It’s Over, We’re Free!

I’d rather be posting about the joint SpaceX-NASA launch today at 4:33pm EST. It will be the United States first launch of two astronauts into space since 2011 atop the new Falcon 9 rocket. It will be big news for many reasons. I do hope everything goes well, goes perfectly and hopefully the weather is going to cooperate. Unfortunately, we are still in the middle of a much bigger, unprecedented pandemic story dealing with just as much risk of life and death as space exploration ever has, actually more so for the mere fact that COVID-19 has taken hundreds of thousands of American lives and 350,000+ around the world. Controlling then stopping this pandemic is more important than the distraction and excitement of a SpaceX launch.

∼ ∼ ∼ § ∼ ∼ ∼

This past Memorial Day weekend saw record crowds outside at beaches, parks, resorts, and Memorial-Veteran celebration events not seen since mid-March or before. As all 50 states began lifting and easing coronavirus restrictions this past week under pressure from pro-business, pro-economy, pro-danger-n-risk GOP groups, many Americans blatantly disregarded social-distancing and wearing protective masks. From Al Jazeera news:

In the Tampa area, along Florida’s Gulf Coast, the crowds were so big that authorities took the extraordinary step of closing parking lots. The county’s sheriff, Bob Gualtieri, said about 300 deputies were patrolling the beaches to ensure people did not get too close.

In the state of Missouri, people packed bars and restaurants at the Lake of the Ozarks, a vacation hot spot popular with Chicagoans, over the weekend.

One video showed a crammed pool where vacationers lounged close together without masks, St Louis station KMOV-TV reported.

In West Virginia, ATV riders jammed the vast, 700-mile Hatfield-McCoy network of all-terrain vehicle trails on the first weekend it was allowed to reopen since the outbreak took hold. Campgrounds and cabins were opened, as well.

Patrick T. Fallon-Reuters

Florida beach front Memorial weekend – Patrick Fallon/Reuters

Many authorities and law-enforcement have been confronted with disdain and hostility by Americans when trying to enforce or promote safety measures during the entire pandemic restrictions. This is perhaps the saddest testimony of a Dis-United States of America during this crisis. Park authorities, municipalities, and law-enforcement all agree that they cannot possibly monitor and make all Americans stay at least 6-feet apart. They do not have the staff to accomplish such a ridiculous order. However, they do remind all Americans that it is 90% self-governance and kind regard for neighbors, friends, and strangers alike. It is safety and health for everyone first as well as yourself. Common sense, right?

Port Aransas, Texas [Eric Gay-The Associated Press]

Gulf beach at Port Aransas, TX, Memorial weekend – Eric Gay/Associated Press

In a May 2020 study by the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Department of Mathematics, Imperial College London, the W.H.O. Collaborating Centre for Infectious Disease Modelling, the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analytics, the Abdul Latif Jameel Institute for Disease and Emergency Analytics, Imperial College London, and the Department of Statistics, University of Oxford, there are 24 states in the U.S. that still have not contained their COVID-19 outbreaks. Here are the 10 worst, most at risk states for a June 2020 resurgence of the deadly virus, from worst to less worse:

  1. Texas
  2. Arizona
  3. Illinois
  4. Colorado
  5. Ohio
  6. Minnesota
  7. Indiana
  8. Iowa
  9. Alabama
  10. Wisconsin

I am not the least bit surprised that Texas leads the pack in being #1 in NOT controlling our coronavirus outbreaks and most likely to suffer the worst with another June outbreak. For well over two weeks here in Dallas there are noticeably less and less people applying social-distancing or wearing masks. That most likely means they are not washing their hands regularly either. Texans see our nation’s leader never wearing a mask and taking doses of hydroxychloroquine, a drug that has no clinical tests proving it works against COVID-19. This is a remarkably sad testimony for how Americans and Texans do not care for each other—unless of course it is their own family or a dear financially beneficial friend or Good Ole Boy—and care less about medical-scientific facts on pandemics and what the true experts warn and recommend. It’s a new era of illiteracy and unenlightenment.

Despite the increase of rebels and protesters throughout late April and all of May here in Texas and an uptick in the number of deaths, in Dallas County the number of ICU patients and emergency room visits for COVID-19 has flattened out. This is encouraging, yes. But the real indicator of whether this reopening happened too soon and many blowing off safety measures in public will be the final numbers around June 10th through the 14th when the incubation period expires for Memorial weekend infections and hospitalizations trend upward again. Whatever happens, the fact remains that in February and early March all of this should have been seriously addressed nationwide by our federal leadership. It wasn’t. American death-toll:  100,000+ and counting.

Three cheers for COVID-19. The winner! It is going to be around and a menace for a long, LONG time with this kind of unity and lack of virtues for others. I hope a tested, FDA-approved, effective vaccine is found and distributed very soon.

————

Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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38 thoughts on “It’s Over, We’re Free!

  1. It is sad, isn’t it? Here in Wisconsin the number of infections does seem to be trending down, but we’re still seeing 250 – 400 new cases a day here, with about 20% of those ending up in ICU. Once the Wis. Supreme Court shut down the state health department’s ability to impose the shutdown, it was complete chaos here. Some businesses are doing the right thing – requiring face masks, putting up barriers, etc. a lot of them, even most of them, aren’t. Nore are people around here wearing masks, etc. I had to get plumbing parts at the local hardware store and I was the only person in the store wearing a mask. And one clerk kept trying to get closer and closer to me and I kept backing up and finally had to flat out tell her to just back off a bit and she actually got offended? I just don’t understand people. Oh, and about 2 weeks after the first of the “freedom” protests at the state capital, about 50 of the 200 or so protesters came down with the virus. Interestingly, the only media that published that was the public radio website, and that was little more than a couple of sentences. All of the other media seems to be ignoring that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, and about 2 weeks after the first of the “freedom” protests at the state capital, about 50 of the 200 or so protesters came down with the virus.

      I see why Wisconsin made the list of 24 states, even the top 10. 😦 I guess what too many people are not comprehending is the 4-14 day incubation period BEFORE symptoms manifest. Then if their infection is serious enough they can end up staying in the hospital for up to 2-6 weeks! Most Americans CANNOT AFFORD a 4-6 week hospital stay!!! You are one of the lucky ones if you are able to recover at home self-quarantining and fully recover. But Grouchy, that’s like playing Russian Roulette isn’t it?

      I can’t understand some people either or their logic and ESPECIALLY their lack of kindness, respect, and teamwork for our communities and coworkers, etc. 🤷‍♂️

      Liked by 1 person

      • The interesting thing with Wisconsin is that this is actually a politically moderate state. Most people here are middle of the road, even lean a bit left. One of our senators is one of the very, very few openly gay politicians in Congress, Tammy Baldwin, and most people pretty much like her. But on the problem is turning out the vote. It seems a lot of moderates can’t be bothered to actually go vote. As the GOP has found out, extremists vote, moderates don’t.

        Or that may be changing. People have gotten so pissed off with what the GOP has been up to that moderates and liberals turned out in droves in this last election, despite the virus and the GOP’s attempts to disenfranchise voters, and soundly thrashed the GOP’s hand picked state supreme court candidate. Unfortunately the new justice won’t be seated until July, but once he’s on the bench it’s going to be considerably more difficult for the state legislature to continue to get away with the literally criminal activities they’ve been getting away with for the last nine years.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes Grouchy. Wisconsin has usually been Moderate as long as I’ve participated in politics as a legal adult. This current mindset is surprising. I did a double take when I saw Wisconsin, Colorado, and Minnesota on that list.

          Voter turnout and repression has been an enormous problem in Texas too since at least Reagan’s two administrations. It has only gotten worse. Isn’t it a sad testimony that Moderates, or those people who fear confrontation and controversy, or don’t like to “rock the boat” are this nations rising problem right now!? However, in a small way I do understand and sympathize with THEIR frustration about how we’ve become LESS of a Constitutional democracy and increasingly more a corporate oligarchy of aristocrats both in business and Congress via Special Interest Groups and lobbyists. However, that is NO EXCUSE not to regularly exercise your civil duties and responsibilities! Not ever!

          Liked by 1 person

    • I hear you Jeff. Often I get seriously irritated at this state’s long, long ingrained history of arrogantly being a ‘Lone Star‘ and being rebels to social unity. Sure we all have our own preferences, differences, biases, backgrounds, etc. However, just as many similarities and commonalities can indeed be found IF, and that’s a big emphasis on IF, we suspend our individuality during crises. I’ve mentioned before our Greatest Generation and what they endured and joined as ONE, E pluribus unum, for well over 4-years during World War II. FOUR PLUS YEARS Jeff!!! We, this generation and younger, cannot even last 2-3 months!!! 🥺😖

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Despite the increase of rebels and protesters…..in Texas and an uptick in the number of deaths, in Dallas County the number of ICU patients and emergency room visits for COVID-19 has flattened out

    I suspect the distinction between Texas as a whole and Dallas county in particular is the salient point here. Most of those people you’re seeing being careless in public places are probably Trumpanzees, people predisposed to despise science and expertise and to believe what they want to believe and what their trusted blabbermouths (like Trump or the local pastor) tell them. You know…..idiots. The smart people are not behaving like that, but you aren’t seeing them in public because they’re mostly still staying home to avoid the new eruption of infections the idiots are going to generate. Like most big cities DFW is a blue, or at least purplish, island in a red sea.

    It may be that some societies just have too high a proportion of stupid people to cope with problems like this. In the US it seems to be around one-third of the total population. That’s probably high enough to doom any effort to get the pandemic under control until a vaccine is available. (The anti-vax movement is part of the same mass-stupidity problem and has been causing flare-ups of avoidable diseases for years, but its consequences mostly fall on its adherents.)

    I’m pretty much reconciled to the likelihood of having to stay home for another couple of years.

    Liked by 3 people

    • You make a very good point Infidel that the rare times I am getting out, I am not remembering that there are apparently just as many staying home. I honestly hadn’t thought of that. Thank you very much for bringing that to my attention. 🙂

      Like most big cities DFW is a blue, or at least purplish, island in a red sea.

      Yes and no. DFW most definitely has their political ideologies divided by zip codes. Most all affluent neighborhoods, communities, etc, are Red-Republican. I grew up in a somewhat “purplish” area of South Dallas in the late 60’s thru early 80’s during and just after desegregation of public schools. After my 27+ year soccer career ended and I returned home to DFW, my eventual wife (mother of my 2 kids) was not going to live anywhere that was predominantly non-caucasian—she wanted our kids to go to private Christian schools too. That squarely put us into a specific demographic and zip codes.

      And you are spot-on about the anti-vaccine idiocy. I hope it isn’t another 2-years Infidel, I really do. That will cripple so much of our fragile society now, exacerbate it even. :/

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Fortunately, the area where I live has a low incidence of cases … and no new ones for several weeks. HOWEVER, this doesn’t deter me from being cautious and careful each time I must enter the public arena. I suppose it’s because I happen to be one of those “liberals” that believes in what medical science tells me. *sigh*

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, Prof, you called it. Since late May, lookee, lookee: the pandemic is surging in Texas, going from a low of about 4% to nearly 10% with testing (that’s the number of confirmed positives from testing regardless of how many tests are actually carried out), daily cases rising (averaged over 5 days) from high hundreds at the latter part of May to nearly 4,000 a month later, with hospitalization rates averaged over 7 days more than doubling from ~1500 to over 3000. Per day.

    And all these trends are still going in the wrong direction. They are all rising.

    But it’s summer! The flu season is over. What could possibly be driving these numbers up and up and up again? A Democratic conspiracy? Dr Fauci? The CDC? Big Pharma? 5G network? Bill Gates? A communist world domination plot through the WHO?

    Wait… could it be.. might it be… a highly contagious virus? Really? Seriously? No way… it has to be something nefarious from the anti-Trump Left like the Republicans from the Lincoln Project.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Tildeb,

      It is very sad and disturbing to admit for Texans, no doubt, but the REAL experts—the epidemiologists, virologists, scientists, other medical practitioners who completely get it—predicted this occurrence. Honestly, at least to me Tildeb, it was a NO BRAINER! It certainly wasn’t “rocket science.” 😔

      I’ve been debating on whether to write another follow-up post about how utterly bad and embarrassingly Texas is doing with containment and management of COVID-19, especially North Texas and Dallas County. I have certainly collected enough reports and resources to do so, but haven’t found the motivation to do so; I am SO DAMN ANGRY and FRUSTRATED at irresponsible, ignorant, arrogant Texans (Republicans) right now! They are responsible for reopening way too soon and thus making me suffer more by being forced BACK into total quarantine (when I was doing everything asked by experts and officials) then causing all the crippling ripple-effects of “total shutdown.” This is what happens when you have legal/political Leaders who worship MONEY 💰💲💰💲💰💲 higher than human life and public health & safety! 🤬

      Meanwhile, these news links I’ve collected tell the story of just how miserably Texas is FAILING at this science stuff and public health.

      https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/coronavirus/dallas-county-covid-19-hospitalizations-hit-record-high/2392622/

      https://dfw.cbslocal.com/2020/06/21/2-more-north-texas-bars-alcohol-permits-suspended-undercover-covid-19-inspections/

      https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/utsw-covid-19-model-predicts-surge-in-dfw-cases-in-the-coming-weeks/2393101/

      https://www.dmagazine.com/healthcare-business/2020/06/the-covid-19-pandemics-most-vulnerable-zip-codes-in-dallas/

      https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/3983cc50dfb146648711b4090a3db5e6

      https://www.khou.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/houston-vaccine-scientist-its-time-to-roll-back-the-reopening/285-9256639e-bb27-4582-a95b-b3b1fb03b37e

      https://www.star-telegram.com/news/coronavirus/article243737167.html

      https://www.wfaa.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/coronavirus-updates-dallas-fort-worth-north-texas-live-june-23/287-b92536b0-4e0c-40b4-90d3-26de20c50f2c

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      • A really excellent moving graphic at the bottom of the star-telegram link. That’s what we would expect to see with an non-intervention epidemic unfolding. And remember, like with climate change actions taken today, we are locked in to suffer the results we can’t affect from what we failed to do yesterday, so this graph should continue to spike for at least two more weeks.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, you are SPOT-ON Tildeb, as always. 😉

          Two more weeks“!!!???? Now you are not spot-on Sir, at least for North Texas and Dallas County. 😉

          I can almost guarantee you that all this stupidity and irresponsibility you framed so well (alluding to Climate Change) will carry over into August—as I predicted back in early March—and maybe further. As long as our leadership has no backbone against their wealthy Conservative Repub constituents and doesn’t care more about public safety and lives (including political opponents!), for us this could go into September or October unless people WAKE UP from their self-inflicted anti-science farce! 😠

          Liked by 1 person

          • Prof, the point I was raising is that the two week increase of the current trend lines is guaranteed regardless of any actions taken today… even if everything were suddenly and completely locked down right this minute. That’s why so many medically informed people who work at these places are saying, “Houston, we have a problem…”

            Because of a lack of appreciation that this virus is so contagious AND certain populations are more susceptible to its worst effects means that literally thousands of health care workers have had their health and lives jeopardized by those who presume this pandemic is not really that big of a deal and so can do their unwitting and/or uncaring part making it that much worse. So your August forecast I think is way too far on the optimistic end of the prediction… I have pretty good evidence that the second surge will start up mid September and dwarf the first BECAUSE the first was never really handled but maintained by the US… which has, let us not forget, about 25% of all global cases right now but only about 4% of the global population, making it the unquestionable hot spot with very little meaningful coordinated action taken to mitigate the conditions necessary for a resurgence. It is primed to become way worse. In other words, if you think a ‘mere’ 130,000 deaths and hundreds of thousands of permanently damaged people is an ‘acceptable’ cost to bear now domestically, I wonder what the numbers will have to be later this year to bring about a more meaningful and coordinated response federally that doesn’t have other countries refusing Americans and the products they produce as contagions at their borders?

            Liked by 2 people

            • Yes, in complete agreement with you Tildeb. Just to be clear/polite, I was being a little cheeky with ya. Sometimes my cheekiness doesn’t come across on WordPress. 😉

              Your comment-reply here is profoundly disturbing to me. 😦

              …the second surge will start up mid September and dwarf the first BECAUSE the first was never really handled but maintained by the US… which has, let us not forget, about 25% of all global cases right now but only about 4% of the global population, making it the unquestionable hot spot with very little meaningful coordinated action taken to mitigate the conditions necessary for a resurgence. It is primed to become way worse.

              And as I read that Tildeb, I immediately said to myself “Other countries, European ones, Asian, African, South American, etc, SHOULD put embargoes onto the U.S. and take necessary international pandemic/economic actions to FORCE our federal leaders into much more serious, significant containment and management of COVID-19” for exactly the reasons you give! Why not! Our moronic POTUS does it to any nation and national leader who hurts his feelings—we deserve the same treatment our President doles out! And then as if I were just as intelligent as you, 🤭😉 you write:

              I wonder what the numbers will have to be later this year to bring about a more meaningful and coordinated response federally that doesn’t have other countries refusing Americans and the products they produce as contagions at their borders?

              Great minds think alike, eh? Lol

              Seriously though, I wouldn’t blame other more responsible nations to do that to the U.S., not at all! We deserve it, but our federal leadership DAMN SURE deserves to be spanked and slapped like a red-headed step-child!!! 👊

              Like

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