Unmasking Our National Shame

November 23rd. That was the last time I sat here and wrote about COVID. It was a last minute plea about being prudent, staying safe, choosing to sacrifice shared stuffing and crescent rolls on Thanksgiving so that we may all be able to enjoy our friends and families even more next Thanksgiving. It was titled This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things … Like Christmas.

Taking the past two weeks off from writing about this pandemic has been as much about redirection of efforts as it has about self care. For nine months I have tracked the numbers daily, multiple times a day. My kids know that any Facetime is likely to include me being able to ramble the stats without looking at my tracking sheets. There is an element of “not healthy” to the depths in which I have immersed myself.

So the break was a breather.

Yes, I still wrote down the numbers, but only once a day. Yes, I read the news, but I gave my keyboard a reprieve from the constant beating. I also used my time to work on this blog’s collective Yes, Virginia effort, helping those in need, those who are hungry, keeping Santa alive for children, hope alive for adults.

That latter use of my time is imminently more preferable and satisfying.

This morning I again refreshed the World COVID stats. The numbers are harrowing. They are frightening. They are shameful. So here I am, all apologies to my poor keyboard.

We continue to lead the world by large margins:

Cases — 16,080,812 (2nd place is India with 9,814,064) We are adding over 200,000 cases per day. It was not that long ago that Dr. Fauci warned we could see 100,000 new cases per day if we did not take precautions. He was laughed at, shouted down, and has around the clock security protection against the death threats he and his family receive daily.

Deaths — 300,363 (2nd place is Brazil with 179,801)

Active cases — 6,440,226 (2nd place is France with 2,106,368)

Fun fact: Coronavirus has now lapped heart disease as the official #1 cause of death in the United States.

In terms of deaths per million, when I last wrote on 11/23, we stood at 794 of every million Americans dead from COVID-19. Today? 905. Take a moment and let that leap sink in. With each hour that passes, that number creeps higher, meaning the chances of you winning the coronavirus lottery increase — prize? solitary death, no family, friends to hold your hand.

We are now losing Americans at a rate of over one 9/11 per day. Remember 9/11? Think back to how horrified we all were. How hard it was to stomach, much less digest, the number 2,977. My God — 2,977 lives lost in a single day. We cried openly. We hugged strangers. We came together as a country. We mourned together.

Now 2,977 is but a tiny sign in the rearview mirror.

We are either so inured to the devastation being wrought by the virus, or still ignorantly shouting conspiracy theories that we aren’t even blinking. We certainly are not crying together, mourning together, and for obvious reasons, we cannot hug a stranger on the street.

Back on December 3rd, the CDC was estimating we would see between 303,000 and 329,000 deaths by December 26th. That was last Thursday. We will see 303,000 by tomorrow morning. 329,000 by the 20th. What a bunch of overachievers we are, huh? Get out that “We’re #1!” foam finger!

At this moment, there are 30,000 people in this country who will not see another Christmas, will not finish lighting the candles on the menorah. How does that not merit the attention, the shock, the coming together of this national community?

Rhetorical question — I know.

We are a country divided. We are a country trying desperately to make it through the next 40 days until real leadership, leadership with empathy, intelligence, skills, and no idea of its golf handicap to be inaugurated.

Huh. 40 days, 40 nights. You Bible adherents are familiar with that surely? Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. Hungering in both body and spirit — like this abandoned, abused, rotting-from-the-head country of ours.

Combover Caligula has abandoned this nation. Not a peep about the number of deaths (but a bitch won’t STFU about the election HE LOST BIGLY). Complete disregard for safety measures (see his bullshit rambling at his unmasked Hanukkah party earlier this week), no push from the Oval for the House and Senate to do something meaningful for the suffering, starving, financially ruined in this country (but he has all the time in the world to Tweet like an animated Bratz doll).

That President Mongo is still out on the stump telling the rubes that we are “rounding the turn” and that “we should open it up”? I direct your attention back to This Is Why We Cannot Have Nice Things … Like Christmas.

We literally sit on the cusp of a vaccine beginning to be distributed in this country, and yet we are still too selfish to buckle down a while longer and give a damn about one another. I am so tired of the enormity of greed, avarice, sloth, willful ignorance, and emotional depravity that is obviously the lifeblood of 74 million MAGAts. It is because of him and them that we are where we are. That hospitals are again at capacity; that healthcare workers are breaking down. It is because of MAGAt nation that 200,000+ new cases are popping up daily — the youngest this week? 2 MONTHS OLD.

Yes, TWO MONTHS OLD, you selfish oafs. Where’s all your pro-life bullshit for that baby?

We are still seeing literal mouthbreathers huffing, puffing, spitting, shitting their pants, and accosting innocent workers in stores, in banks, at the post office. Those videos show up daily. The mere act of asking them to put on a mask while they shop is too much for their lizard brains to process. They rant endlessly about it being a hoax, a lie, a plot, a plandemic. Somehow the truth is just too simple for their excitement addiction to process.

Here’s the truth, rubes: COVID is real. Regardless of how it started, where is started, IT STARTED. COVID is deadly. Not just to old people, but to all people. COVID is sinister. You can get it, have mild symptoms, get over it, and be struck down two months later when your lungs show up like crushed glass on an x-ray. Hello, pre-existing condition for the rest of your life. COVID is not some conspiracy timed to make mail-in ballots a thing. (Sweet Jesus, that is their new argument.) Mail-in ballots have actually been around since the Civil War days. They are safe, they are legal. COVID was not spread just to make your orange deity look bad. I really hate to break it to you, but he does that all on his own. And the idea that the entire globe got in on a plan to kill 1,594,063 citizens (so far) just to discredit the biggest loser in history? My God, I hope you people stretch before doing those mental gymnastics.

A vaccine is coming. However, thanks to your hydroxychloroQueen, it won’t be coming fast enough. He waved off the offer to buy millions of additional doses of it this past summer. So when you see other countries way out in front of us, be sure to place your blame where it belongs. (As if you ever would.) Even with the vaccine in your system, Moderna warns, “the vaccine will [protect you from getting sick, or at least very sick, but it won’t necessarily prevent you from carrying a transmittable virus that could shed and infect others.”

Translation: It is not a magic bullet. (It is also not a Bill Gates-George Soros-5G-microchip implant-tracking plot, you pathetic low iQ clownshoes.) It is going to take time and the majority of this nation stepping up to be vaccinated. More than that, it is going to take the majority of this nation to actually begin giving a shit about one another again.

Sadly, the latter is a bigger stretch than the former.

But back to our death count.

We are essentially ignoring the number 3,000 per day. Invoking 9/11 has done nothing to shake us out of our COVID ennui. How about this? The passenger plane most in use daily is the 737–800. Most normal configuration seats 160 people. Imagine you turn on the news or check Twitter and NINETEEN full planes begin dropping from the sky daily. Would you be shocked then? Would you demand something be done? Or would you sit quietly by watching the Golfer-in-Chief continue to ignore the horrific reality?

That is where we are in this country. NINETEEN passenger jets are crashing daily. With those stats you certainly wouldn’t be running to buy a ticket to Grandma’s for Christmas, would you? If that visual is enough to make you even hypothetically re-evaluate your behavior, then the cold hard reality of 3,000 people dying from this virus daily should be no different.

There is nothing so special about you that you cannot be in a plane crash, and there is nothing so stink free about your shit that COVID cannot snatch your last breath from you.

Our national shame is posted hourly as the numbers of dead grow. It’s past time to care. Put on a goddamned mask and be part of the solution.



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Linda Sharp

Author, columnist, blogger. Don’t Get Me Started and Transparent Trans Parent blogs