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?

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.

A Mask For You, A Mask For Me

The CDC is a laugh a minute.

Two months ago it was “okay, vaccinated folks, whip off those masks and party hearty. But not you unvaccinated assholes, although we’ll turn a blind eye while you whip yours off too. Have fun! Especially when Delta gets you! PS: but if you’re on any public transportation or in a medical facility, you still have to wear a mask, no matter what. But it’s okay if you’re at a bar or a concert with 50,000 other fools. No masks needed”.

Now Delta has us, and the CDC, after much pressure and having wasted precious time, has issued new “guidance” that now vaccinated folks must wear masks, but only “when in areas with ‘substantial’ and ‘high’ transmission of Covid-19, which includes nearly two-thirds of all US counties.” Interestingly enough they didn’t mention unvaccinated people in this statement. Also, do most people know if their area is an area with “substantial” and “high” transmission? Do most people even give a fuck? I can assure you the unvaccinated ones don’t. So, it really wouldn’t shock me, with the stupidity of many people, that they would believe this statement says only the vaccinated need to wear masks and not the unvaccinated.

Today Walensky had the audacity to say the following: “In recent days I have seen new scientific data from recent outbreak investigations showing that the Delta variant behaves uniquely differently from past strains of the virus that cause Covid-19,” HOLY FUCK! Ladies and Gents, your “head” of the CDC! Where has this bitch been for the past umpteenth months? Living under a fucking ROCK?????????? Has she not seen what has happened in India and the UK? That a fucking woman Down Under caught it from a person who just passed her by and didn’t even touch her???? Based on this crock that she “just” discovered this data the other day, when most of us have known it since before she declared “no masks” (and we all know she has known it too), she should pack her fucking bags and resign.

Instead of the CDC pussyfooting around and trying to save what little reputation they have left (which isn’t much), why don’t they just fucking say what they’re going to be saying sooner than later anyway:

EVERYONE PUT THE GODDAMN MASKS BACK ON NO MATTER WHAT THE FUCK YOUR STATUS IS, NO MATTER WHERE THE FUCK YOU LIVE!!!! BECAUSE DELTA IS HERE AND IT’S GOING TO BE HERE FOR A GOOD LONG WHILE!!!! ALONG WITH ANY OTHER VARIANTS THAT COME ALONG!!! IN FACT, DON’T BE SURPRISED IF YOU’RE WEARING MASKS FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS!!!!!! PS: YOUR VACCINES AREN’T GOING TO LAST FOREVER!!!!

At least they got the K-12 school thing right. Wouldn’t it only make fucking sense that all students wear masks, especially since a good percentage of them can’t even be vaccinated yet?

Waving The White Flag

Yesterday the CDC declared that if you’re an individual who has been fully vaccinated you no longer have to wear a mask indoors or outdoors and you don’t have to socially distance. Unless your local laws indicate otherwise. And most local laws are lax to begin with.

As of this writing if you peruse the CDC government site, you’ll find this information under a link that you can click on. There’s also a link that says “find a vaccine” if you are not vaccinated. The remainder of the site has not been updated since April 13 and it still mentions the prior facemask guidelines.

It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that the statement from the CDC yesterday was clearly their ploy to try to incentivize anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated and mainly to try to entice the ones who have no intention of getting vaccinated. Apparently the CDC doesn’t know that the ones who have no intention wouldn’t get vaccinated if their lives depended on it. They certainly don’t care if the CDC says you can go mask less if you get vaccinated. Because most of them weren’t wearing masks to begin with. And then CNN reported: If the CDC’s announcement isn’t enough to move people to get vaccinated, here’s another reason: Cleveland Clinic said Thursday that more than 99% of people with Covid-19 in its hospitals from January 1 and mid-April were not fully vaccinated. Well, duh. Of course they weren’t. The vaccines only started getting distributed in December, mainly to first responders and medical personnel and the majority of the population didn’t even become eligible for a goddamn shot until April. Also, if you were in the hospital with Covid, you weren’t going to be given a vaccine. Shit, I was eligible for a shot in February but couldn’t get one until the end of March because I couldn’t get a goddamn appointment. So fuck the Cleveland Clinic and their poor reasoning.

Which brings me to the next point, which every health official outside the CDC has also brought up: how the fuck are we going to know who has and who hasn’t been vaccinated? Covid tests at the door? Coughing tests? Facemasks wrapped around our arms? Facemask tan lines?

You can’t trust vaccination cards because so many non-vaxers have already secured fraudulent ones online. And would we expect businesses to stop and ask you for vaccination proof anyway?

Personally I intend to keep wearing a facemask as long as there are Covid cases. Although I am fully vaccinated I cannot afford to take the chance, whether it be slight or not, of getting Covid. Because I’m not going to know when I go to a store, a restaurant, a museum or anywhere that the person next to me who just coughed all over the place, who just spewed their saliva when they spoke, who just touched their mouth and then the doorknob, who is singing, who is laughing, and is standing right next to me, less than six feet away, is vaccinated. There aren’t enough, and at the end of the day, won’t be enough, fully vaccinated people in this country, or even the world, for me to fully believe that the person breathing down my neck is fully vaccinated. There have been so many instances during this pandemic where I have been in a store and the person in front of me has coughed or sneezed and although they were wearing a facemask, never took any other precaution. And I thought to myself “thank Christ I’m wearing a facemask”. In September at CVS I stood behind a man coughing his head off while wearing his facemask below his chin. I really felt bad for the woman standing in front of him.

Yes, I agree that it’s apparent the vaccines are doing something. The cases have dropped considerably and I’m lucky enough to live in one of the most vaccinated states. But, even as it says on the CDC website under the “What We’re Still Learning” section: How long Covid-19 vaccines can protect people. Because we don’t know. A good majority of us have taken a risk at not knowing if there will be any future side effects from these vaccines. But I guess it’s better than possibly dying from Covid. Again, we don’t know.

To me the CDC making their statement yesterday was their way of waving the white flag. They have given up. They know that we are at the end of the vaccine process for adults who want a vaccine, that the only ones left to get vaccinated will be children, if their parents allow them to, which I know many are not. They know herd immunity will not happen. And they know that Covid is not going away any time soon. I’m sure they even suspect another wave. And there very well could be one. But they can’t do anything else. So they tell the ones who have been vaccinated, and inadvertently the ones who have not, to take off their masks and party.

Until the next pandemic hits.