Came across this video on twitter today of a desperate small business owner in California being forced to shut down her outdoor dining area while, some 50 feet away, a film/t.v. crew sets up their own outdoor dining area in advance of a production –

There has been a massive failure of leadership across the political spectrum.  I look at it as a sliding scale.  On the one end, you have the most egregious: the Republican party that has chosen to address the pandemic by largely ignoring it and/or actively undermining efforts to curb the virus.  There are the Democratic leaders at the state level who have enacted policies and safety measures in an unequal, often illogical (Sending those Covid-positive patients into nursing homes where the most vulnerable reside) manner.  There are the Western governments that have generally been slow to act, choosing optics over the health of their citizens in refusing to enact travel restrictions and then lying about the effectiveness of masks so as to dissuade the general public from purchasing N95’s thereby ensuring enough of a supply for medical professionals – all because our leaders failed to act quickly  at the first signs of trouble.  There are the governments of China and Russia that apparently have the virus “under control” by, let’s face it, having their people “under control”.  And then there are the outliers – the New Zealands and Taiwans, Japans and South Koreas – countries that took immediate, decisive action.  Countries whose citizens came together to fight the virus and keep each other safe, championing the common good over the egocentrism that compels people to complain about masks or pack into third rate barbecue joints.

“We’re all in this together” is a phrase I’ve been hearing a lot over the past few months, usually from politicians imploring us to lockdown and not travel while they dine maskless or vacation in Cabo.  But the phrase clearly has varying applications.  “We’re all in this together” does not mean, for instance, that “all” receive equal government support.  In the U.S., the top 1% have done very well in this pandemic, the stock market and their zombie companies propped up by the Fed while small business owners and regular folks receive a comparable pittance or, in many cases, do without.

Which brings us back to the small business owner in the above video.  Why is it that the same rules don’t apply to everyone?  We’re all in this together after all.  It’s a question I asked a friend of mine who is a working line producer.  “It’s different,”he explained, “because productions are very careful and test three times a week.”  This, of course, begs the question: “Why isn’t everyone being tested three times a week?”  The obvious answer is: “Because there aren’t enough tests.”  Which is why medical professionals are only tested once a week.  Let that sink in.  The individuals risking their lives on the front lines of this pandemic are tested once a week while, back in June, the NBA was testing players and staff daily.

So what’s the answer?  Ideally, a fast-acting and effective vaccine.  But while we’re waiting, how about some support, both emotional and financial, for those in need? How about honesty and consistency in both messaging and policy on the part of our leadership?  How about a little science-based common sense, selflessness, and general empathy on the part of people in general?  Small sacrifices in the face of a looming crisis.  Because if things keep going the way they are, this virus will be just the half of it.

21 thoughts on “December 5, 2020: My lockdown rant

  1. Agree with your rant. As I’m now 53 years old I realize why some old people become jaded and grumpy. Life experience will do that. You begin to understand just how awful people really are. I would like to believe many people are good but this pandemic has revealed that the level of awful is much greater than I had believed.

  2. I’m a nurse and wish I was tested weekly. I’ve only been tested once, back in May. I was exposed at work and was positive. I was out three weeks. The middle week I have no memory of at all. 9 of us were sick from the same exposure. Our workers compensation claims were all denied even though it was clearly a work place exposure. All of my sick and vacation time was used up so I’ve had to put of a scheduled back surgery until I can accrue enough time.

    But I did watch a lot of Stargate the first week, so thanks for the great shows. It really brightened my days.

    1. That’s disgusting! I’m glad I no longer work in the medical field. People assume- incorrectly- that I must have had the best insurance & treatment bc of where I worked & WRONG! They don’t expect or want you to get sick if you work in healthcare. & they expect you to work if you are sick. The fact that they didn’t pay you for the COVID out of a special bank & use special banked hours is disgusting. & now you can’t get your own healthcare taken care of!? Sorry! This makes me mad. I hope you have fully recovered & can get your surgery soon ❤️❤️

  3. In the US we can’t even get a 2nd stimulus package bc the govt now doesn’t believe we need it!!! I am so livid I can’t stand it. Trump was ready to send out checks before the election but bc he’s pissed off & doesn’t have an ounce of humanity now says “not needed” for spite. I hate our govt. I can’t stand the morons that are maskless & putting people in danger & I cannot stand situations like those in the video. It’s all about the Benjamin’s!! ☢️🤬🤯

  4. As usual Joe you’re dead right, and your last sentence truly frightening…

  5. Bravo! TRUTH!!!

    KENT DONNELLY, thank you so much for providing nursing care on the front line. I’m so sorry that you haven’t received the care and compensation you deserve.

  6. “We are all in this together” people say? I think we maybe in the same ocean riding similar waves together, but we are definitely not on the same boat or ship together.

    You mentioned “medical professionals getting tested once a week”? I’m not sure which province or state or country you are referring to. But I can tell you in Canada, medical professionals and health care workers are NOT tested weekly. They are tested only if they develop new symptoms or if there is possible exposure (or close contact without PPE) to suspected or confirmed covid cases. Most people I know in healthcare have either never been tested ever, or have only been tested once or twice since March. Canadian healthcare has been underfunded for decades. Unlike China where millions of test can be done daily, we certainly don’t have that capability here.

  7. I work the overnight shift in a hospital pharmacy. The pharmacist and I (I’m a tech) spend close to 8 hours in the ER each night. Right now, we’re getting at least 8 new Covid cases a day. We’re constantly on the edge of running out of beds. We have never been tested. Only employees showing symptoms are. We didn’t even get N95 masks (outside of the nurses in the Covid ward) until this new spike. That’s how far down crappy leadership is.

  8. Preach! If I bother complaining about the hypothetical actions of said politicians, I get attacked by whatever party is defensive at the time.

    I’m an independent voter in a red state. I talk to people on both sides of the political island. People here are wearing masks. Masks aren’t a political issue here. I see a lot of social media blaming the virus spread on trump voters but that’s not the case here. I can only report about this area.

    The vaccine is rolling out in the UK now. My hubby was reading about the approval requirements in the UK versus the US. I “hope” this side of the pond gets approval expedited but we’ll see.

    For everyone saying they will refuse the vaccine, that just means I’ll be moved up the queue. 😉

    Keep the faith, “Do not let your heats be troubled.”

  9. Oh and please send good thoughts, prayers and wishes to Charlie. He’s at St Jude getting chemo this weekend. His temp spiked to 107F. Scary, and thankfully it’s down in the 101 area now. 🙏🏻🙏🏻🤞

    Whenever I start a pity party, I think of what Carlie and his parents are enduring. Because of covid, his dad and brother can’t be at the hospital for support.

    Btw, at St Jude they test for Covid every 3 days. If you’ve had Covid and have recovered, that changes to 90 days.

  10. I think if the 1% in the US with all the wealth would spend a little and directly help people we would be better off. Help people pay their rent and bills. I am not rich. I am not wealthy. But I did spend my life saving for retirement. Recently a friend was having dire financial problems (still does) because this person was waiting on disability to start and had no income except her partner’s. His income alone just wasn’t enough. They were getting 2-3 months behind in everything, car, rent, utilities. Constantly having the electricity shut off and fearing their car would be repossessed in the middle of the night, paying just a portion of the rent due, etc.

    One day she called me crying saying she was packing up and they were going to go live in a tent in the woods. So, wanting to help, and waiting for the right moment, I gave her four thousand dollars to help her out. It did. They were able to totally catch up. They were so happy again. And even had a little left over. What did they do with the leftover? Save it for next month? Safe it until they needed money again? No, they went on vacation! Vacation!!!

    I am not able to help her again in the future. I may have just delayed the move to the woods. But everyone needs to do their part, whether they are the ones able to give or the ones receiving. And simply wearing a mask is helping your community.

  11. “Why is it that the same rules don’t apply to everyone?”

    When have they ever?

  12. I hope the vaccine supply & distribution is better. Pending US CDC approval, it’s supposed to start here after 12/15. Another concern is trusting the safety of the vaccine. A recent US poll showed that 20% haven’t decided to be vaccinated. I think I’d rather have the vaccine side effects over getting COVID.

  13. Preach! In Spain it’s wildly inconsistent in places. We got sick with a cold last month and there is nowhere in our town to get tested. The clinic in town will do a test if you think you’re negative. Basically a “Go back to work/school” test. So without a vehicle and our only other option to catch a taxi to a hospital in a nearby town, we opted to quarantine for two weeks. We didn’t have Covid – we lacked symptoms of it but we had fevers so we chose caution. But if we could have just gotten a test…

    At least for us it isn’t an economic hit (yet). But it’s hitting Spain badly – tourism runs the economy. Small businesses are going under here and there is some government support. I’m horrified by what I see in the US. I worry about friends and their families.

  14. You wrote: “And then there are the outliers – the New Zealands and Taiwans, Japans and South Koreas – countries that took immediate, decisive action. Countries whose citizens came together to fight the virus and keep each other safe, championing the common good over the egocentrism that compels people to complain about masks or pack into third rate barbecue joints.”


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.