Can’t remember when I updated with non-travel issues, but it has been a while. With the pandemic, things were kind of getting better and the “curve had begun to flattened.” This was in mid to late May, and people including our illustrious leaders decided that it was ending, and it was time to open up the economy and loosen restrictions. Each state did its own thing and although the federal government had issued “phased” reopening plans, many states did not follow these plans.
These re-openings coincided with Memorial Day and people took full advantage of being able to get out of their house and precautions be damned. From that point on, people continued to congregate, restaurants and bars began reopening and many refused to take any precautions… It has become a political statement whether or not to wear a mask. Our administration has so far refused to wear a mask and has continued to say that everything is going great and opening the economy is what is best for the nation, health of the population be damned.
Here we are at the end of June and the country is having the highest daily case counts yet. According to the administration this is due to testing. If you don’t test there would be no cases?!?! NY, NJ, etc. have done really well and are now not allowing people in from other infected areas without 14 day quarantine. Tables have turned…. California, Texas and Florida are increasing cases exponentially. Not only are cases increasing, but percent positive tests are increasing.
Today there are 2,800,000 cases and over 129,000 deaths in the US and the last week or so have spiked in several areas, cases more than hospitalizations or deaths, many in the younger age groups. This makes me think a couple of things, will the hospitalizations and/or deaths increase in the next week or so with lag time from reported cases??? And with younger victims who probably have less symptoms do we really know the extent of infection and how far it has spread…AND WILL CONTINUE TO SPREAD.
Mask issues – this is really big stuff right now. We have been to some towns Moab for example where 75% were wearing masks to towns where 35% were. We choose to wear it to protect ourselves and others. Many choose not to wear a mask, including many republicans, as I mentioned it is becoming a political issue. President Trump has resumed his political rallies holding one in Tulsa and another in Phoenix with in the last couple of weeks. Although the Tulsa rally was not as full as anticipated, there were over 6,000 people gathered inside with no social distancing or masks. Same in Phoenix.
I have to admit that some republican politicians have back tracked on the mask issue recently. VP Pence is wearing one sometimes and others are basically begging everyone to wear them now… Unfortunately, it appears that it may be too late. But we can always hope…
And if a pandemic was not bad enough, the country is going thru another crisis. On Memorial Day, May 25 a black man named George Floyd was killed by police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Police killing of unarmed black people is not a new occurrence, there have been several high profile instances just within the last couple of months, but George Floyd’s case really sparked an outrage in our country.
I don’t know if pent up frustration over the pandemic played a part or not, but either way, the outrage has been country wide. Protests have been held in most large cities and many smaller towns, and are still continuing even now. Many protests have been peaceful, but of course many have not been. It is believed that most of the violent protesters are not part of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) but are infiltrators from either white supremist or antifascist depending on who you ask.
There are calls to “defund” the police departments, confederate statues have been destroyed, businesses looted and burnt and many other acts of violence as well as many acts of peaceful dissidence. As for defunding the police, I kind of agree. I believe that in many instances, police use of force is not the answer. As I understand it the “defund” call is to redirect funds to other social safety nets such as mental health programs, substance abuse programs, educational programs, etc. Police have one of the hardest jobs in the world, but some abuse their power and when they carry guns that abuse can turn deadly. On the other hand, Americans seem to be able to kill each other pretty well with or without police interventions. Once again, I don’t have the answers, just a bunch of questions…
Equality and Unity are what I believe we need. To achieve equality, I believe that everyone needs to have the same opportunities. This includes affordable housing, equal education, access to healthcare, but most important we must be treated equally. People of color are not treated equally, this is fact. I don’t know how to change people’s minds or outlooks on life, but somehow, we have just got to get over our bigotry!!! As an individual, as a community and as a country we have got to get over that hate, fear, whatever you want to call it, we must find a way past.
I hope it is not too late for our response to this pandemic, I guess heard immunity is a last resort? I truly hope it is not too late for us as a country to come together as a people and respect each other, provide basic necessities for our citizens and love one another!!!
Hmmm, don’t really know what to think of it all and know that this post didn’t help you, but maybe it helped me???
Peace love and JUSTICE FOR ALL!!!