In the future, we'll be known as The Lost Generation 2.0
“It started as a virus and mutated into an IQ test.” Noni Moss.
We let this pandemic happen to us. It wasn’t just the anti-vaxxers, the anti-maskers, or Florida Governor Ron DeSandis telling the world he wouldn’t dignify this coronavirus any more than he’d let a hurricane spoil a bong party.
The rest of the country was just as fervent in its own way, even describing something as innocuous as vaccine passports as “a chilling form of social stigma and dystopian surveillance.”
Well, as of August 4th, our seven-day average of covid-related deaths is 448, one in five occurring in Florida. As odds go, Americans are about the worse oddsmakers outside of Russia and Tanzania.
As governors go, he’s a Republican dupe, one of many fashioning themselves after Donald Trump, a man capable of lying and cheating in ways that would shock even Richard Nixon or Spiro Agnew.
I never liked Ron DeSantis. As governors go, he’s a Republican dupe, one of many fashioning themselves after Donald Trump, a man capable of lying and cheating in ways that would shock even Richard Nixon or Spiro Agnew.
Not that this bothers DeSantis.
Floridians make up a healthy percentage of GOP supporters, many of whom can list DeSantis’s accomplishments, including his 2021 Florida Python Challenge, a ten-day event where 600 people captured and disposed of 223 invasive pythons.
It didn’t matter that 11,515 constituents were in hospitals the same day, or that DeSantis continues to refuse any mask mandate or business restrictions.
He still believes this virus is seasonal and “media hysteria” is more likely to cause heart attacks than viral infections. There’s a man who doesn’t know odds from otters. But he’s not alone.
Mask mandates are being ignored, repealed, and even vilified in many of the GOP-run states. “We have made progress, and we’re moving towards personal responsibility and common sense, not endless government mandates,” said Gina Maiola, a spokesperson for Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey.
Who knew — or cared — that the Delta variant has quintupled case rates over the last month.
It’s the “common sense and personal responsibility” that worries me most. At the recent Lollapalooza Festival in Grant Park, Chicago, over 110,000 attended with few masks insight. Who knew — or cared — that the Delta variant has quintupled case rates over the last month.
But who stops a festival during what some call “the summer of recovery”? If this is recovery, we’re dumber than we think. It isn’t our lack of knowing as much as our lack of believing that’s turned us into skeptics.
As one infectious disease specialist pointed out, “People simply don’t believe our government would allow a scenario where they could die.”
I’ve talked to people who feel the same way. It’s the old “If we can put a man on the moon…” scenario. By comparison, the moon landing was a cakewalk. Space is fairly predictable. So’s the moon’s surface and atmosphere.
On the other hand, viruses like the Delta variant are barely explainable.
And since viruses like the Delta are mutating and making mistakes all the time, it’s like a lunar module trying to touch down on a planet that’s bouncing around like a ping pong ball.
It’s a crapshoot at best. Viruses transform and transpose. During their mutations, a mistake can occur. Unless our immune systems know what that mistake is, they can’t do much about it. And since viruses like the Delta are mutating and making mistakes all the time, it’s like a lunar module trying to touch down on a planet that’s bouncing around like a ping pong ball.
Even worse, variants are like millions of little lunar modules themselves. Gather 110,000 people together at a concert or rally, all unmasked, shoulder to shoulder, and we’re not just talking super spreader here. We’re talking a greenhouse. Variants couldn’t ask for a better growing environment.
So why trust the vaccines we have now? Because vaccines do punch the puss out of a lot of corona mutations. Your odds of living only improve, especially if combined with masking and social distancing.
Not that it stops many GOP leaders from calling off mask mandates, even while hospitalizations are going through the roof.
Historically, it’s what politicians do. For the longest time, when plagues raged through Europe and Asia, they’d simply lock themselves away in castles until the problem went away. Today, politicians have way better protection than castle walls. They’ve got government healthcare.
When a coronavirus denier like Lindsay Graham goes down with COVID, like he did last week, you can bet he’s injected with every treatment known to man.
Our political leaders have the best healthcare money can buy (your money, by the way). When a coronavirus denier like Lindsay Graham goes down with COVID, like he did last week, you can bet he’s injected with every treatment known to man. He’s pumped with the best, while you’re likely to spend long hours in Emergency, possibly ending up on the ICU floor.
Covid skeptics and naysayers don’t believe any of this, of course. They blame the news media for getting us all frenzied and paranoid. That’s true to some extent. News agencies report on vaccine hesitancy, then go on to show needles repeatedly on every broadcast. It’s like being shown every grisly detail of an amputation before being told you need one.
There’s a strange sense of theatre surrounding vaccines. One news station wouldn’t shut up about minor incidences of vaccine hives. Another found a study showing coronavirus in the nasal passages of vaccinated people. The next day, that same newspaper ran a headline saying, “Vaccinated People Still Have High Rate of COVID.”
If the reporter had bothered to read the whole study, they would’ve realized that vaccines themselves don’t kill viruses. They train the immune system to do that. Nasal passages don’t have immune systems. Thus masks.
Instead of reflecting on the fact that 99.9% of Covid cases in Texas were unvaccinated, she chose instead to say, “The public in some ways seems a lot more levelheaded than the so-called experts.”
Then there’s Fox News commentator, Laura Ingraham. Instead of reflecting on the fact that 99.9% of Covid cases in Texas were unvaccinated, she chose instead to say, “The public in some ways seems a lot more levelheaded than the so-called experts.” In “some ways,” Laura?
It’s like the cartoon of a tiger saying, “Marco” and a rabbit sitting up and saying, “Polo.” Then another rabbit screams, “Are you f**king high?”
I would ask Laura Ingraham the same thing. Seriously, are you f**king high, Laura? In what universe is an anti-masker or anti-vaxxer level-headed?
Maybe it’s not their fault — or anybody’s fault. We’ve been through a long ordeal. Informed to the point of overload, dizzy, depressed, sleep-deprived — who wouldn’t be crazy? One day we’ll be known as The Lost Generation 2.0, a fractionalized mass of inflated egos and outraged constituents.
Eventually, even Laura Ingraham won’t be able to say “level-headed” with a straight face. I’m surprised she can do it now.
Personally, I still think she, and Carlson and Hannity — and, yes, Ron DeSantis — are truly “f**king high.”
She’s a pro, though, and pros can say just about anything. That’s what Fox News expects. She can say anything. Personally, I still think she, and Carlson and Hannity — and, yes, Ron DeSantis — are truly “f**king high.”
As for the rest of us, we’re still where we were when this thing started — lost, calculating odds in our heads, and still ending up more confused than when we started. As I said, Lost Generation 2.0.
And, frankly, I think we’ll deserve it.
Robert Cormack is a satirist, novelist, and blogger. His first novel “You Can Lead a Horse to Water (But You Can’t Make It Scuba Dive)” is available online and at most major bookstores. You can check out Robert’s other stories and articles at robertcormack.net
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