What Ails US Goes Beyond Covid-19

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Regrettably, it’s unlikely that my headline’s “US” is United States specific; i.e., it could readily involve the generic pronoun, “us”. And, btw, in British vernacular “US” can also stand for something unserviceable and/or useless.

Whatever connotation may apply, here, do check out the present-day incarnation of the US nation; as aptly diagnosed by the good Doctor (a true visionary)…

“I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or my grandchildren’s time — when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness. The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30-second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance.”

“The Demon-Haunted World” • co-authors Carl Sagan / Ann Druyan • ©1995

Wow, it’s as if, a little over one-quarter century ago, Sagan and Druyan had stepped into a time machine to pay a visit to the world as we know it, today.

All of which leads to my parting remarks…

IF you find your society sickened by the virulent “variants”, as Sagan described ’em, above, this American feels your pain and you do have my pity.

IF your people have discovered the cure for such societal ills; if good mental health now rules supreme within your homeland, you do have my congratulations.

Oh, just one more thing… uh… IF the latter IF applies… my heartfelt plea…

IF it’d not be too much trouble, would you please share, with the rest of us / the US, the secret to your success?

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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Which End Nears? ~ Quick Limerick 109

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Even pandemic pros can’t say for sure
Determine Corona V’s M.O. du jour
Might each variant, new?
Turn / tighten the screw?
Will Covid vaccines get trounced or endure?

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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blogging, liberal limericks, Listener Limerick Challenge, NPR, NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, one quick limerick, Peter Sagal, poetry, political limericks, politics, wait wait don’t tell me, WordPress, coronavirus, coronavirus pandemic, pandemic, COVID-19, mask making tutorial, vaccines, variants, vaxxing, jabs, Science 101

Station Axing

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In Have nations; rich in vaxxing
Administrations, regulations are relaxing
Expectations, explorations are waxing
Emancipations, celebrations are maxing

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In Have-Not nations; in need of vaxxing
Perturbations, trepidations are overtaxing
Debilitations, decimations are waxing
Cremations, inhumations are maxing

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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The SlimeLords of OutHouse Earth

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As a lifelong, steadfast, science adherent, over the course of the past sixteen months, my preexisting respect for our world’s pandemic professionals could only intensify. To CliffsNotes what I’ve learned from them:

Whenever / wherever folks impulsively and prematurely let down their guard, the opportunistic coronavirus has rushed in to fully exploit that unfortunate, unforgivable lack of resolve.

For the corroborating, damning evidence, reasonable people need look no further than the alarming worldwide Covid-19 infection and fatality spikes (past and present); in particular, within the United States, India and Brazil.

In other words, what that godforsaken Corona-V and HIS asshole, inbred, variant varmints have taught me is that THEY… NOT HUMANS… are the SlimeLords of OutHouse Earth. Sorry to coin such a phrase, but from the microbial POV, that’s, precisely, how they assess the damned dump. Beyond that, whenever THEY decide time is ripe to collect the rent, we wee mortals can wind up coughing up (our lungs); worst case scenario, wind up paying in full (with our very lives).

Alas, of late, my pandemic expert heroes have begun to (impulsively? prematurely?) minimize their own masking up / social distancing protocols; my word choice, indeed, intentional. To further drive home my point, let’s take a few secs to free associate several synonyms of “minimize”: belittle, downplay, make light of, pooh-pooh, etc.

That’s not too harsh an appraisal, either, seeing how when “The Suits” follow suit / let down their guard, too, they’ll need to rely on the easily exploited “honor system”; one where their hardcore antimasker, antivaxxer “Karen” customers will shamelessly lie about being inoculated; for the express purpose of satisfying their psychotic urges to go maskless.

True, the vaccines are becoming a game changer; playing a significant role in ushering in our return to a more normal life.

However, everything these experts have taught us, tells me that it’s not, yet, time to be letting down our guard. The last thing we need is for yet another variant to rear its ugly head; to get its (literal) choke hold on humanity. What if such a mutation winds up bamboozling the available vaccines, oh, say, one month, one week or even one day from now?

On a more uplifting note, just yesterday, I did manage to breathe a sigh of relief into my pandemic mask when I discovered how my fellow grocery shoppers (store employees, too) were not, yet, buying into shedding their masks; even though the proprietor had impulsively and prematurely torn down his entryway’s “you must mask up to shop here” signage.

Look, there’s nothing I’d love more than to be proven dead wrong. But, how is erring on the side of caution wrong? How does masking up and staying socially distanced harm anyone?

It’s the alternative that could be dead wrong; could even involve the permanent microbial overthrow of society; all “courtesy” of Corona-V and “his” variants; a.k.a. The SlimeLords of OutHouse Earth.

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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Wave or Cave? (1 Quick Limerick #106)

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Corona containment Qs to interject:
Are revamped rules sane, sage, safe and correct?
Our hello wave to truths solid?
Or jello cave to pols squalid?
Will covid resurrect or genuflect?

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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To Don or Doff; that is the Question?

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Of late, as the vaccine “have” nations have just begun to protect their populaces, an impatience has been (shall we say?) germinating / incubating. Yep, immature folks have been demanding the relaxation of pandemic mitigating protocols; chomping at the bit to eschew (chew off?) their pandemic masks.

While modest gains have been cause for celebration, pragmatists (I among them) regard such a course of action to be too much, too soon.

More to the point, for reasons I shall never understand at all, throughout the pandemic, mask wearing has been so hyper politicized / ostracized, its as if facial coverings brand wearers as what? Some sort of wusses?

Far be it from me to rain on anybody’s way too early VCV-Day (Victory over Corona-V) parade, but…

Even as I type / you read these words, it is still conceivable that epidemiologists have yet to discover the full range of dirty tricks, which that filthy pathogen still has well hidden up its figurative sleeve. My gawd, the experts did not brand Corona-V “novel” just for the “fun” of it. And, lest we forget, until late 2020 / early 2021, Covid-19 variants had been unheard of.

Little doubt, these same experts (and critical thinking laypersons, too), at present, are all wondering:

  • Just how long will present day vaccines continue to protect the public?
  • Might anti vaxxer movements / vaccine hesitancy thwart herd immunity?
  • What impact will vaccine “have not” nations have on the “have” nations?
  • What if there are yet to be born microbial cousins; e.g., Covid-21? 22? 23?

Should any of these concerns prove problematic, that’d mean our current pandemic woes are far from over; that that next “once every 100 years” pandemic could arrive significantly sooner.

Granted, such worries tend to sound rather iffy. Nevertheless, what does anyone have to lose by continuing to, bare minimum, social distance and mask up? Are not those who balk at doing something so simple to comply with the actual wusses here?

In other words, why piss away what little progress we have made, so far?

Look, as of my posting time, 3,385,901 (known) souls have already perished, worldwide (and still counting). Seeing how even one of those deaths has already been one too many, is it really too much to ask for everyone to continue playing it safe? After all, this pandemic can never truly be over until IT IS over.

On a more positive note, there is no denying that our masking up, this past fall/winter. did kick conventional influenza and rhinovirus ass; not to mention prevent aerial allergens and pollutants from entering (even damaging) our lungs / bodies.

Even in pre-pandemic times, many civilized, compassionate peoples throughout our world already respected one another sufficiently to mask up.

I headlined this post, To Don or Doff; that is the question? So, what is the answer?

Well… long sigh… the grown-ups “in the room” would not only automatically consider the former D-word the easiest, wisest, smartest possible, no-brainer solution to our pandemic woes, they’d also be sufficiently patient to allow the eventual arrival of actual, favorable conditions to settle the matter / answer the damned Q for us.

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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Commiseration To: India / From: Me

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The recent, still ongoing upsurge of Covid-19 cases, within India, and the consequent magnitude of human suffering and death, finds me pausing to reflect and commiserate. And, seeing how, my own home state, Michigan, is also getting hit hard, I can identify with what’s going on.

Other than echo your sorrow and angst, I feel helpless to offer up little more than some counsel; for whatever that may be worth.

Everyone, everywhere (up and down the hierarchy) must heighten our respect for Corona-V. To too soon let down our guard, grants carte blanche to that sickening pathogen and its even more communicable and deadly variants; all of which are hellbent on making life damned near impossible for us all.

More to the point, be our leaders science subscribers or scofflaws, too damned many of them still don’t seem to fully grasp how that mindless microbe is still calling all the shots. And, wherever / whenever the leaders mislead, the misled masses wind up paying the price.

The empowered foolhardy have been in strict violation of Pandemic Rule #1. Were we to ever get that statute in writing / on the books, it’d go along these lines.

Never prematurely declare a pandemic over; i.e., unless you enjoy eating crow. With very few exceptions, expect to be proven wrong; dead wrong. And, even one more death will be one death too damned many.

Additionally, we must prepare for the possibility that today’s Covid-19 vaccines will not completely end the peril; that booster shots will become a regular (annual?) part of our lives. As to whether virologists can keep pace with all of the variants? Well, that’ll remain to be seen.

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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We are the Bug! Resistance IS Futile!

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In many a Sci-Fi flick, in particular, where extraterrestrials attempt their hostile takeover of Earth, the typical narrative becomes laser focused upon unified humanity valliantly and relentlessly battling the common enemy; and more to the point, good terrestrials whupping evil extraterrestrial butt.

Instantly coming to mind is the typical Star Trek starship captain’s phaser focused response to the following, ominous, otherworldly, deadpanned subspace radio transmission:

“We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ship(s). We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.”

Were something similar to ever go down during our 21st century, life and times…

Whoa! WTF am I saying?

Something comparable has occurred and, as I type and you read, is still afoot; or more aptly, epidemiologically stated, is still in the air; literally so.

While, what we Earthlings have been facing down does not involve relentless Borg nanoprobes interminably infiltrating our bloodstreams, nonetheless, in this particular instance, ever since late 2019, a terrestrial hostile takeover has been underway; our common enemy being coronavirus.

One wonders why, within our Covid-19 embattled real world, we have lowered our shields. Why there’s been such a craven, haphazard response when it comes down to conquering what, in essence, is a mindless microbe; a virus so stupid, it’ll even settle for the way we adapt to service it; i.e., via our host bodies morphing into its ad hoc incubators; and in the process, sickening us; far too often, sickening us to death.

Just how mindless is that damned pathogen? Why, it doesn’t even mind if, in snuffing us out, it snuffs itself out, too.

The irony here is how, all along, it has been incredibly easy for humankind to prevail.

With nary one starship phaser blast or launched photon torpedo, by now, we could’ve conquered Corona-V; by consistently social distancing / isolating and masking up. Or, had spines and stout hearts been truly in this fight, right from the get-go, we could’ve locked down the whole world and, sans any “Warp Speed” vaccines at all, deep-sixed this godforsaken microorganism within a few weeks; a couple of months tops.

Imagine, we could’ve all reclaimed our lives by the March 2020 Equinox.

Consider, too, how we could’ve saved a sizeable percentage of the known 3 Million pandemic fatalities (and still counting).

With few exceptions, I’d rank Earthlings’ pandemic intervention tactics (in essence our response to that “We are the Bug” transmission) as pathetic; something akin to Enterprise Captain Jean-Luc Picard obsequiously, cowardly, ignorantly and promptly silencing the Red Alert Klaxons, powering down all of the WMD at his disposal and eagerly rolling out the red carpet to the Borg Queen, herself; and in the process, facilitating her assimilation of humankind.

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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What Would the Wise (Wo)Man Do?

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Alt-Headline: Covid-21? 22? 23? 24 etc.?

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In some respects, this liberal man has opted to live his life conservatively; i.e., cautiously. That stems from my determination not to depart the Land of the Living prior to the arrival of the Best By / Expiration Date, which my bygone manufacturer(s) had invisibly, indelibly stamped on my butt. How adamant am I? Glad you asked!

I am fully prepared to adopt an interminable coronavirus common sense stance. The Covid-19 vaccines notwithstanding, I fully intend to continue hunkering down at home as much as possible and keep on publicly social distancing and masking-up; as in long, Long, LONG after the medical experts, eventually, silence the Star Trekian RED ALERT klaxons. Why?

For starters, our donning our masks during late 2020 and early 2021 did dramatically reduce transmission of the regular flu virus (and rhinoviruses, too).

Beyond that? There’s insufficient certainty re the duration of the existing vaccines’ protection and whether or not the virologists will be able to keep up with the arrival of the insanely dangerous, coronavirus variants.

Beyond beyond that? What if, as I type and you read these words, there’s another global pandemic looming; oh, say a Covid-21? And if not a 21, what about a Covid-22? 23? 24 etc.?

Year numbers are no different that regular numbers. Just as you and I can easily pick a number, just as easily, virus hunters can always tack on one integer WHEN they discover a new microbe. And note that word choice BOILS DOWN to WHEN and not IF.

Even the idiomatic phrase BOILS DOWN is likely apt. To e.g. that…

What if climate change, in other words, our far, Far, FAR warmer planet, is already providing a more hospitable environment for microbes? In other words, what if human shortsightedness has resulted in our unwittingly constructing something akin to a global lab; its petri dishes incubating / cooking up / churning out difficult to contain, ferociously communicable, deadly to humankind pestilence?

While, for now, that may all sound like some scary, nightmarish plot to a bizarre Sci-Fi flick, do keep in mind that it’s also insanely easy for you and I to twice press our keyboards’ delete key to eliminate that above “Fi”.

Ergo… I’ll copy and paste this post’s above headline:

What Would the Wise (Wo)Man Do?

Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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