Monday, March 16, 2020

I’ve been staring at this screen for 45 minutes. The on-going coronavirus is dominating the News. How it’s affecting economy. How people are dealing with “social distancing”. How people are ignoring “social distancing”. How bad the government, any government, is handling it. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anything dominate the world and U.S. news to this degree since 9/11.

And why not? This is undoubtedly the biggest news story of the last 20 years. Furthermore, we’re saturated with news from websites and television stations, newspapers and social media, it’s almost inescapable. I remember when 9/11 happened and people around here were almost nonchalant over it. Indeed, a cousin of mine even said, “Why should I worry about those people in New York City?” and he said it without a lick of embarrassment or shame.

But not this, bubba, not with CORVID-19. Mississippi’s up to 12 confirmed cases when there were none this past Wednesday. Even better? One of those cases is in Monroe County, the county just south of Itawamba County. That’s where I live. That’s where that cousin of mine lives. Another cousin lives in Monroe County. My uncle – pushing 75 with two heart attacks under his belt – owns a carpet store in Amory, which is in Monroe County, and getting him to not go to work is like pulling teeth. He’s one of those type of people.

Yet another cousin – I have a lot of cousins and almost all of them live in Itawamba County – did her shopping today, and she tells me that the store shelves have been thoroughly picked through. Not particularly clean, but people have definitely been stocking up for the long haul. This is a very conservative part of a very conservative state and rarely given to freaking out over what’s freaking out the rest of the world.

The tone has changed, though. Going into the weekend, Trump in his capacity as president was fairly flippant about the whole thing, saying in his dumbass way that everything was under control. This morning, though, he gave a sober and somber speech to the press at how this is a big deal, will probably last through to August at least, the Dow Jones to plunge and Stock Market stopped trading again, and he claimed his son was scared so he reassured him.

And, of course, by this afternoon, he was tweeting out that it was the “China virus” and the hooting monkeys that worship him were claiming that, somehow, that wasn’t racist and neither was he, which meant they weren’t. Amazingly, they still think they – or he – deserve the benefit of the doubt. Of course that’s racist, and you’re claims that “we called it German measles and the Spanish flu” isn’t the rhetorical slam dunk you seem to think it is.

Amazingly enough, people are still acting like this is either no big deal or, still, some sort of “Deep State”-slash-nasty foreigners dirty dealings to “bring down” Trump. Some people are still going out to clubs and whatnot, since tomorrow’s Saint Patrick’s Day and apparently one’s life is lessened if one doesn’t get shit-housed on one the days that happens every year. Louie Gohmert, Texas’s living proof that if they don’t mean “brains” when they say “everything’s bigger in Texas,” spent all day blocking the relief bill Nancy Pelosi and Steven Mnuchin hashed out, apparently for no coherent reason, because that’s what Republicans do. He’s magnanimously agreed to let it through, again, for no coherent reason.

And, no, Pelosi didn’t try to “sneak” abortion funding into the bill and, no, CORVID-19 isn’t the “least deadly virus” to come along. Stop paying attention to the garbage your moronic relatives and friends post on Facebook, usually without links to anything. You know, a lot the lunacy we’re seeing, both online and out in the wild, are several chickens coming home to roost. Bear with me, because I’m wrapping this up.

For one, as someone pointed out the other day, a lot of your Millennials and Generation Z kids grew up in the shadow of 9/11 and the mass freakout that caused, most of which was unnecessary. One guy fails at sitting his shoes on fire on an airplane, and ever since we’ve had to strip down to almost our birthday suits to be allowed on a plane. It’s entirely reasonable they would doubt the news and government information about the coronavirus.

Furthermore, for at least the last 40 years – and that’s an arbitrary number based on how old I am – we’ve been told the media and news constantly lies to us and that the government can be nothing but corrupt and incompetent. The problem is, while it’s not as completely absolute as that, there is a nugget of truth in both, unfortunately. It doesn’t have to be that way, but there we are.

We’re also seeing a lot of people question agreed upon wisdom concerning how the economy should be and can be run, how fallible or infallible capitalism is, and just how strong American society actually is. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll learn from all this. Maybe we’ll look more into cooperation and helping each other rather than hording and holing up. Perhaps we’ll look at the world with more understanding and compassion rather than competitors out to “bring us down”. Perhaps we’ll come out of this as a slightly better, more human human race.

It’s possible. I won’t hold my breath, but it’s possible. Anyhow, that’s today. Hopefully my brain will kick into gear and this will get more interesting. Granted, no one’s reading it anyway, so I guess it doesn’t matter.

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