Sit Rep. Here's my Situation Report about what we know as we approach the end of the 2nd quarter.
Globally we're closing in on half a million deaths.
In the US we've seen about 25% of the world's deaths. That's despite being a little over 4% of the world's population.
The death rate has declined but the case count has, at best, remained flat for months, and at worst you can see a recent uptick.
Republicans have decided that wearing a mask is about "freedom."
Doctors have concluded that wearing a mask is about saving lives.
The virus has hit low income and minorities much harder than it's hit other people.
The stress of the virus seems to have acted as a level of accelerant of intolerance for systemic racism that already makes it harder to be a minority in our culture.
By all accounts the president is focused on his reelection instead of what's right for the people.
The president's approval rating and his polling numbers for reelection both are historically dismal.
The stock market has bounced back and is doing its best to form a V shaped recovery and yet unemployment increases by millions every week.
The rush to create a vaccine in record time appears to be showing progress. New high tech techniques, if the trend holds, could enable a vaccine in early 2021.
Entertainment and businesses that rely on social interaction are trying to open but it's not clear that either the supply or the demand are there. Companies that initially opened (like the Las Vegas Casinos) without a mask requirement are putting employees at risk forcing a choice between health and a paycheck.
Sports is trying to come back but is as fragile as today's testing.
There's still no place like home.
The Good Old Days. As the virus raged around the world and signs were clear that it had arrived in the US back in late February, I had a Trade Show on the books. When I thought about the risk, I sort of shrugged my shoulders and concluded, I'll take the risk. I look back on that thought process today and conclude WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING?! Perceptions change and they change quickly
Dentist. Went to the dentist yesterday. A little surreal. I felt bad taking my mask off inside, but that's sort of a requirement. Huge tub of disinfectant. Temperature check. Masks and face shields. Questions about my health. My associations. Less talk with my mouth open. In and out in 25 minutes. Only patient in the office.
Stock Market. By some measure, yesterday was the single worst day in newly identified cases. States are backtracking on their reopening plans but states like Texas' idea of a slow down doesn't look like they are trying too hard. The entire South and West are seeing case growth. So much for the sun protecting us. Increase in deaths beginning in about two weeks? Isn't that the pattern we've seen? And yet the stock market remains stubbornly high. The stock market values the future. We can see the near future getting worse. The stock market collapse must be coming soon.
Press Conference. Mr. Vice President, why did your administration hold political rallies that packed maskless people together in Arizona and Oklahoma at a time when the virus was raging? Answer: The right of the people peaceably assemble is guaranteed in the constitution.
Do I need to critique that answer? Seems too obvious for words. I'll leave the obvious reasons that that answer does not suffice left unsaid. But I would like to remind everyone that our Declaration of Independence says, "We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life...." Sure the sentence goes on but this is about Life. Your right to peaceably assemble do not trump my right to Life. And while we're talking about trumping, let's just reread that thing about "all men are equal" when we continue to learn about AG Barr's efforts to squash investigations connected to the president.
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