I got my second COVID booster shot this morning, so if I do catch this damned thing, it won’t be for lack of ducking. I was able to dole out my doses because the CVS worker who did it seemed friendly and the coffee had just started. So, I decided to play a little bit of sport while the medical industry suffers. He brought the tray and the syringe. I asked if it was the one that had the Bill Gates microchipOr the one that glows. let Satan know where I am. He stared at me a long moment, looked left and right, then leaned close and said, “5G, man. 5G.”
It’s laughing or screaming at this point, when the mention of one conspiracy theory is parried with yet another (in this case, the outrageous idea that 5G cellphone towers are to blame for COVID-19), This is the terrible truth.
With a solemn tone of voice and a daunting dot-matrix chart of the lost, The New York Times put forth the questionNobody seems ready to deal with this at this moment: How did this country sustain one million COVID deaths easily? the mostin less than three year span of any country in the globe?
The answers can be found in a broad range of shameful and disgraceful colors that, brushstroke by brushstroke, combine to paint a picture of a nation on the verge of collapse. COVID did not do it to us. Like water, it made for the lowest places and flooded the gaps until the walls crumbled, the floors cracked, and the “exceptional” country was forced to confront just how drab and subpar it really is… which may serve to explain the silence enveloping this grim and monstrous milestone.
“This is how it happens,” writesIndrajit Samarajiva was there to witness his country, Sri Lanka, collapse after years of civil war. “Precisely what you’re feeling now. The endless stream of negative news. The ever-increasing outrages. People dying, protesting and suffering all around you, all while you think about dinner. If you’re trying to carry on while people around you die, your society is not collapsing. It’s already fallen down.”
Capitalism was, of all things, what made sure that this thing would be the king. The idea that science could be obeyed to the point where multi-billion-dollar corporations might lose market share and custom for a while was more than intolerable. It was heresy against the faith of the freemarketeers and their trickle down pabulum. Minimum-wage workers behind plexiglass at the Piggly Wiggly were hailed as heroes in the media, but they weren’t heroes… or at least they didn’t want to be. They worked for the money and insurance, if it was available. Thousands were infected, and hundreds died.
The grisly details of COVID, as well as the meat-packing industry, are a perfect metaphor for greed and disease. According to a report by ProPublicaA group of meat-packing businesses joined their efforts to lobby the Trump administration for exemptions that would allow they plants to remain open while protecting them against legal liability. Trump agreed quickly.
“The effect that the meatpacking plant outbreaks had on the early spread of COVID-19 is staggering,” reads the report. “ProPublica and other news outlets tracked cases and deaths involving meatpacking workers. But academic researchers have found that by July 2020, about 6 percent to 8 percent of all coronavirus cases in the U.S. were tied to packing plant outbreaks, and that by October 2020, community spread from the plants had generated 334,000 illnesses and 18,000 COVID-19-related deaths.”
Notwithstanding the towering courage and perseverance of the doctors and nurses who fought COVID on the front lines — wearing garbage bags and masks hosed down with Lysol in the early days because of supply snafus — the bleak truth of this country’s garbled medical industryThis has been exposed. This extends to hospitals that are overworked and down to how we as a nation treat our elders. COVID is exceptionally dangerous for older people, to be sure, but hundreds of thousands of elders died warehoused in “homes” staffed by brutally undertrained workers.
This, again, was capitalism at work, the “for-profit” medical industry championed by capitalists as the best in the world. The dead know better.
Speaking of sham capitalism, no critique of the last three years would be complete without a long look at Donald Trump himself, whose performance as president during the crisis will go down in history as one of the more spectacular failures since Icarus told his dad, “Just a little higher.”
Everything you need to know about Trump’s long bungle of COVID can be found in the first public statement he made on the pandemicOn the last day in February 2020
At the moment, there are 22 people in the United States with coronavirus. One person died overnight, unfortunately. She was a remarkable woman in her 50s and was a high risk patient. Four others are very ill. Thankfully, 15 are either recovered fully or they’re well on their way to recovery, and in all cases they’ve been let go, and they’re home.
Additional cases in the United States are likely, but healthy individuals should be able to fully recover, and I think that will be a statement that we can make with great surety now that we’ve gotten familiar with this problem. They should be able and able to recover if they contract the virus. So healthy people, if you’re healthy, you will probably go through a process and you’ll be fine.
First, he said that the deceased person he was referring to was a man and not a woman. This set the tone for the unfactual avalanche calamity that his administration experienced over the following months. The happy talk, though, is the tell: he made this statement weeks after telling journalist Bob Woodward, “You just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed. And so that’s a very tricky one. That’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flus. This is deadly stuff.”
Hundreds of thousands of deaths, along with millions of infections, lay at Trump’s spray-tanned feet, but the dying has continued through the entirety of the Biden administration. We have the perfect storm: A president who is weighed down from the failures of his predecessor, and beset by a Republican Opposition that has been more happy to use a deadly pandemic for political purposes. It has also been difficult for Biden and his fellow Democrats to raise funds. snatching defeat from the jaws of victoryInto a form performance art
Frustrated silence reigns in the face of all this. There’s no mystery to it; a great many myths about greatness have been shredded and burned in the passage of COVID, and here we are once again confronted with a new wave of infections. There are new cases exploding across the countryThis is especially true in areas where the GOP convinced people vaccinations and masks were a liberal Trojan Horse. Yesterday’s infection rate was more than 90,000. This is a 60 percent increase in two weeks.
Biden directed flags to be flown half-mast to remember the millions of people who have died. It is a bland recognition like any other we have ever seen. The longer we refuse to face what this really is — a pandemic that has attacked us at our weakest places that were supposed to be our strongest places — the longer this will continue. It is a reckoning, which must be both personal and national. There will be no recovery.