Oh accursed god, why hast thou forsaken me?
Maybe that’s a bit much, but maybe… not.
Here in the greater Seattle metropolitan area, increasingly, there’s less and less to do. The governor has shut down all events where 250 or more congregate, and that has spilled over to much smaller venues and meetings. Schools are closed, conferences cancelled, MLB opening day cancelled-at least here, but depending on the quality of the team the Mariners have this year, that might not be a bad thing, and good vibes postponed while we wait out the coronavirus.
And as a man about town, this affects me personally. I had tickets to the symphony; cancelled. Had a house concert scheduled; been postponed to May, hopefully, but who knows. Even batting practice has been shut down. And while that might not be a bad thing, depending on how your hitting is coming along, it means no post practice beerfest and everything that goes along with that. Hey, guys need to yak too!
It also means that the kids aren’t playing either, which is a bummer.
It also leaves far too much time for contemplation in these oddly contentiously not-so-good good times. We’re told, and it’s been statistically shown, that fewer of us world-wide are dying than in any time in history. And statistically-that bane of all who dislike facts that contravene their views-this virus isn’t so terrible. At least not yet! It could be, but we don’t know fully, so we do the only thing we know how to do well in the fractious times.
Now, one could point out that the world-wide numbers for the coronavirus are less than those of the flu here in the US, but to do so, ironically, puts you in league with idiots and conspiracists like Hannity and Limbaugh, and does your argument no good. But it does beg the question: if we’re this freaked out about the coronavirus, why aren’t we freaked out more by the flu?
The answer is simple, if not maddening: we know the flu and are accepting that it will kill between 12,000 and 61,000 people annually (CDC). It’s akin to how we’re “ok” with 36,000 people dying annually from gun violence so long as it’s not people shooting up schools, churches, theaters, nightclubs, military bases, etc. with military style assault rifles. Individually, and between family and friends, we don’t seem overly concerned. But because the coronavirus has its unknowns, any and all scenarios are possible, and in these times the mind runs wild, because we have the perfect vehicle for information and disinformation, the Internet.
As you’ve probably noted, assuming you’re still reading this, I’m not thrilled with the situation, but… I am resigned to it because there’s really no other alternative. I’m not happy with what passes for “leadership” in this country, and how that “leadership” has fundamentally dropped the ball on this, but honestly, what did we expect? I worry about small businesses closing, people without healthcare struggling with what to do, a healthcare system that may be overwhelmed, lack of any authoritative informational source, and an administration that can’t get its story straight and is led by an inveterate LIAR.
The only good thing, and I use that term colloquially, is that driving here in the Seattle metropolitan area has never been easier.
©2020 David William Pearce