Sunday, December 13, 2020

More Than An Ocean Anyway

Four days after Thanksgiving, Forbes reported

On three days - November 20, 22 and 25 - the volume of travelers passing through U.S. airports exceeded one million. While that is well short of the two million plus travelers recorded daily during Thanksgiving week in 2019, it is still far higher than the number of fliers seen in the early days of the pandemic when the travel volume was in the region of 100,000. With many travelers attending large family dinners held indoors including the presence of over-65s, there is now real concern that the U.S. is set to experience a serious coronavirus shock over the coming weeks.

Over the past week, it seemed that almost every day a record for the number of diagnosed cases, hospitalized individuals, or deaths for the USA was being set.  It is possible that an average of around 3,000 Americans will die daily of Covid-19 the next 3-4 months and leave us with perhaps more than 600,000 deaths by early March.

Obviously, it wouldn't have been this way without a President who has encouraged fatalities. Donald Trump periodically has demonstrated leadership, but of a kind intended to further his dream of purifying the gene pool.

Trump has been a national horror and embarrassment, and threat to the world.  However, governors of fifty states also have demonstrated a lack of leadership, responding weakly and meekly to the coronavirus. At other times, restrictions have been imposed, then relaxed or eliminated, then re-imposed.  A confusing, sometimes bewildering welter of regulations has ensued.

At no time, however, has any governor (let alone the President) demonstrated the leadership exhibited last week 4200 miles from Washington, D.C. when Chancellor Angela Merkel called German citizens to sacrifice with

As hard as it is- and I know how much love has gone into setting up the mulled wine stands and waffle stalls, this is not compatible with the agreement we made to only take food away to eat at home. I'm sorry, I really am sorry from the bottom of my heart. But if the price we pay is 590 deaths a day, then that is unacceptable in my view.

And when scientists are practically begging us to reduce our contacts for a week before we see Grandma and Grandpa, grandparents and older people at Christmas...

Merkel then spoke specifically about schoolchildren before continuing

I only want to say: if we have too many contacts now, in the run-up to Christmas and it ends up being the last Christmas with our grandparents, then we will have done something wrong. We should not let this happen.

Mulled wine stands and waffle stalls. Imagine if last spring, a governor had urged the residents of her state to consider putting aside fairs and festivals, family trips to the lake and to the beach, even family dinners for the summer in order to suppress the coronavirus and allow secondary schools and colleges to open normally in the fall.

And imagine if a governor approaching this holiday season had implored his constituents to limit Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations to their own household. Stay at home, he might have said, so that the lives of hundreds, maybe thousands, of of our residents might be spared. Eat and there, indoors or outdoors, rather than indoors at bars and restaurants. Curtail New Year's Eve revelry. Sacrifice now so people may live.

It might have not worked, and it might be less than a complete success even in Germany. We'll never know, however, because for whatever reason, we don't have in the USA a leader with the courage of an Angela Merkel. And so, death.


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