As the title implies the deaths from the Fall surge of coronavirus infections has arrived. We lost 2918 people here in the US yesterday and we saw 218,576 new cases of covid19! The worst part is that these deaths don't reflect this current number of cases but of cases back 3-6 weeks ago! We lose roughly 1000 for every 40,000-50,000 cases offset by 3.5 weeks. That's the model I have used since June to predict deaths and it has held up extremely well. That means that in 3.5 weeks from now we will have roughly 4,360-5,450 people dying per day, give or take a little. It would have sounded impossible 6 months ago but not now. Not with us losing almost 3k a day as it is this week.
Even as this horror unfolds Congress is still trying to get a relief bill passed. It seems as if they have agreed on one but it could fall through easily. The big things to know about it are that there will be no $1200 direct payment to people and the UI benefits will be extended but reduced to an extra $300 a week instead of $600 a week. I am too desperate to complain about it. I can't live on the $167 a week my state gives me for UI. The $600 payments stopped back in July. My UI is running out this month anyway if no new deal is struck. Because I work as a driver for Uber and Lyft I only get this UI because of the last coronavirus relief bill extending benefits to people like me. It expires this month.
I've already talked it over with my husband. If there is no new deal I am going back to work regardless of my doctor's order. We just can't lose everything we have worked years to get. We are so close to being able to get out of this rotting trailer. We can't lose it all now. I have an auto immune disorder with a lung and heart condition. You can see the problem I have been facing right? Having to chose between freezing in this rat trap or going to work and risking long term damage and death. I've talked to people who are now stuck on dialysis for life because of infection. I'm sick enough as it is! I couldn't bare to add more to that list. But what choice do I have if they don't pass a relief bill? I can't just sit here and watch our lives work go down the drain. Growing up I didn't have a house and I was homeless off and on for years as a teen and adult. We will get a safe home of our own even if I have to risk death to do it! But Lord I hope I don't have to. I hope they pass this bill quickly.
I am feeling a little numb to tell the truth. I think it's just the overload of shock and grief. What can I really do about it now? It's spread too far to be stopped by anything but a vaccine. Not with a good 1/3 of people refusing to help stop it. We are losing thousands a day. What can a person really say about that? I'm struggling with what to tell my readers. Other than this is what we prepped for so hunker down and stay uninfected. But how can I push that when I myself may have to go out there to get the money we need to live? We are all desperate after so many months without aid. We can limit our outings to just work and a trip to the store once a month but the people who follow me were doing that already. What we need to be able to do is stay home! But that just isn't happening for many people. They just don't have the money to do it. I am fighting the immature impulse to declare this "unfair" and cry.
My friend K. is in the same spot I am in. They're high risk and not getting enough UI to get by on. With it running out this month they are facing the same decision I am. Worse is that K's partner lost their job too. Luckily they found work through January but that's not a very long time. If our UI ends will K. go back to work regardless of the risk? It's a choice I hope we don't have to make.
There are many millions stuck in this same position. Many have already lost everything. So what can I really say? There are only so many ways to express grief and condolences. I have no comfort to offer the grieving. What do you do when words are not enough and action is not an option? I just don't know. I'm sure I will rally soon but for now maybe I need to slow down a little and just process what I have been seeing and feeling for the last 10 months. I think I just need to focus on the things I am grateful for and focus less on the things I can't change.
Regardless I am here and will be until the end. If I can ever do anything for anyone all you have to do is send me a message on twitter and I will do what I can. Stay safe, remember your prep and precautions, and know that you are loved.