Good god I could not believe it when I heard Joe Biden said on national television yesterday that the pandemic is over. Meanwhile the US is still experiencing 300 Covid deaths per day along with countless new infections (countless because they are mostly not counting them any more). This has to be one of the most irresponsible things I have heard a politician say since the pandemic started, and there have been plenty to choose from. In the end, it turns out that all politicians are self-serving whores.
Here in Spain things aren’t much better other than we are still required to wear masks on public transport. This is a huge deal for me because if they revoke this policy then I won’t be able to travel anywhere. As it is, the few trips I’ve taken since March 2020 have been in the past few months and were all work-related, travelling by train and taking every precaution possible. I’m honestly not sure I’ll ever travel by air again.
So far I have managed to avoid getting Covid, which I put down to a combination of luck and being careful. Sure, I take some risks since I have to work and also have to live a little. But I also cut back on risks as much as possible, like not travelling unless I have to and also when I decided not to do my tapas tours over the summer. That was a big financial loss for me, but better to lose some income than my life. I will breathe a little easier when the second booster becomes available here (end of Sept?) and after I also get my annual flu jab.
In the meantime I look at people behaving like they are the only ones who matter and I honestly don’t know how to feel any more. To say I despair is barely the tip of the emotional iceberg. Covidiots have been replaced by Covid Deniers, or in some cases the idiots have morphed into CDs. Whatever fits their agenda, whatever gives them the peace of mind to think ignoring science and actual pandemic experts is fine because this or that politician said it was okay for them to do exactly what they want to do (and basically to hell with everyone else).
The reality we are in now is that Covid testing has virtually stopped. In Spain they are only testing over 60s with symptoms who report them – many, including my flatmate, went through Covid at home. In fact it’s almost impossible now to get a PCR even with symptoms. But do people care? Do they fuck. As long as they can pretend Covid is no longer a global threat they are happy.
Because they ARE pretending. The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing people they were exempt from any moral responsibility as long as they did “whatever that guy over there was doing, because we were told we could”.
[disclaimer: people think I rant about Covid because I am immunocompromised. I may be, but who knows? My doctors haven’t put me on a list so that I get vaccines quicker, etc in spite of previous cancer and chemo, so possibly not. BUT I have a few health issues that might make contracting Covid more problematic for me than, say, for a younger fitter specimen (though many of those have been dropping like flies or are suffering with Long Covid). The bottom line is this pandemic has been overseen by Big Money and fueled by people’s innate selfishness. They counted on people to behave exactly how they have done, and could not have achieved any of this without you. Well done humans (once again).]
Elizabeth Grisham said:
Thank you for this. I have studied epidemics for 20 years and I still wear a mask whenever I go past the end of my driveway. (Yes, even to the mailbox, because COVID hangs in the air for 16 hours when someone breathes it out, coughs or sneezes.)
Please take care.
I really didn’t process that Biden had said that for several hours after seeing references to it on Twitter etc. I honestly thought people were just describing the message his behavior sent. I want to punch him.
I’m starting back to work next week when the latest booster is supposed to have kicked in, because I can’t make the money work any more, and everyone is going to have to wear n95s. It may not make for the most relaxing massage but take it or leave it, you know? I’ve got a large and a small Corsi-Rosenthal filter box, and I’m building another this coming weekend when the fan arrives from Amazon. The small one goes with me to medical appointments because even medical offices let people get away with shit cloth masks.
The infuriating thing is that as rude and heartless as it is to exclude immunocompromised and other at-risk people from any remotely safe participation in society, EVERYONE deserves to be safe from this and the one big thing anyone can do is wear a good quality mask. Very few people literally cannot afford n95s, especially since they can be rotated and re-used a few times, especially if you don’t wear them for a long period each day — for a grocery trip, say, on Tuesday and a doctor visit on Friday. Even KN95s are reasonably helpful and cheaper yet. It is not costly to wear a GOOD mask. I had to hand a KN95 to someone who came by the house to give me an estimate on some work last week, and he didn’t know what it was and was about to put an earloop dishrag on his face. The failure of messaging has been catastrophic.
And yet when I go to my dentist and hand out 3M Auras everyone is thrilled, and I show them my filter box, they’re thrilled and want to know all about it. So we keep preaching.