December 22, 2020

Seething With Rage at the Local Stupidity That Endangers Lives

dog evil rage

I was just looking through the RSS feeds I set up to deliver local (Mississippi) news, and it looks like the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to get worse. Mississippi hit a new single-day high of new cases at 1,972 about a month ago. That sounds bad, but how bad is it really? The next thing to catch my eye was this story about how hospitals in the state are already struggling. But of course, none of this comes as a surprise to me. After all, they are still playing high school football here. Let that sink in for a moment. They are still having high school football games every Friday night, fans in the stands without masks or social distancing, and all. That's why the Jackson Free Press article quoted Dr. Dobbs as saying, "I would just like to say very clearly, everybody, don't go to a sporting event. It's not safe right now."

Of course, he can say whatever he wants. Nobody is listening to him or any other state health official. While our Republican governor has been reluctantly ordering county-specific mask mandates, he has made it clear that he doesn't want to do so and even clearer that they will not be enforced. The news media labels them "mandates," but everybody knows that are lukewarm recommendations at best. State health officials have been holding press conferences to sound the alarm, and that seems to be the only reason why the governor has taken any action.

We're now in a functional quarantine. Nobody has ordered it, and I don't expect anybody will no matter how many more die. At least, our governor has repeatedly said that he will not order another lockdown no matter what. But many of the few of us here who believe that the virus is real have reached the point of recognizing that it is no longer safe to go out, not because of the virus but because of the widespread idiocy around it.

The vast majority of my neighbors are still not willing to wear masks. If they venture in to one of the few stores that still tries to enforce mask-wearing, they can be seen removing it as soon as nobody is looking. They walk around the store with it handing off an ear or dangling below their chin. And it isn't just lack of masks. They are also not willing to keep their distance from others. That means that going into any indoor public space (e.g., a grocery store) inevitably means being surrounded by morons who will not keep their distance or consistently wear masks. Something as simple as trying to obtain food now seems dangerous.

There is no sense here of people looking out for one another. There is no vibe of us all being in this crappy situation together. Instead, things are beginning to feel more like a Lord-of-the-Flies sort of scenario where we are on the verge of descending into something very ugly. The panic buying, hoarding, and rationing are back. This didn't take long, and I expect it will contribute to the increasingly volatile situation as we head into holidays many are determined to celebrate because they have always done so. This guarantees that more will die.