I’m a little late getting out of the gate today. It’s pushing 8 p.m. as I start this, but I had a helluva time getting started today. And as it’s almost 30 minutes since I started writing this to this point right here, I’m obviously having a helluva time getting started still. I’m switched on now, though, so let’s knock this out.
It’s been a weird weekend. The obviously AstroTurfed “protests” by people with too much time on their hands and not enough between their ears demanding the economy “reopen” has spread like a rash across the country. One of the funniest I saw reported was in Buffalo, NY, which was basically a parade of high-end pick-up trucks that have never seen mud, way too many festooned with Confederate flags for anyone to buy that “it’s a symbol of Southern heritage” nonsense. When pressed on what they wanted to open, specifically, one said she “wanted a haircut” while another complained about having to buy two orders of iced tea instead of having the server bring it to them. Apparently, they’re less interested in them going back to work as they are other people to get back to making them feel like lords and ladies to the manor born.
The “protests” have had, shall we say, varied effects on the public health. Florida reopened its beaches with time constraints, and the knuckleheads flooded them. For it’s part, the state of Kentucky saw it’s highest number of reported cases in the week following protests to reopen whatever the hell it is Karen wants reopened. Here in Mississippi, Gov. Tate Reeves announced the shelter-in-place order was extended to April 27, noting that “social distancing” will be even more important once we can all get a haircut again or be brought another glass of iced tea. He says we’re reaching a plateau, though he’s the last person I’d trust on that front. Of course, without adequate testing for the virus, which Mississippi especially lacks, it’s all rather useless, really.
So far, though, the stumbles toward “reopening” have been a bit of a mess. Thanks to that lack of oversight Trump was so against when that $2 trillion stimulus went through, the bulk of the $349 billion aimed towards helping small businesses went instead to larger restaurant and hotel chains before the money ran out. A particularly egregious example was by Chris’ Steak House, which is valued at $250 million yet received $20 million. Shake Shack, valued at $1.6 billion, caught so much hell from investors they said they’d give the $10 million they got back, which I thought was mighty white of them.
Restaurants in general say they’re having troubles because their workers are finding it more profitable to go on the generous unemployment benefits rather than go back to work for the crappy pay most joints give like pulling teeth. Apparently, at no point does it occur to folks that if you’d pay these workers that apparently you can’t do without more you might not have this issue, but I doubt that will penetrate anyone’s skulls. The dumbest reaction, governmental or business, has to come from Georgia’s scumbag cheater of a governor Brian Kemp.
For whatever reason, he announced today that truly important businesses will be allowed to reopen soon, businesses like gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, cosmetologists, hair stylists, and nail care artists. His wife must want a haircut something awful. This sparked outrage from the mayors of a number of Georgia cities, who noted that they have better knowledge of what’s going on, both because they live in the towns affected by the coronavirus novel and because they’re not completely rat-bastard sell outs like Kemp.
As always, medical workers actually down in the trenches, especially nurses, are doing the heavy lifting in all this, and they’re shouting their throats raw trying to keep folks from dumbassing their way into the ICU. It’s gotten to the point where some are standing in the street blocking the “protests” while at the same time having to fight state and federal bureaucracy and just flat-out stretching the numbers to the breaking point. You’d think as a society we’d be more appreciative of men and women laying their lives on the line for us and, you know, do what the experts say to do to not get sick, but hey ho. Here we are.
One last thing. It seems I spoke too soon last night when I said yesterday’s weather wasn’t all that bad. It got way worse after I posted my story. Mississippi saw a couple of tornadoes and one death, but worse was the flooding in places like Hattiesburg. It spread the nastiness throughout the South, killing older folks in Alabama and Georgia, as well. Most of the financial damage seems to have been against Florida, though, as folks are still picking through the rubble. We’re supposed to get more rain this week going into Saturday, so apparently Mother Nature isn’t through with us.
Quick programming note before we go. I have some Actual Paying Work that’s due Wednesday, so tomorrow’s Gibberish over at the Blogger site may be a bit light, depending on when I get everything done. Hopefully tomorrow won’t be as big a drag as today was. For the record, the Actual Paying Work deal is coming along nicely, so that’s a good thing.