Posted in writing

Falling Well Short

It’s a good thing Charlie Baker is not running for governor again. Because I, along with many fellow Massachusetts residents, wouldn’t be voting for him. Especially after his announcement of the “big plan” he has to help fight the coronavirus in the state.

Yesterday Baker issued an “advisory”. The advisory is “advising” everyone in the state to wear masks in public places. An “advisory” by definition is “having or consisting in the power to make recommendations but not to take action enforcing them”. You know, like the “advisory” on a pack of cigarettes saying that smoking causes cancer or a weather “advisory” saying the roads may be slippery due to ice or snow. The problem with Baker’s “advisory” is that most stores and private businesses already post “advisories” on their property about wearing masks. Some even require it. Which is what Baker should be doing. As State Representative Ayanna Pressley stated Baker “falls well short” on his “plan”. In other words, Baker’s “advisory” is a big joke and a huge “fuck you” to the people he governs. Because ol’ Chuck has stopped caring. Baker has “no interest” in a state-wide mask mandate and it’s quite clear he has checked out and has “no interest” in his constituents either.

He can also take the 500 National Guard members and shove them up his ass. Shit, UMass alone could use 500 National Guard members and they would STILL fall short of medical personnel. That’s a drop in the fucking bucket.

And the two million shit tests Baker has sent out to poor communities in the state? Why bother? As I said, the at home tests are shit tests that give false-positives nine out of ten times, causing the person taking the test to have to run out to CVS for a more accurate test, only to discover that, yes, you tested positive at home but CVS is saying you are negative. So which is it? I speak from experience on this.

Speaking of shit at home coronavirus tests, Biden came up with the brainstorm of making 500 million of these worthless tests available to anyone who wants one (allegedly) but not until January. Because they have to build a website for them first. Then they have to figure out how many will be allowed per household. They’re not even figuring out the time it’s going to take to get them mailed to anyone because you know how the USPS is these days with DeJerk in charge. Then once you take that shit test, you will once again need to get a more accurate test. Such a waste of time and money. And for what? Omicron will still be there. So will Delta. A test isn’t going to make it go away. Nor will 1000 deployed troops to hospitals in January or February. Or FEMA members or other medical personnel. They are nothing but a big band-aid which will barely stop a greatly bleeding wound. They will help but the bleeding will continue.

So how did we get to where we are? Why are we so far behind the eight ball when, given vaccines and boosters, we should be way ahead? Why are we the dog chasing the tail it will never catch? There are several factors that got us here:

  1. Vaccines/boosters – it kind of all started with them. I’m not blaming them and they certainly have been helpful. They have probably spared a lot of lives. But they have also caused a lot of confusion, caution and apprehension. And they are far from perfect. Also, because of the vaccines/boosters, it caused:
  2. The CDC to tell vaccinated people they no longer had to wear masks. Five short months after vaccinations began Walensky opened her trap and declared that if you’re vaccinated, you no longer had to wear a mask indoors or outdoors. What the stupid bitch either failed to realize, or did realize and really thought everyone was going to be on the “honor system”, was that all the unvaccinated people were going to rip their masks off also. If they were even wearing them to begin with! Then two months later the CDC reverses course, and began recommending vaccinated people continue to wear their masks. Too late. That was like telling a five-year-old they could have cookies before dinner then taking it back. And again, it didn’t matter to the unvaccinated fools.
  3. We began travelling way too soon. Even before the vaccines came around, people were still getting on planes and travelling across the country. In July 2020 American Airlines resumed full flights. Smack in the middle of a pandemic. And if you’re like anyone else, you’ve seen the unruly assholes on these planes who refuse to wear their masks. And just this November the U.S. ended an international travel ban that had been in place. People are still getting on cruise ships, knowing they are a haven for the virus. Several have just returned with many passengers infected. Just as Omicron came to visit. No wonder we’re not getting anywhere with this. Christ, the last place I’d want to be during a pandemic is a goddamn cruise ship or a plane!
  4. The constant travelling brings me to the next point: we didn’t lockdown long enough. We really didn’t. Things began shutting down in mid-March 2020. And most of us began working from home or not working at all, schooling from home, whatever from home. But we became lax that summer, feeling that things were getting better. And for most states it was. It was warmer. People wanted their free refills and haircuts. So more people began travelling, more things began opening up. I know I visited a local zoo in July 2020. That was about all I did. But maybe if we had stayed home longer, maybe even until the vaccines came out in December 2020, things may be different right now.
  5. Of course once the vaccines came around and the masks flew off, so did the social distancing stop. No sooner did the jabs begin and the CDC said “mask free” did the arrows and social distance reminders at the stores disappear. Happy days were here again. We didn’t have to wear our masks, until the CDC said we did again, and then we didn’t care because, hey, we’re vaccinated (and the ones who aren’t don’t give a fuck anyway) and we didn’t have to stay six feet away from each other again. So Johnny, who is only five, got to visit Granny. And Johnny, who got coronavirus from daycare but was asymptomatic, gave it to Granny. Who is vaccinated. Uh-oh.
  6. We learned the damn vaccines are only effective for maybe four to six months, if we’re lucky. In fact, nobody really knows! But that’s okay because:
  7. We have BOOSTERS! Which is really just a third shot of the vaccine and again, nobody knows how long it lasts. So you may be good for another six months, if you’re lucky. And uh-oh again:
  8. Breakthroughs can happen to fully vaccinated and boostered people. Oh, but it’s okay because yes, you’ll still get covid and will probably be sick, but chances are you’re not going to get really sick or go to the hospital. For now anyway.

Almost two years after the first known case of coronavirus we’ve pretty much come full circle. Covid was the third highest cause of death in 2021. More people died from Covid this year than in 2020. The new year hasn’t even started yet and it’s already looking pretty grim.

As the year went on we flew internationally again, and went back to work and back to our bars and nightclubs and concerts. We saw relatives again that we thought we’d never see again. And as the year went on and it began to get colder, we got ourselves a new dominant variant to enjoy 2022 with. Hospitals are right back where they were at the start of the pandemic, if not worse, testing is out of control, cases are even more out of control and it’s utterly insane.

But hey, at least we all got to enjoy 2021, right?

Posted in writing

Define “Dramatically Different Place”

Yesterday Governor Charlie Baker stated that he is not changing his stance on masks for the state of Massachusetts because our state is in a “dramatically different place” than many other states.

Define “dramatically different place”. Are we in a “dramatically different place” because we don’t have our hospitals filled to capacity and not an ICU bed in sight? Are we in a “dramatically different place” because three-quarters of our state have received at least one shot? Although there is a quarter of our state who haven’t received any shots.

Until Massachusetts reaches and remains at zero cases, hospitalizations and deaths, we are “in the same place” as any other state in the country that is fighting the coronavirus. Baker also has to remember that the majority of our students have not even gone back to school yet. That’s when the real fun will begin.

There’s nothing “dramatically different” about people experiencing and dealing with a pandemic day in and day out. Our state’s experience may not be as dramatic as another’s, but it certainly isn’t different. Because Delta is not any better here than it is in Texas or Florida. It is the same highly contagious variant no matter where you are.