It would appear I missed the official announcement that the pandemic is over.
Certainly there must have been such an edict from City Hall, the state Capitol or the White House. What else could explain how little interest any level of government seems to have these days in addressing what just a few months ago was the greatest crisis of our generation.
In the eyes of the media, like Sentinel Colorado, the pandemic still exists and continues to wreak havoc on schools, the health care system, the economy, the airline industry and much, much more.
Despite the lack of appetite for levels of government to do much of anything about it, other than hawk vaccine, hundreds of thousands of people continue to become infected with the virus every time we count. About a thousand or so Americans die every day from contracting COVID-19.
Just this week, Cherry Creek schools officials said the sheer number of sick or contagious teachers, school bus drivers, students and the people who make schools work is so vast that it’s unlikely they’ll be able to keep schools open.
The pandemic, supercharged with yet another improved variant to the coronavirus, is now spreading so furiously that airlines are unable to find enough crews to fly planes, wait time for urgent rescue calls sometimes takes hours, and if you think you’re going to get that rotator cuff surgery right away, you can forget it.
But pandemic? What pandemic?
State lawmakers just this week stood on the steps of the Capitol to outline their agenda for the Colorado legislative session and talked about everything but controlling the pandemic.
Gov. Jared Polis, and pretty much everyone else who collects paychecks funded by tax dollars, won’t come out and just say that the wheels are coming off the plan to manage the pandemic in hopes of keeping it from overwhelming our healthcare, infrastructure and ability to do things like buy food and go to school.
Make no mistake that Polis and his peers talk a lot about COVID-19. It’s unmistakable, however, that the United States, Colorado and the metro area have given up any hope or pretense of trying to control the spread of the deadly ‘rona.
It’s only about vaccination now. And that’s only about asking nicely, “please allow modern science to easily save your sorry ass, for free, from a cruel, prolonged death by suffocation.”
It’s about marveling about how anywhere from a third to a half of the nation responds with, “Nah. I’m good.”
Government officials have given up on painting the grim picture about how, without inoculation against the coronavirus, you could get very sick, critically sick, or outright croak. Instead, they changed tacts and appealed to the stronger suit of being an American: greed.
President Joe Biden proposed regulations that, since no one wants to act like there’s a viral pandemic killing a thousand people a day, at least require vaccination or testing in the workplace to reduce the death toll so we can keep shopping.
Nope. Republicans and business associations said it’s just too darned hard to prevent hundreds of thousands of more deaths by requiring people who work at a workplace to get a free shot — available just about anywhere, anytime. They argued that “forcing” people to vaccinate violated their freedom, and freedom lovers would then not come to work and there would be staffing shortages. So, ‘nope.’
All of these people deflect when confronted with questions about the reality of the problem here. You get nothing but word salad when asking about whether people in bed, racked with fever, sporting a ventilator tube protruding from their mouth or just totally dead punch in for work or shop for new clothes.
The National Federation of Independent Businesses “recognizes the duty of governments to help protect the safety and health of the people, but NFIB also recognizes the duty of governments to help preserve the liberties of the people, even in difficult situations,” officials said in a statement and endless cable TV and talk radio sessions. “NFIB expects the government to do its best to help keep America both healthy and free.”
More than 800,000 Americans dead in less than two years is a “difficult situation” for business owners.
How we ever came to the point where a third of the nation, and nearly all of Republican state governors, came to equate freedom with the right to infect and kill at will can only be explained by a sect of the nation believing that Donald Trump really did win the election and Robert F. Kennedy Junior is lurking somewhere in Dallas.
If you made a movie about this irrational, lethal, self-destructive cult behavior that’s funny, but not funny when you’re having to live or die through it, it would be called, Don’t Look Up.
So we’ve totally given up on “flattening the curve.” Local governments and schools pass along “mask mandates,” but anyone unlucky enough to plod along the increasingly empty shelves at the grocery store or use the restroom at a ski resort can tell you, nobody enforces the requirements.
People actually listen to, and many agree with, elected leaders like GOP Congressperson Lauren Boebert from Colorado, who rails that requiring members of the military to vaccinate is un-American and constitutes theft of liberty. That, despite the fact that members of the military, and many others who have mission critical jobs, have long been required to vaccinate against myriad deadly and debilitating ailments that would pose a national security risk if they were overlooked.
Polis and regional leaders across the state, and the nation, are essentially sitting gobsmacked in a proverbial clown car that no longer has wheels, doors or even seats.
Game’s over, folks. The pandemic and its fan club have won.
Polis and others have at least repeatedly warned that now everyone is eventually going to be infected with the coronavirus, and you better hope you have sense enough to vaccinate, and that it works.
This from a civilization that just unfolded a massive gold-plated telescope mirror in the far reaches of space to sneak a peek of the very beginning of the universe.
It would come as no surprise that we spot an alien civilization far away, looking back at us, posting our pandemic and Qanon antics to their version of TikTok and laughing their asses off.