We have reached a milestone; 100,000 Americans are dead from COVID-19. What would the death toll be if we had a legitimate qualified leader? We are the sickest nation by far, with almost 1/3 of the world’s reported cases.
The vocal movement to reopen businesses has finally met with success. I saw a surprising statistic that only 20% of the population believes this is the right time to reopen; the remaining 80% think we would be wise to wait for testing and vaccines. Who are among the 20%? They aren’t the people whose lives would be at risk. They aren’t hospital workers who have seen the truth of this pandemic.
Mark Twain was right when he said it is easier to fool people than to convince them they’ve been fooled.
The most recent report I’ve seen of the national unemployment rate is 14.7%; that is according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Forbes magazine says the Bureau’s admittedly flawed method of gathering data underestimates the real number. They say the unemployment rate is really closer to 20% and rising. It will continue to rise at least through June.
Unemployment is devastating, but many of those who are unemployed, among the working-class, are fairing better than those essential workers who are forced to continue working. It is unjust that most– grocery store clerks, fast food workers, gas station attendants, food delivery drivers etc., are earning less while working than they would if they were unemployed. This oppressed labor group continues to work because unemployment insurance is not paid to employees who refuse to work. So they carry on, in their low wage jobs, under hazardous conditions, and they have the added burden of dealing with a public that seems to have lost its mind. (So many ”Karens.”)
In the early days of the toilet paper rush, essential workers were paid extra, but now companies like Kroger have decided they have paid a living wage long enough. Hazard pay is ending on June 1 for most workers.
And the rich get richer. Amazon is making a killing; Jeff Bezos has increased his wealth by $34.6 billion while his underpaid employees get sick. When his employees run out of their accrued sick pay, they are offered unlimited unpaid sick time, so they will have jobs to come back to if they recover. Amazon does offer health insurance to workers, payroll deducting the premium, but the number of uninsured Americans is rising with the unemployment rate, which emphasizes why health insurance should not be tied to work.
The range of unemployment numbers varies by state with Connecticut at 7.9%, and Nevada is at 28%. 38.6 million new claims have filed since March.
My empathy is still for those underpaid workers.
I am skeptical that the number of infections will decline with businesses and parks reopening, particularly considering the behavior of our population. Many of tRump’s followers remain unguarded, and they’re angry at the rest of us for denying them their tattoos and haircuts. These are the same people who refuse to wear masks.
tRump becomes more desperate to revive the economy with every passing day. November 3rd is closing in on him. He wants bragging rights if the economy recovers, but he takes no responsibility when it collapses. To open churches and schools without prevalent testing, and without a vaccine, is foolish and irresponsible, and emphasizes the fact that tRump doesn’t care if people die. Hundreds of thousands of new cases are still reported daily. Imagine what the numbers would be with adequate testing.
Georgia and Florida reopened early and both States are suppressing information about the surge of new infections in their states.
Early childcare facilities will reopen on June 1. Those essential tattoo parlors, hair salons, restaurants, and bars (only with outdoor seating in the more careful states,) are days away from reopening. Remaining states that have not already done so will allow small groups to congregate in parks this Memorial Day weekend.
I can’t help but think that those who rush out to “exercise their freedom” are self-made societal ginny pigs. Experts predict there will be another wave of illness in the fall and winter, but we’re still riding the first wave.
In the past two weeks 1 million new cases were reported globally, bringing the total to 5.1 million. The worldwide death toll has exceeded 335,000. That is a substantial increase in a short time, but we carry on with our plans to reopen.
My children are grown, but if they were not, they would be not participating in this summer’s public activities. The unknown outweighs what we do know about this disease. New York has found that children are affected by the virus in ways adults are not. Opening schools in the fall can not be safe without large scale testing, the kind tRump and his staff have on hand for themselves to use daily use.
Here is some surprising news— The New Yorker has reported that a vaccine could be ready by this Fall. A biotech company has already developed an experimental vaccine.
There is always a catch. Moncef Slaoui, who tRump appointed as his “Vaccine Chief” has $10 million invested in Medicis, the biotech company working on the vaccine. Appointing people with Conflicting interests is a trend for tRump, and I imagine there is some quid pro quo going on here.
I won’t be among the early group lined up to be vaccinated. I can not trust this administration’s judgement or motives. tRump is so desperate to look like a hero (while profiting,) that he continues to push the malaria drug he has a financial interest in. The drug is not only ineffective against the virus but has killed people. His to advise to inject disinfectant fluids demonstrates that he’ll approve anything. He doesn’t care about lives, he only wants to save his ass from the indictments that are waiting for him when his aforementioned ass is dragged out of office.
tRump’s biggest wish is to have bragging rights to a vaccine before the election. He will claim to be the hero in this story where there are none.
Now a happy dog photo. ☝️🏼 Grendel is searching for intelligent life. He is happy despite a home haircut and a sweater vest.