as beautiful and like a flower since it shines all day on Earth. The kids are young and jealous and don’t believe her and lock her in a closet just as the sun is about to come out. The teacher arrives to take them to see the brief two hour window that happens every seven years on the planet where the sun comes out and they can enjoy the outdoors for a brief period. Later it starts to rain again and the kids have to go back in and they remember they locked Margot in the closet and open up the door for her, a bit ashamed at what they had done.
We’re in a storm right now, and unfortunately a lot of us are missing out on life. The chance to go to camp, travel, see the world, theater, start lives, buy houses, get married, and all that. We’re all mandated to wear masks and for a brief part of the day we get to spend time with family away from everything and actually inhale fresh oxygen. Unfortunately some of us won’t get to enjoy the sunshine, or just don’t believe the good or information we’re told that’s in front of us. It’s a difficult time ahead.
[ Quick note to our readers, hopefully you enjoyed reading this week’s op-ed on the news. If you see any fascinating news out there to dissect or nitpick and mull over feel free to send me some information, a full unshortened URL, and a summary and if I pick it, will write about it on my next round-up. Can’t catch ’em all!
Also hoping to incorporate more accessibility features into our site soon. After all, not everyone is an English speaker and some people prefer audio-visual content. Hope to add this soon. Assistor comments welcome!]