I stopped writing here for a while because there are only so many ways to say the same things over and over again. But things have really gotten much worse, and I have a feeling we are on the edge of a new and darker chapter of this story. In the US we are at 9,212,767 cases and 234,117 dead. Globally there are 45,347,550 cases and 1,186,388 confirmed dead from Covid-19. I can hardly believe how bad it's gotten. It's been less than a year and new cases are going up rapidly...
More and more people have simply given up fighting this pandemic. I have to say I am shocked it happened so quickly. It's only been 8 months since the first deaths here in the US. I would have thought that people would have been able to last at least a year. We are back up to losing 1000 a day and we just broke another world record for new cases with over 91K in a single day. Cases had been down in Sept. so the deaths got down to about 800 a day for a while. (300 on the weekends due to offices being closed making counts unreliable.) The cases started rising again about 4 weeks ago and have sky rocketed since. We hit 91k and Halloween weekend hasn't even happened yet. We are in so much trouble. Estimates are that we will hit 2k dead a day by December. At this rate I believe it. It's a terrible time for people to be giving up on fighting the pandemic. On to the political mess!
Trump has completely abandoned all pretense that he cares about the hundreds of thousands of American lives lost. He actually said yesterday that we had turned a corner and the pandemic was behind us! On the same day we broke world record cases! Anyone who follows my work knows I am NOT into politics. When Trump was elected I thought "He's a jackass but I hope he does well! I'm rooting for him!" Well, I think I have reserved judgment long enough. The man is an idiot and a sociopath. That's not a political opinion. It's based on his behavior. I don't care about parties. Of course I wanted him to do well. Doesn't everyone want every president to do well? But I was a fool back at the last election. I thought "Well, how much damage could he really do? We have safeguards in place! It'll be fine!" I will never make that mistake again. I'll never sit out an election again either. A painful and costly lesson...
With cases at an all time high BEFORE going into Halloween weekend, Election day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year, anyone can see we are in for one hell of a winter. And that isn't talking about this nightmare election or the Russian cyber attacks!
Many people are concerned that Trump is going to try and strong arm his way into a second term and with good reason. He has done everything he can to undermine the public's faith in the outcome of the election. He has greatly exaggerated voter fraud risk using mail in ballots. As we are in the middle of a PANDEMIC you can see why this is a problem. Not only that but he and other members of the GOP have been doing everything they can to destroy the postal service. The combination means possibly many ballots not getting there in time to be counted and those that do could be "disregarded" later in an unfavorable election outcome. Lord knows his supporters would completely accept it. If he says that the election results are rigged, they will believe him. If he wins of course he won't say a damned thing.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not a fan of "rambling Joe Biden." Under normal circumstances I would never vote for him. But I don't think we can survive another 4 years of Trump. Certainly not in the middle of this pandemic. So I am putting on my p100 respirator, my goggles, and going out to vote on November 3rd. Wish me luck! Hope I don't die!
As we all know Russia interfered with the 2016 election and I doubt this one is any different. It was only last week when I Tweeted that Russia had been too quiet lately for my tastes and then BAM! Yesterday they cyber attacked over 200 US hospitals! University of Vermont Medical Center was one of them. And of course that computer system links nearly ALL of our hospitals and clinics so they were all hit. I had to take my mother into CVMC to get an injection in her spine yesterday. That's how I found out about it. All the computer systems were down. It took forever to get her signed in manually. Some wonder if this was a warm up for a bigger attack during the election. Others wonder if they plan on hitting more hospitals in a more critical way to hurt us in treating pandemic patients. What I DO know is that we have not heard the last of them. That much is certain.
So what else is new? They have confirmed re-infection! There are 12 confirmed cases but we are sure there are MANY more. For a confirmed re-infection case they had to have saved the genetic material from the first test to compare with the second infection. Most people who get tested do not have the material stored. Regardless I am sick and tired of this so called "herd immunity" tactic. Herd immunity is a term used in regards to vaccination. It's when you vaccinate a large portion of a population to protect the few who are unable to take the vaccine. It is NOT a strategy for dealing with infectious disease! It's obviously immoral but more than that, it's not possible. Lets take smallpox for example. It's a virus that DOES give you lasting immunity from re-infection. Notice how it did not go away on it's own? It took decades of dedicated work to vaccinate enough of the world's population to eradicate it! Before vaccines it was considered to have been the single greatest killer of mankind over the millennia. Just letting a virus run wild will not get you "herd immunity." Only a vaccine can get you that. THEN we go on to the fact that coronavirus doesn't give long lasting immunity AND the vaccines we are working on will only work 60% at best! They also expect it will take 2 shots and not one to make it work. Factor it all in and we are nowhere near done with this pandemic.
The other thing that is new is that people are being more open about their disregard for the elderly and people with "pre-existing medical conditions." For a long time I worked to pound it into people's heads that risk factors are as common as things like asthma and obesity. Well, it seems to have sunk in with the public so they have to show their real feelings. It's more and more common to see someone come right out and say that it's "just" the elderly and "weak" that die so who cares? Between that and coronavirus relief aid being cut off in July, those of us at high risk feel we are being left for dead. No. It's worse than that. We feel as if they WANT us to die. Some have even come out and said it! I can't tell you the pain this causes me and those like me. To know that my society sees me as worthless and a drain on the system, not a human being. We were told we would be protected. But how can we stay in our homes when we don't have any money? Aid was cut off in July! I was ordered out of work by my doctor. Luckily my husband and I are scraping by but our savings are drained. We can't keep this up forever. Without that aid myself and those like me will be forced to go back out there to work in an out of control pandemic! We will catch this thing and we will suffer and die! They said if we shut up and let them spread this thing they would keep us safe. Yeah...sure...whatever helps you sleep at night. The crazy part is that this virus can do long lasting damage to the heart, lungs, brain, kidneys, and even fertility in young healthy people! And of course young healthy people ARE dying of covid-19. They are just not dying as much as the elderly or other high risk people.
They went ahead and opened schools with very little precautions. At this point most schools aren't even closing when a kid or teacher gets infected. They just send them home, clean the room and open right back up the next day. Is it any wonder we had over 91K new cases yesterday? We will be paying for all of this for a generation. People are ignoring the damage this virus does to many survivors. Think about what it will cost over their lifetime for medical care? Think about the fact that those people NOW HAVE a pre-existing condition themselves! What happens to them in the next big outbreak of super flu or crazy virus? Think about the how many will be too disabled to work physically taxing jobs? Who makes up for that? Why are people so short sighted?
I guess this about catches everyone up on the important stuff that has happened since my last entry. I expect I will be writing more soon. As I said, things are heating up in all areas of this mess. I intend to share my thoughts and feelings on it here while I archive the news stories on my Twitter. I'm using a new hashtag to archive what I think may be important historically. #HistoricalArchive Stay strong people. Keep up your prep and infection prevention. I know you are tired. I am too. But we can't give up now. We have to keep fighting, keep living, keep loving. I've got to get some sleep. See you all next time.