Violence. Minneapolis police suffocated a black man while an 8 minute cell phone video captured it all. The police officer calmly kneeled on the handcuffed man's neck while he repeatedly said he couldn't breathe. He was dead by the time paramedics arrived. He was alleged to be passing a forged $20 bill. Connected to the virus? Probably.
There was a story this morning that suggests the economic impact of the virus is being disproportionately felt with people of color and low income families. While only 23% of white people are having trouble making ends meet that number doubles for Hispanic and black people. Why does a black lives matter protest in the streets of Minneapolis turn from a peaceful demonstration to looting, setting buildings ablaze and violence? I suspect that the virus has created an underlying pressure on lots of families and this was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. The problem with a society that puts business and business owners first is also a society that probably doesn't prioritize humans first. While black lives matter protests certainly predate the virus, the struggles throughout our economy are likely to ignite at a more frequent pace. When people are hungry and scared they react differently. Look to the rats of New York who have lost their supply of scrap restaurant food. They've reportedly become much more violent in a desperate search for food. Unfortunately our government response to the virus still feels like more of an "everyone for themselves" atmosphere and I fear that in the months ahead that we see this problem grow.
Socialism attempts to optimize for the common good. Capitalism requires that not everyone gets equal rewards. Both can live together although they are clearly not today.
Open for business. Despite an uptick in cases in the county, our medical officer has announced that beginning Monday we'll move to the next phase of reopening. While outdoor work and a few other categories have been back at work for a couple weeks, this next phase includes the opening of retail stores to the extent that they can manage to 25% capacity and maintain facial coverings and distancing. The order sounded a little defensive implying that this may be more of an economic decision than health driven decision. San Mateo County is moving ahead of its neighboring counties which doesn't make a ton of sense to me. My thoughts are mixed. I'm happy that we are showing early signs of progress but disappointed in our collective ability to suppress this thing. To be clear this next phase still prohibits indoor dining. It still prohibits personal care like hair care which we're told may be mid-July before that fully opens. Progress but at what cost?
God & Pandemics. I see probabilities. Others might have faith, I see spreadsheets. There is either a god or not a god. If there is a god then the god is either imperfect to have allowed a pandemic to occur or it's an attempt to send a message. To think that god might be human and thus prone to error is an interesting idea and frankly it makes sense that something this complicated would have a few mistakes. Why should god be any different than the people he created. Don't know. I'm more fascinated by the possibility that this is a grand message. This was one of the very special tools that god holds for special circumstances. He's shown his hand before but hasn't pulled the trigger like this for 100 years. Why? What's the message? Less needless consumption? Less movement and travel and more focus on our homes and family? A slowdown of our encroachment on the animal kingdom? A pause in an ever crazy focus on growth even when it's not in our best advantage. Maybe. It's certainly on the board with a probability greater than zero.
The Painful Psychology of Hair Growth. People's opinion change about this pandemic in direct proportion to the impact of not getting access to personal care. It's a type of water torture that is a slow but slowly builds in pain. I've seen otherwise smart people who believe in all the right things and yet snuck to their hair dresser's house for a touch up. These are selfish moves that create risk for society beyond themselves. These people, my father included, should be shunned in society. But at the same time I see opinions that just weeks ago were iron clad. Then we learned that hair care might not open up until late July. And then those same opinions started to soften. "We have to open up eventually" ... "if dentists can do it why can't hairdressers? At the end of the day we all balance our own self-interest with the collective societal self-interest. I see politicians, I see my friends, I see my family cracking in their ability to prioritize everyone's health and well being over the fact that they increasingly are inconvenienced. Sure, there are many who have a strong case to see that this isn't just inconvenience, but what I've observed is not an economic necessity, it's a personal necessity.
Little League. It got missed this year. If nothing changes it will be missed next year. AYSO, high school football. None of these is possible without much more than just a higher rate of testing. So what happens if we miss two years of youth sports? Will that hurt the quality of sports? Will it change the dynamics of how the game is played? Will it cause otherwise good kids to do bad things? No clue. No forecast. Not sure. Interested.
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