One of the conspiracy theories circulating in right-wing media, as well as the internet far-right swamps, is that COVID is not real. Or if it’s not as serious as it actually is. In reality, it is a tool of control for the deep state and as soon as the election was over, it would go away. We can now leave the masks at home, woohoo! Really, people deep in the conspiracy world believe this. The fact that the media seems unable to chew gum and walk at the same time does not help. Or that since the election we have had intense media coverage of the election returns. Albeit, they have mentioned the pandemic in passing every day.
It is time to go back to the pandemic. Infections have topped 125,000 daily infections. Death rates will continue to increase and we still need to convince half the country this is happening. Never mind that some of the nations that need convincing are deep in Trump’s territory. They still believe this is a blue state disease, or that this is getting worse. They cannot believe their lying eyes, or neighbors who are getting sick, some dying.
We are done with telling people the virus is going away, or that we are bending the curve. The fact is that hospitals are starting to fill up across the nation. This is not a joke, and we all can do something about this. Yes, wear your mask. Stay at home if you can, and wash your hands. For the moment, we have priorities from the Biden transition team. Their first action is to appoint a commission staffed by professionals in public health.
For the moment, Pfizer announced that they have a vaccine candidate with ninety percent effectiveness. This was not part of project Warpspeed, and this is the statement from the transition team and the president-elect. It is far from over, and this is the kind of clarity that we need, and welcome.
Until we control the virus, we will not be able to get the economy back fully on track. As I type this, we are waiting to know if my county, for example, will have to go back to full restrictions because the positivity rate is up. In other words, we are still having this dance with the virus. If we go back into full restrictions, more businesses will fail. Of this, there is no doubt.
Part of the problem is COVID fatigue. Anecdotal I know, but many of my neighbors refuse to wear masks in public common areas. People wait to go into places like the farmers market, where they have to wear a mask, not wearing one. They put it on when they have to go in. They are getting bunched up as well. The celebrations over the weekend could also pose some danger of spread, especially since COVID is going up, and people could not social distance. At least they were mostly wearing masks.
But there is also the political, and how President Donald Trump has made the most basic public health measures a political signal. If you wear a mask, you are obviously a Democrat, If you do not, you are with the MAGA crowd. Funny that since the virus could care less. The virus is still taking lives, and it matters little if you are a Democrat, or a Republican, or an independent.
We are already in the darkest period of modern American history. We will see hundreds of thousands die before the year is out. These numbers are numbing, but they represent mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters. Yes, even young people die from the virus, in spite of what we have been told. Hospitals are already filling and will soon have to triage who they treat. If you have a heart attack, you may find yourself without an ICU bed. We are here, partly because the federal government under Trump politicized the whole response. We are here because his Son in Law, Jared Kushner tried to make this a blue state problem.
Because of all of this, hundreds of thousands of Americans have already died. More will as the next few weeks come and go. When the new president is inaugurated, the crisis will be far worse than it should, because we have people currently in office who don’t care, except for their own pocketbooks.
Just because the election is over, does not mean the pandemic is over. Not by a long shot. This is why the first action of the incoming administration was to name people to a covid task force who have the credentials to be there. This is not a radiologist, who has no clue what he is talking about but has the ear of the president. These are all experts in public health.
Will the pandemic magically go away the moment Biden is sworn? Nope, that is not how this works, But if the outgoing administration allows the incoming administration to start to set behavior examples and policy, it might be less of a national nightmare. The chances of this happening are anywhere from hell freezing over and none.
After all, we are still waiting for Donald Trump to concede that he lost. Instead, he is doing what has always worked for him. He is going to court.