Tuesday, April 12, 2022

COVID thoughts

An cream orange cat sitting on the floor in the morning sun. The sun is highlighting his whiskers so they appear almost blue and glowing.
One of our new pandemic pets

July 22, 2020
Early on, one of the first things I journaled (in my private, real paper journal) about COVID was that everything fucked up about our world was just going to get ten times worse because of it. And one of the first things to annoy the shit out of me was seeing people (older, white, financially stable people) share some stupid post about how this was a forced pause on the frantic pace of our lives, an opportunity to enjoy dinner with our children, read, rest, blah blah blah, shit shit shit. It was so oblivious to or uncaring of the crisis that COVID caused and is causing in so many people's lives. Lost jobs or trying to work from home while caring for children; so many people who can't access what few benefits there are because they are labeled "illegal." People who are doing just fine and are far removed from money stress or housing instability or job insecurity just don't give enough shits about everyone else who is struggling. I guess there are studies that have shown that the more one has, the less empathy they have.

Now it's been four months since we first started seeing lots of cases in the US, and I have such a strong feeling of cognitive dissonance every time I see people post or share photos of their vacations. Brendan and I have canceled all our travel plans for the year and we aren't making any new travel plans anytime soon. Well, we have talked about going camping, just us, but no definite plans yet. We canceled our flights to Wisconsin back in May, when we were supposed to go help plant trees and spread Wes's ashes at Bur Oak Farm. We canceled our plans to drive up to Washington to visit our family and friends in July-August. We won't be planning a big 10 year wedding anniversary celebration in October. We had hoped to rent a cabin and invite a bunch of friends to have an artsy fartsy weekend with us. We haven't talked about the holidays yet, but we won't be inviting anyone over or going to see anyone. Cases are surging in many spots around the US because there's been a total lack of regard for science, a push to reopen and get people back to work, and very little social support from the government. IT'S A FUCKING SHITSHOW. And yet people are going on fucking vacation and it pisses me off. Because it's such a normal thing. But nothing is normal right now.

And that's the thing. Everyone's normal has been disrupted, but for some people, that was a good thing.

April 12, 2022
Brendan walked into the kitchen as I was washing dishes and watching Ozark and said, "You're brilliant." I asked him what he was specifically talking about, and he said he'd been reading my old blog posts. So I came back here to read my old blog posts. I have a terrible tendency to forget about this blog for long swaths of time, but, you know what? I enjoy my writing, too. And then I logged in and saw that I actually had the above draft from 2020. I guess I was planning to add more to that. Now here it is, one year and eight plus months later, and I'm afraid I've become a bit COVID-numb. Which is to say, I don't even know exactly how I would continue that particular blog. Has everything fucked up gotten ten times worse? 

To do that question justice, I'd first have to make a list of everything that was already fucked up. Then I'd have to do some decent research into what's changed about those things since COVID. I don't have the time or energy to do that tonight, at least, and I'd like to go ahead and publish this post. 

So let me just come back to the title of this post. COVID thoughts. Something I think about a lot is the COVID death toll in the United States and how we're very close to one million. The current toll, according to the CDC, is 983,237. Compare that to China, a country with one billion seventy million five hundred thousand more people than the United States.  Incomprehensible numbers. Their death toll, according to the WHO, is 14,319. Incomprehensible loss all around, but for the United States? A fucking failure of the US government. 

Speaking of failures, basically all the West Coast dropped masking requirements last month, with some exceptions (public transit, healthcare facilities). Meanwhile kids under 5 (which includes Lochlan) don't have a vaccine yet. That's fucked up. 

What's wonderful? I've gotten a bit more active on Twitter. Not that that's necessarily wonderful, but there is an account that is dedicated to honoring those who have died of COVID in the United States: https://twitter.com/FacesOfCOVID
It is beautiful and tragic. Another way to say fucked up and wonderful. 

I have to walk the dogs. We have two of them now. I have to scoop out the litter box. We have two cats now. Normally those are Brendan's nighttime chores, but he has a cold (not COVID, but of course we check now whenever we are not feeling well), so I will do them for him. He did a good task tonight, in reminding me of this blog. 

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