This past week our U.S. Navy Blue Angels, an aerobatic squadron performing shows across the U.S. and Canada, flew over north Texas in a fanfare salute to all our front-line healthcare, EMT, police, and fire workers during this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. The sound, speed, and visual was indeed arousing, uplifting, and a grateful demonstration for our brave workers who have no choice but to put themselves in danger and/or at risk for infection, possibly worse. However, for Texas and the DFW metroplex was this big show a “salute” per se, or a Good Luck Hope You Survive fly-by for what’s about to hit us with a vengeance?
I have published a few past blog-posts regarding Conservative Texans and their governmental representatives being either relaxed or intentionally defiant about the seriousness and lethality of the COVID-19 pandemic. I have also posted about some Conservative business-owners protesting and public officials (e.g. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick) acting and speaking downright ludicrous about reopening businesses way too early. I still hold to my original time-frame of late-July or August of returning to business-as-usual. That depends on how well Americans and Texans take serious and endure quarantines and Stay-at-Home orders until the virus is safely under control.
I honestly do not see this happening, particularly when I
am forced to must go out in public for essential tasks and items. I have gotten my routine of exiting outside down to once a week, rarely twice. No more.
During the month of March Texans in DFW were doing quite well at staying home, not going to work and working from home, and not flooding public parks and blatantly ignoring social-distancing as reported for days and weeks. The change was encouraging! It seemed we had a decent chance of slowing and kicking wide-spread infections.
This short video shows the first weekend after local Shelter-in-Place recommendations were announced. This is from Well Creative Productions, Dallas, TX – Drone Videography – Cash Sirois:
But that was late-March folks, the first Friday night after Shelter-at-Home orders. After only 6-weeks this footage is no longer representative of today, not even close. Dallas and the state of Texas is seeing an increase in public protests that defy social-distancing and public health and safety. Yesterday afternoon Dallas saw yet another defiant protest of health and safety-for-all in a rally downtown called Set Texas Free. Here is what one of the rally organizers actually said:
“What we, as a people, saw is there are less people dying of COVID-19 than are unemployed.” he [Kevin Whitt] said. “We are losing our economy. There is so many people in Texas that are still unemployed,.”
Sadly, Kevin Whitt doesn’t have a clue about COVID-19’s methods of incapacitation and/or death. The actual numbers of infections and deaths by the virus have at least a 2-week or more lag. Furthermore, if clinics, test sites, and hospitals get overwhelmed by exponential numbers of infections, even serious life-threatening infections, then the death toll will quickly catch-up and surpass in a blink those who are unemployed! What sort of socioeconomic devastation will a 3-5 week hospitalization (perhaps in ICU?) have on those individuals and/or families? For the uninsured, which typically end up being severe cases and longer stays, the cost for the patient and the hospital is near astronomical: upwards of $74,000 per patient. These estimations provided by FAIR Health, Inc. For the insured, though noticeably less, it is still an enormous bill at discharge, about $38,755 or more… assuming the patient lives. Now, try to imagine what those costs would be for a nation of 1.35-million people infected and still rising! And do not imagine those dollar-amounts in just the next few weeks. Imagine them and multiply them for the next 3-6 months for a more accurate estimation!
Then there is the national celebrity Shelley Luther, owner of Salon Á la Mode in north Dallas, and her Republican circus-rally-for-profit. Following is The Texas Tribune’s must read article:
Just last week, Gov. Greg Abbott unfurled the first phase of his plan to reopen the Texas economy. He would allow limited openings of stores, restaurants and movie theaters, but he wanted to go slowly enough to make sure he wasn’t letting the pandemic run loose. Some health experts were nervous, while others were cautiously optimistic. Abbott said he would wait a couple of weeks to reconsider ending other restrictions.
Others have been pushing for a return to pre-pandemic Texas. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick unveiled a 113-page report from what he called his “Texans back to work task force.” One of the stated goals was to recommend ways to “safely and effectively reopen and restore our Texas economy to 100% in the not too distant future.”
Republican state Reps. Briscoe Cain of Deer Park and Steve Toth of The Woodlands crossed the barricades this week to get illegal haircuts in defiance of the governor. Cain could have been prepping for a court appearance: He’s one of Luther’s lawyers.
That publicity stunt went unpunished.
— The Texas Tribune by Ross Ramsey; accessed May 10, 2020
On her GoFundMe site Luther has profited $500,085 as of May 10th. Senator Ted Cruz (R) could not resist jumping on her money bandwagon either.
Local semi-retired sports anchor Dale Hansen with his own show Unplugged had this response to Luther and any other Texans defying legal public health and safety orders and laws during this time. Click here. I promise my intelligent readers and followers it is a must watch video-commentary. I’ve had past disagreements with Dale’s opinions and commentary, however, on this day on this topic about this rebel Prima Donna… I completely agree with him! Sadly, Shelley Luther is not the only whacko-rebel…
May 12, 2020 addendum:
Dallas Morning News headline — Dallas law firm fires employee after ‘threatening’ post about his gun, COVID-19 mask requirements.
The firm’s chief marketing officer, Kelby Luther, confirmed Monday that the terminated employee is Kevin Bain, who had worked as a document services manager based in Dallas.
[Kelby] Luther said the firm’s statement refers to a widely shared Facebook post in which Bain referred to the Whole Foods grocery store on Lomo Alto Drive in Highland Park, saying that any business that insists he wear a mask “will get told to kiss my Corona ass and will lose my business forever.” Bain went on to say “It’s time to stop this [expletive],” the post continued. “Do I have to show the lame security guard outside of a ghetto store my CV19 test results? I will show him my Glock 21 shooting range results.”
Yet the scientific and medical reality is this: Infectious disease experts fear coronavirus will spread as more Texas businesses reopen. This is what an overwhelming amount of nationwide medical, scientific, and epidemiologists warn and The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports:
Epidemiologists said they are encouraged Gov. Greg Abbott is assessing data and consulting experts to inform a gradual reopening of Texas’ economy. But they cautioned that for an incremental approach to be effective, sufficient time is needed between each phase to assess its effects on the spread of the virus.
Abbott’s announcement Tuesday that barbershops and hair, nail, tanning and cosmetology salons may reopen provided they follow a strict set of rules came four days after the first phase of businesses, including malls and restaurants, were permitted to begin operating in-person at a limited capacity.
[Shockingly] his decision came sooner than anticipated, as he had previously pointed to May 18 as a possible date for a second phase of reopenings.
Meanwhile, new infection cases in my county and in the DFW metroplex continue to climb in alarming numbers day after day after day, with no sign of slowing. With this fact let’s definitely cheer-on our hyped-up shows by U.S. Navy Blue Angels, Presidential pep-rallies of false information, watching all the non-stop commercials by mega-corporations bombarding us with messages of hope and healing with their corporate logos and self-promotion. And yes, we SHOULD applaud and congratulate our front-line healthcare workers daily for everything they are risking, doing and will risk and do in the coming 6-10 weeks or more! Because in all likelihood they are going to feel the storm hitting their hospital beds, clinics, testing sites, and admissions. They will be overwhelmed because a few of us want to deny what is happening and will happen if we keep ignoring medical and scientific expert’s warnings. For those greedy few—the safety of public health and work-place safety for everyone—miraculously does not apply for them. The minority in a specific demographic of the population are somehow immune from COVID-19 and necessary legal orders of full and/or limited quarantines. But then if none of them are enforced, then what’s the point in any of this? Disturbing isn’t it?
Our Greatest Generation endured over 4-years of unprecedented sacrifice and national unity to get through World War II. This generation, my generation and those younger cannot even last two months! What a legacy. 😔
May 10, 2020 extension — from The Atlantic:
There’s One Big Reason the U.S. Economy Can’t Reopen — The country faces the same problem today that it did two months ago: There are not enough tests to contain the virus. Written by Robinson Meyer, May 8, 2020.
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