We’ve lost our funny. We need it now more than ever …
COVID-19 has stolen our sense of ha+ha, locked it up, and thrown away the key; jokes about Trump aren’t even getting a giggle, and nobody is having fun.
We are literally being shut down, shut-in, and shut out; governments are reacting, some might be over-reacting, but seriously – nobody gets so sick that we’ll need to use that much toilet paper at home before calling 911 for an ambulance.
Hoarding paper products rather than food?
And late yesterday, the CDC recommended suspension or postponement of American gatherings of 50 or more people. Seems simple enough math – given the current exchange rate that should equal 38.2 Canadians.
If you could know what our leaders are focused upon, what their priorities might be, I wonder what tops their list in their briefings this morning, what are they most concerned about? Is it: citizen health and safety, stock market stability, staying in power, geopolitics, party-politics, debt, central bank rates, their image, polls, budget speeches, or finding parts to assemble ventilators?
Meanwhile, aspiring presidential candidate Joe Biden is boasting he’ll pick a woman running mate; I’ll bet he’s got binders full.
We need to laugh a little, don’t we?
You can laugh. But then go wash your hands. And don’t touch your face.
The world went berserk last week; nobody has a clue what this week will bring – even though we live in the best informed age in history, we are questioning the fulsome nature of news reports and statements by country leaders – because we should.
Each one of us will either get COVID-19 virus, or we won’t.
While most of us who get it won’t die from it, none of us will return to the somewhat stable world we knew only a few weeks ago. A few months ago, ‘self-isolation’ meant someone being reclusive or elusive, agoraphobic, or shy. When our vocabulary changes, do our actions change?
In grade school (1950s), we were taught to hide under desks if we heard the air-raid siren. As adults, we learned what real risk is, and laughed at the absurdity in our under-desk hiding. This virus is not A-bomb scale, but I’m wondering if our governments’ precautions will be any more effective than hiding under desks?
Some say governments are over-reacting.
Some say governments are profoundly under-reacting.
I’m no scholar, but those two things can’t both be correct at the same time.
The question is not one of what measures will prove ineffective. The better question is, and what quickly implemented things are we not doing because nobody is telling us?
Wash your hands.
Don’t touch your face.
Great, and simple, it’s a good idea to keep your distance too – and wipe down everything you touch with a disinfectant, and often. Then rewash your hands. It’s tedious, dries out your skin – but you are alive. Do it. A friend sent this link along; plain-spoken, authoritative, and compelling: TEDx talk by Alanna Shaikh
Understanding, cleanliness, distance-separation – they all matter, but I think the bigger issue is math.
Every jurisdiction knows how many respirators and ICU beds they have; that’s now many hospitalized COVID-19 seriously ill patients they can handle. But they can’t handle more – not one more – because then they will have to decide who doesn’t get one.
I’ve been searching for that data – and no government has disclosed how many they have, how many they have on order, or when additional supplies are arriving. It seems grocers can replenish shelves every night with more toilet paper, but I’m wondering where the truckloads and planeloads of ventilators are, and what their Plan B is.
Ventilator and ICU bed-count math is driving this government fever-pitch restriction imposition – and the truth of that won’t be out until the investigations many years from now, if ever. How ‘at risk’ we are, each of us in each of our communities, is known by our governments and health authorities – not for certain, but they know.
We live in democratic countries who won’t tell us that truth. I believe they think citizens can’t handle the truth – and based on how crazy we’ve been buying toilet paper we don’t need, they might be right.
The briefing every Premier, Prime Minister and President the world over should include three columns:
Sick People Needing an ICU bed, Number of ICU beds, Number of ventilators
There is probably a graph, a plotting going-forward, and that graph will include the projected arrival of ventilators.
Trump had a pandemic readiness office in place when he took office; they closed it and he has the temerity to assert he knew nothing about it. If you can’t laugh at that, you can’t laugh.
Most measures being taken by governments are designed to delay us getting sick, postponing the inevitable – pushing down the case growth curve, rather than pouring a few billions into accelerated ventilator production and building hospital beds.
I’ll take issue with your statement that we’ve never been here before. The pandemic of 1957 is strikingly similar. What’s different is social media and the panic and irrational behaviour spawned by ignorance, RH, Calgary, AB/from Bradenton, FL - … There’s no end of material on the subject but, if you have the time, I thought this was exceptionally good: https://thewalrus.ca/anatomy-of-an-epidemic/
Great piece as always. Do not trust the information you are given, be cautious and reasonable do all you can, solitude isn't a prison, stay healthy, AG, Cancun, Mex.
Great Musing today, Mark!, BR, Calgary, AB
These thoughts and insights are definitely resonating with me today Mark, JJ, Calgary, AB
Mark, I agree completely with how much we miss and lose when we are alone. As you know, I don’t blindly trust any politician based on the “performance” of the majority of “leaders” in North America recently, LH, Lethbridge, AB