The Times They are a Changin’

Pandemic Diary Day 35

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April 28, 2020

They said it will change your world. What we didn’t know was how… paraphrasing from The City Not Long After by Pat Murphy.

I love post apocalyptic novels. There are so many good authors, but Cory Doctorow brings it home for me. I once had a screen play in my head about pandemics and the future and he wrote it, and yes far better than anything I could have put down on paper. It was in his book Radicalized and the short story was “Masque of the Red Death”.

I feel like we are all presently living in the first chapter of a post apocalyptic novel. The streets are empty of cars, buildings are boarded up and the very few people who are on the street are wearing face masks. The rich are sitting on their yachts and complaining that it feels like jail, while the working stiffs bring everyone all their basic needs.

I look forward to the point where everyone is issued a handful of N95 masks so we can, while keeping our social distance bring life back to our cities.

We are a world that no one could have seen coming except the hundreds of sci-fi writers that have been writing about it since Mary Shelley wrote the Last Man about a plague.

I do not expect the results of the pandemic to turn into an apocalypse, but I do know that we, as a planet, are going to change.

I have no idea what this planet will look like when we get to the other side of this, and frankly, anyone that espouses that they do is blowing smoke out their ass. What I hope is it is better, but then so does everyone else.

The question is what is better? Here is what I would like to improve, but then I have yet to be crowned queen of the world, so we will just have to wait and see.

This pandemic is highlighting some serious problems with our existing capitalistic system and how it prioritizes those that don’t really add much to society over those that are proving to be the most important.

Let’s start by recognizing the doctors, the nurses, teachers, store clerks, and truck drivers to name a few. We need to reevaluate “worth”.

Can we be less America first and more wow, everyone in the world is suffering, we have a common enemy and it isn’t another country or another ideology, but a disease. Maybe we can learn from each other and work as a world to ensure we all have a chain of supply for things such as food, medical equipment and other necessities. It is time for us to once again embrace multilateral diplomacy and learn that co-operation with allies and enemies will be needed in the future. There are a lot of problems we face once we learn what this pandemic has wrought as well as other immense challenges such as climate change.

On that same note, how about we do the same in our own country? If you are able to purchase a cheap meal in a restaurant, it is on the backs of the people that prepared it and served it to you. If you buy a book on Amazon because it is $3.00 cheaper than the local store, you are doing economic harm to the person who boxed it, the person that delivered it and the small book store owner. These employees and small businesses are showing how vital they are and they deserve better from us.

Please stop screaming about what some perceive as a gift and consider cancelling all student debt. This is not as radical an idea as it seems in our present economy. Small businesses will need to be created to fill the void created by those that are destined to fail during this. Young people, unsaddled of their student debt, can better use that money to begin again, and that is good for everyone. Those that are now in their 30s graduated into the weakest labor market since the Great Depression. They have lower incomes, and higher debts than any other generation, it is time to unshackle them and let them go out and “conquer the world”.

Our health care system is broken, this is being proven in so many ways. The fact that hospitals are going broke without expensive elective surgeries should have everyone scratching their chin. Since hospitals run on such narrow margins, there are not enough hospital beds, PPE’s and hand sanitizer, which has created severe problems for those on the front line to deal with this pandemic. Our health care systems giant cracks are turning into chasms and they must be repaired.

When in the world did truth become a bad guy? The term fake-news is for those too lazy to do their homework. Go read, learn and find out the truth for yourself. Don’t let Facebook, the TV news or other outfits do your thinking. The press is a vital part of our society, and the fact that they have been eviscerated to advance a political agenda is noisome. The press plays a major roll in keeping us from swallowing whatever pablum is dished out from entities that are trying to catch and hold our attention. The slogan of the Washington Post says it best Democracy dies in darkness. Go out and shed your own light on things, watch more than one TV network, read more than one newspaper and keep your mind tuned to the truth.

We have been ignoring science for years, starting with the oil companies, knowing and yet hiding the fact that carbon emissions were destroying our planet. Or the tobacco industry that, by withholding studies they performed allowed millions to die of lung cancer. The overwhelming number of deaths occuring daily have put people like Dr. Fauci, front and center, if you are not giving factual, science based information as Fauci is doing, get off the stage.

Big government is not bad. The utter lack of an economic safety net for millions of Americans should shame those that have been calling for smaller government and gutting such programs. Good solid citizens are standing in lines at food banks, relying on handouts from kind neighbors and wondering when, if they can’t pay their rent, they will be moving into their cars.

Government institutions are set up to protect our life and liberty and should be staffed by qualified individuals and not venal buddies of those in power. Government department policies need to be built on truth, research and science while looking at history and understanding geopolitical consequences.

So many policies that our elected officials have told us were not doable, have proved that in fact they are. We are finding money to provide health insurance to those in need, we are finding money to house the homeless, all things that, had we been doing for the last 20 or so years would have made entering this nightmare a little easier for everyone.

Signed — Not yet the queen of the world.

Trivial Things

My Horoscope for today:This is not the time to haggle over contracts and agreements. The more understanding you are now, the more people will work to honor their agreements when they can.

The NYT Crossword Puzzle: Written by Elmer Fudd, it was sweet

San Francisco weather: 64 degrees and sunny, which is hot for SF

NYSE DOW opened at: 24357

Italian word of the day: esiguo (sparce)

Spanish word of the day: montañoso (mountainous)

OED word of the day: sub voce (As a direction in a text: under the word or heading given)

Days under Shelter In Place: 46

Reading: The Gay Metropolis: 1940–1996 Hardcover — November 1, 1997 by Charles Kaiser

Studying: Canto IV, V, VI of Dante’s Purgatorio

My Black and White Picture of the Day

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Something Silly From the Internet:

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