Friday, May 01, 2020

Three day outfit

Tonight at dinner Andrew got up from the table to grab something from the kitchen. Zoë (who fell asleep before 9:00 tonight so that was lovely) watched him get up and walk across the room and then she said, with a judgmental air, "Dad, just how many days are you planning on wearing that outfit?"

Andrew looked down.

"She has a point," he sheepishly addressed the entire table. "This is day three."

To be fair, I think he changed his t-shirt, but he's been in the same pair of lounge pants and the same pullover sweater for pretty much the entire week.

Whatever. It's quarantine. Nothing matters anymore.

I suppose that technically quarantine is over or at least the rules relaxing. It is, in my opinion, a poor time to be doing so. Our infection rate isn't really slowing down (some may argue that's not the point of flattening the curve but I see nothing wrong with slowing down the infection rate) and our deaths are still pretty up there (as in thousands of people dying every day). I'm just a little baffled that people want to throw open the doors and "start living their lives" again when this disease is running rampant.

We have over one million cases in the United States (1,098,023) and have had 63,856 (that's twenty-one 9/11s) with 2,201 deaths yesterday (by contrast there were 2,288 deaths throughout all of Europe yesterday). We've had over 1000 deaths in Georgia (1,132, to be exact). Compared to our flu deaths (so far this year (from September 29, 2019 to March 14, 2020 we've had 83 deaths (which is actually about double the number of flu deaths last year—44 deaths over 40 weeks))) things aren't looking too rosy.

There were 1,504 traffic deaths in Georgia in 2018, so we're well on our way to beating out that number as well. I say that only because I've heard people bring up car accidents as a reason why we shouldn't care about COVID-19 deaths (people are going to die anyway; you still drive a car). The thing is, that (1) I do care about traffic deaths. Immensely. Ask me about my driving anxiety. It's fine. Driving a two-tonne death trap is, like, totally fine with me. Just kidding. I would love safer roads or better public transit or whatever. This is a problem that I care about. (2) Those 1500 deaths are spread out over the course of twelve months, not two. So...let's see where we are a year out and see if one thing doesn't seem worse than the other. (3) There were 342,534 traffic accidents in Georgia in 2018 and "only" 1,703 deaths (according to another who knows which is right; I suppose it's all in what you count as a death (like, for example, if someone got into a traffic accident and was injured and the injury caused a blood clot which caused a stroke days later, does that really count as a traffic death or was that a preexisting complication waiting to happen? Or if someone had cancer and then got in a car crash and died should that really be marked as a traffic death when they were going to die of cancer at some point anyway? <-- 43="" 4="" accidents="" against="" and="" any="" are="" arguments="" as="" at="" but="" by="" cases="" confirmed="" covid-19="" covid-related="" currently="" deaths="" for="" go="" heard="" higher="" how="" i="" knows="" labeling="" m="" many="" million="" numbers="" or="" p="" per="" put="" rate="" regurgitating="" simply="" sitting="" statistics="" take="" the="" there="" these="" tongue-in-cheek="" traffic="" unconfirmed="" unreported="" ve="" way="" we="" when="" who="" will="" with="" you="">
I know a lot of people drive around not getting into car accidents (and not dying from them if they do), just as a lot of people are living their life without getting sick (and not dying from the illness if they do happen to get it). However, these statistics don't look optimistic to me. And I'm not really understanding how anyone is able to spin them to look good in their mind.

And the thing is, things are going to look fine...until they're not fine.

So I just worry about things opening up before things have really seemed to be slowing down. I worry about causing pointless deaths, about causing people pointless pain. And I know the economy is rough; I know that people are worried about money. But I just feel there has to be something we can do that won't force people back into the open.

Opening up the economy does very little to help when people just end up getting sick. What kind of job gives people two-weeks of time off to self-quarantine? It feels like a push to foist accountability onto the public's shoulders—the federal government is handing responsibility to the state government, which has handed responsibility to employers, who have handed responsibility to the community. That way no one has to pay anyone extra money when they refuse to show up to work out of fear or actual illness. And how does that help the economy, really? And how long can we function before we decide it isn't working? How many people will we allow to die?

And, yes, I've heard of herd immunity, but I think it's something we need to be achieving slowly. We should expect to "relax social distancing measures when numbers of infections fall, and then may need to re-implement these measures as numbers increase again." But I haven't seen infections fall least not in this region of the country...

So for now I'll continue to be grateful we are able to stay at home. It's a privilege, really.

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