I am thunderstruck by Facebook “friends” who keep posting memes like “the flu killed 34,000 last year and no one noticed or got frightened. The media is scaring all of us.” COVID-19 has killed over 65,000 as of this date, and over 45,000 since April 12th, 18 days ago. The two numbers do not compute — two different realities — two different viruses.
This one takes top prize, “98.5% of us will survive this pandemic.” Let me take out my trusty pocket calculator — it’s called a brain. (Notice, these posters do not give a twit about the rest of the world.) The United States population is nearly 330,000,000. A death rate of 1.5% would be just shy of 5,000,000. Let me repeat that: FIVE FRICKEN MILLION! Fricken is a literary term.
The horrific pandemic flu of 1918 killed 675,000 Americans, including my grandmother, or .65% of the U.S. population. Who puts out tripe where 5,000,000 deaths from COVID-19 is a good number — I ask rhetorically? I cheated on the test — I know the answer. But for now, here are three guesses — they are either piss poor at math, have a heart of steel or are just being assholes. Hum — a toss up, but I’m leaning towards door #3.
My wife would argue that one out of every twenty-five of us is born without the compassion or empathy chip in our DNA, based on a book entitled The Sociopath Next Door. If true, this means that 13,200,000 of us were born assholes. And they have an Asshole-in-Chief. This recalls that classic song by David Allen Coe: Were You Born an Asshole “Were you born an asshole, or did you just work at it your whole life?”
These are the same folks who believe that 5,000,000 should sacrifice their lives for capitalism. I should mention that none of the 5,000,000 could be their close friends or family members, well, except for that cranky old aunt or gay cousin. If 4,000,000 are over than 75 — even better. USA! USA!
You go first.
Now you know why I put quotes around friends in the first sentence of this blog.
I am also recalling the photos of the “patriots” who have stormed state capitols wearing camouflage, sporting assault weapons and spewing vitriol. Their rights have been trampled while they are brandishing assault weapons in a state capitol building and not being arrested. Irony is a concept they have no clue of. (I know, never end a sentence with a preposition.) Many are as hairy as the hippies used to be. Apparently, they believe they are the ones Darwin identified as the fittest survivors, or in this case, those with the biggest, badass guns.
My wife and I, in our early 70s, healthy, sans guns and hair (me) with comfortable retirements and who know the definition of irony, are happy to spend each year supporting the world economy. We are anxious to return to those spending sprees. But, as seniors, too many view us as expendable — whereas Darwin-Man, aka Weaponized-Man, and first cousins of Cro-Magnon Man, is the chosen. Cro-Magnon Man is defined as he who owns the biggest, badass clubs.
In other recent news, Vice President Mike Pence did not wear a mask while touring the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota because he “wanted to look workers in the eye.” You cannot make this shit up.
Each day, aspirationally, I count the minutes until coffee, breakfast, nap, cocktail hour, prepping dinner and eating dinner. That’s about it. I have already reviewed all of the amazing sunset photos I have stored in iPhoto. Often, a book beckons. On a clear night, twilight time is downright orgasmic.
The trip to the mailbox now counts as an excursion. But for the first time in our married history the box is empty every third or fourth day. What a downer, getting revved for the mailbox excursion only to find it empty. Lately, even the cruise lines aren’t sending us love.
The biggest incubators for the virus appear to be nursing homes, prisons and meatpacking plants. Since meatpacking plants employ so many Latinx, I am sure the “thinning the herd” crowd (including Weaponized-Man) are just fine with that — losers like criminals, people with one foot in the grave, and Latinx are all expendable.
The year of April is at its end. I am hoping the year of May is not longer, though the calendar says it is. Great, two more birthdays.
Next week is forecasting temps in the 90s. Time to breakout the BBQ, put up the patio blinds, the tiki torches and the mosquito defenses. My wife is swinging into full battle mode. If our association architecture committee would allow it, she would enshroud our hillside parcel with a mosquito net.
For excitement, last night my wife switched out cocktail glass designs. Last week she began living recklessly by occasionally using the downstairs bathroom instead of the master bedroom sanctum sanctorum. Why does that term seem like a mausoleum? Having grown up on a farm with an aromatic outhouse, I like the snooty sound of sanctum sanctorum, so I am stinking with it.
Meanwhile, true patriots clumped together to demonstrate in nearby Huntington Beach, demanding the rescinding of stay-at-home orders. Maybe I was young and that stupid once. Now, I am just old.
I have been reflecting more on the “patriots” who moved freely in state capitols with assault weapons. My wife and I have never seen such in our lifetime. I wonder what the security forces’ reaction would have been if those “patriots” were either black, American Indian or Latinx? Me thinks a different outcome. President Trump has encouraged these white “patriots.” This is quite ominous and I fear where else it might lead. The liberal* use of storm troopers is right there in World War II history. What triggers the use of those assault weapons? Kent State was 50 years ago, and those guardsmen were trained.
In the past two days, my county hit its highest incidence numbers: 133 and 163. While testing has ramped up some, the total is still only 1% of the population. The testing rate in California is 1.7% Nationally the testing rate sits at 2%. We need more testing. I never thought I would love more testing.
*Sorry, Weaponized-Man, for using the word liberal in a sentence about you. You only know one definition. Color me surprised. It also means broad-based, meaning widespread use of, as in the number of guns you own.