"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Is It Safe? COVID Paranoia, Saint Fauci, And The Idiocy Of Lockdown

“It is now safe to move about the cabin”, said the flight attendant on a recent trip from San Francisco’ “but be sure to secure your mask over your nose and mouth and leave six feet between other passengers in the aisle”. 

No one on this SFO-IAD flight was paying much attention to the announcement.  Passengers, mindful of the federal agents who boarded the plane in Chicago to take off a passenger who refused to wear a mask, wore theirs – loosely but acceptably.  Most passengers dipped their masks down below face level when they were dozing, covered by hats or scarves, refusing to travel six hours masked like Hannibal Lecter when they were vaccinated, protected, and unafraid of ‘variants.’

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“Be sure to wear your mask at all times, except while eating” the message went on.  The most dutiful passengers obeyed, but most took liberties – who was to say how much pausing over a glass of wine was too much? It was First Class after all. In Economy, cabin staff enforced order and compliance.  They had been advised that back-of-the-cabin passengers on this particular flight were from Humboldt County traveling to Washington DC to claim indigenous rights of land management before Congress. 

They were expected to resist mask mandates and social distancing.  “Don’t tread on me” said R.P. Hendricks, leader of the group and chief presenter to the House Subcommittee on Land Management and Property on many occasions but to the surprise of all on United 427, his bearded, bandanaed, scruffy lot was more compliant than those in First Class.

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Those in the front of the plane, first to be vaccinated, always conservatively opposed to government mandate, authority, and interventionism, and restive after months of censure and endless hectoring, did whatever they pleased.  The meth-heads from Humboldt in the back of the plane had rarely if ever flown and despite their growly, feral life in the wet woods of Fieldbrook and Big Lagoon, were surprisingly intimidated  by bright lights, uniforms, and plastic.

The ‘boys in the back’ as the Humboldt contingent was called by flight staff, were reasonable, accommodating, and complaisant.  The stewardesses laughed as they watched them sip from their plastic glasses of beer, and quickly cover their faces but were surprised at their obedient mask compliance and social distancing.  They waited patiently, six feet apart from those before the toilets, despite full bladders. They wiggled and danced like three year olds, but never pushed, jostled, or shoved.

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Meanwhile up in First Class, masks were worn desultorily and without conviction.  Aisle conversations were common. 

Flight UA 427 was a microcosm of America in the time of COVID – the privileged, educated, risk-analytic, objective, confident few; and those adrift at sea. If the Boys from Humboldt were timorous and obedient, what did this say about Middle America?

Risk assessment, objectivity, rationality, and innate confidence are part of ‘privilege’.  Those from Russian Hill on the Left Coast and Spring Valley on the Right were rightfully and equally dismissive of the self-important claims of official Washington. One size does not fit all, they concluded. 

It was the poorly educated, dysfunctional, overweight, diabetic, drug addicted residents of poor neighborhoods who were driving COVID cases up and filling hospital beds.  Those with healthy and uncompromised immune systems, rational protective responses, and philosophical conclusions about mortality and morbidity were indeed the elite. First Class would not get COVID.

Florida was attacked by the radical Left for its openness and tolerance.  How could they? shouted New York liberals who had sequestered themselves for months while happy young people played on Ft Lauderdale beaches.  Irresponsible, antisocial, and wrong, they yelled; but youth who simply and rightfully said , “If you have a problem, don’t come” were at the vanguard of resistance to liberal government Puritanism.

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Despite the vaccines, the lower mortality and morbidity rates and mild reactions of those who exhibit symptoms, there are still those who continue to hammer people without masks, who protest ‘irresponsible’ gatherings, the South African variant, and the 5 percent hole in Moderna and Pfizer protection.  They are those who seemingly want the virus to infect and kill, who want justification for their end-of-time predictions and their wholehearted faith in government. 

The sight of people playing is unwarranted, and antisocial. Why are they not bunkered and quarantined? What gives them the right to enjoy themselves when Armageddon is around the corner?

There is and there will always be a Puritanical, fundamentalist ethos in America.  Brought up as they were were by the likes of Cotton Mather and John Davenport, how can they not see the Devil among us, the immediacy of Armageddon, and the dereliction of Christian ways?  It seems as though the legacy of 250 years can never be dissolved let alone forgotten.

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How is it that now, at the coda of COVID, at a  time of decreased mortality and morbidity, a time of universal vaccination, and a proximity to herd immunity, are there so many still afraid of their own shadow – still double-masking, still ordering in and spraying mail, still keeping distance from grandchildren, and still worried silly about dying?

The young Florida Spring Breakers had it right from the beginning. COVID is an old people’s disease.  The young, with health immune systems, will not get it; or if they do, will be asymptomatic.  If alte kockers are worried, they rightly say, then stay away. 

The country would have been better off in the first place if  we had isolated, quarantined, and locked down old people and let the rest of the country have fun, make money, and keep the economy humming. 

On the contrary, Fauci said. It was ‘everybody’s disease’, once again flaunting sound epidemiological history and wisdom. We must all ‘be in this together’ or better put, all suffer together when the more sensible, reasonable, rational, and evidence-based option was far less punitive.

The Armageddon crowd won’t be satisfied until everyone has been vaccinated and boostered, the variants isolated, and Pfizer and Moderna primed for unexpected threats. 

These Chicken Little worriers have not been welcome prophets but scardy-cat worriers, faux Cassandras.  

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We will be happy to see them go home and take their ‘Hate has no place here’ signs  with them.

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