(CONTINUED from Part 1)
In China, they halted the spread by shooting people who broke curfew. Doors were locked for months, and if you went hungry, too damn bad. It still got out because there’s a privileged upper class that habitually ignores the laws, and now there’s new outbreaks because it’s a sneaky bastard of a virus, but for a while it worked.
In New Zealand, they beat the epidemic by sealing the borders. Anyone that came in was put up in a hotel room for three weeks and tested repeatedly, and health care workers lived in quarantine. But they did well primarily through stopping it at a few dozen cases at a time.
In the United States, when we try to seal the borders it’s racism — and a hundred thousand people tunnel under anyway; when we try to stop flights it’s an impeachable offense; when we Executive Order anything at all it violates Separation Of Powers. When we issue stay-at-home orders, there are COVID raves and drag racing parties and cookouts and mass protests and people flooding the beaches, and your pot dealer makes home deliveries right alongside the guy from Jimmy Johns.
I mentioned the protests. There have been studies done showing that BLM protests did not lead to spikes in virus cases, because of course there have. To which I say, so f@#$ing what?! There’s an epidemic on, and we did not stay home. People traveled from other states, drove for hours, camped out in the streets for weeks on end. Even if not one of them was sick, if not one spread the virus, if not a single person caught COVID-19 because they were protected by the holiness of the righteous cause for which they fought — they still screwed us over, because the other half of America was sitting home watching TV and saying to themselves, “So it’s OK if they break quarantine, but not me? Screw that!” And, according to the NPR story I just linked, apparently they went to parties.
So yes, maybe you went to a party, which was stupid. But — Did you support the protests? Did you speak up in favor of them? Are you by chance protesting right now? Congratulations; you’re just as much at fault as the self-righteous jackass who proclaims masks are for sissies and a pandemic doesn’t cancel the Constitution, as if helping your neighbor was ever something we needed laws to force us to do.
Do Black Lives Matter? Hell yes. So does yours; stay off the damn streets. Put up a flag and a sign; protest from home for the next two years. Great cause; no excuse for spreading a deadly disease.
If I can condemn peaceful and reasonable protest, just imagine the contempt I have for Spring Break partyers and Haircut Karens and the condo association that’s still getting their lawns mowed because landscaping services are somehow essential. I can’t even begin to express my detestation for the execution of no-knock warrants during a pandemic, much less shooting innocent people in their beds in the process.
And what about those of us who obey the order, who stay home most of the time and wear gloves and masks to take out the garbage — and handwash anyway? What about the paranoid freaks (like me) who use a UV lamp to sterilize the surfaces of their grocery orders? How are we at fault?
We’re at fault because we accept that there are people who must work stocking grocery stores, shipping food, packing and processing food, farming food — and don’t forget the toilet paper industry. We are willing to put the UberEats driver at risk with the excuse that she volunteered, and we assuage our conscience by tipping a little extra, as though a couple of bucks is worth someone risking their life.
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