Life in the Time of COVID-19: Dispatches from the Edge of Insanity

Image Credit: COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU)

It is mid-afternoon on Thursday, October 15, 2020. According to the COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU), the latest global pandemic statistics (active cases and deaths)look like this.

As of 3:24 PM Eastern Time, there were 38,744,784 cases of known COVID-19 infections and 1,094,979 deaths worldwide.

In the United States of America, the number of confirmed cases and deaths continues to rise in the country that remains the hardest hit by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which was first reported in Wuhan, China in late 2019 – hence the label “COVID-19” – and has affected 189 countries and territories since the initial outbreak.

Currently, the U.S. numbers look like this:

Cases: 7,962,046

Deaths: 217,497

Now, you’d figure that by now most Americans know that the best way to avoid getting sick from this dangerous and often deadly disease is to wash your hands often and thoroughly, stay home as much as possible, practice social distancing by staying at least six feet away from others, wear a mask, shop and run errands in a manner consistent with public safety, and avoid gatherings where there are lots of people, especially parties and other events where no masks are worn and no one worries about social distancing.   The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued medically-sound and common sense guidelines to “prevent the spread” and “flatten the curve.”

Here are some – but not all – of the CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19 preventive measures:

Wash your hands often

Image by Melk Hagelslag from Pixabay 
  • Avoid close contact
  • Inside your home: Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members.
  • Outside your home: Put 6 feet of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household.
  • Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus.
  • Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.
  • Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others
  • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
  • The mask is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
  • Everyone should wear a mask in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • Masks should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • Do NOT use a mask meant for a healthcare worker. Currently, surgical masks and N95 respirators are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders.
  • Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The mask is not a substitute for social distancing.

These guidelines are written in a style that is easy to read and understand. An elementary school kid and grasp them without any problem. And they are not that hard to follow either. Or, at least, they should not be.

Yet, seven months – it feels like seven years, but that’s another story – into the pandemic, and I still see stories such as Sweet 16 ‘super-spreader’ party in New York leads to 37 coronavirus cases, $12,000 fine

Per NBC News’ David K. Li’s report:

An illegal Sweet 16 party outside of New York City turned into a coronavirus “super-spreader event” that sickened more than three dozen people, authorities said.

The birthday bash was held on Sept. 25 at the Miller Place Inn on Long Island — about 65 miles east of Manhattan — and drew 81 people, Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone said on Tuesday.

That party was in violation of emergency state health codes that limit gatherings to 50 people or 50 percent of room capacity, whichever is a smaller number.

Partygoers also failed to wear masks and maintain social distance, according to Bellone. The 37 people linked to the event who tested positive consist of 28 students and nine adults.

I mean, seriously. Does the fact that almost 220,000 men, women, and children have died in the United States since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was reported in February not register in many Americans’ minds?

Well, considering that COVID-19’s most prominent patient, President Donald Trump, is constantly trying to downplay the dangers from the virus for political and economic reasons and even said it would go away as if by magic, it’s no wonder that there are still far too many COVID-19 skeptics out there.

Worse, still, there are still, seven-going-on-eight months into this pandemic, right-wing Trump supporters who post twaddle like this on social media:

Everyone can have their own opinion and believe what they choose to believe. It’s America. Not everyone is the same. But I know I’m not alone in my beliefs that what is happening now is insanity. Mask up. Don’t gather. Hide in your house. Defund the police….

Nope. What that guy defines as “insanity” does not match the meaning of the word.

What is insane is a President – Donald Trump, in this case – who conducts large political rallies and other functions that end up becoming “super-spreader events” for the COVID-19 virus.

What is insane is the same President getting infected, receiving medical treatment that would bankrupt an ordinary citizen because of his high government position, and then saying dumb things such as “Don’t be afraid of the virus!” and “I’ll kiss the guys and the beautiful women,” the last being a reference to a rally he is holding today in my former hometown of Miami.

What is insane is millions of Americans who think wearing masks is a sign of weakness and that Democrats are using COVID-19 to rob them of their personal freedoms.

Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

In the meantime, the number of COVID-19-related deaths increases with every passing hour. And still, many people simply don’t give a damn.

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

6 thoughts on “Life in the Time of COVID-19: Dispatches from the Edge of Insanity

      1. And maybe it’s that she grew up and lived most of her 70 years in a Sundown Town in Southern CA, but she refuses to see the lack of opportunity for most … not only Black folks, but even for most working class white folks. She insists that “if even one person did it, then anyone can do it” as if she, a financial coach, has never heard of an outlier… (especially when she uses me as an example of escaping poverty, and I really feel used, having gotten DC’s appointment to Annapolis before our only Rep. even had a vote…). She has no clue what it’s like to be called “part of the Talented Tenth,” and the weight of expectation that carries, nor that only 1/10 make it out of the projects after surviving certain childhood traumas. 😦

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