In so many ways. However, the death machine is Covid-19 and the politicians and consumers in denial. It dwarfs riots, and it may be decades before we understand the true cost of this disease.
Simple, the virus attacks internal organs — all of them, brain, heart, arteries, kidneys, lungs. You can be walking around with severe damage and never notice. That damage could shorten your life or make future years extremely difficult. We simply won’t know until it becomes evident. Years into the future.
We do know the death toll today. Using the Johns Hopkins University numbers, as of last night, the toll stood at 145,546 dead. When I wrote last week that we’d see 150,000 dead by the end of July, I wasn’t 100% confident in that figure. Now I know we will pass that and more.
The back-of-the-envelopment estimate was 240,000 dead by Halloween. With politicians like Desantis and Kemp, we could see 300,000 by then or more. That’s with the current virus. No telling what the next mutation might do.
The damage to people is long term. The damage to the country is long term. People are gone, job are gone, companies are gone. The people and some of the jobs will never return. The demographic profile of the country will change. Our relationship to the rest of the world has changed, not for the better. The US is no longer a leader and in fact has lost control. While China has challenges in front of it, the US is no longer one of them. All of the American lives lost in Asia were in vain.
And the stress on our society caused by the virus has blown other failings into focus.
People can’t get the life they want, and they are taking their frustrations out on each other. The wealthy are happy to see that happen, as nobody is coming after them.
The good news is that parts of American history that have been romanticized are being trashed. We’ve always known what the Confederacy was, a crusade for the preservation of slavery. Gettysburg was perhaps the last event in US history in which one could make a case for divine intervention to defeat evil. And it’s a strong case even for an agnostic. But it’s the last one.
The bad news is that the shared history that makes America what it was is being lost as well. Ultimately, these shared myths are what makes a country, a country. And they are leaving, rapidly.
Millennials and immigrants don’t know what they’re losing. Many oldsters don’t seem to care.
And the folks who will put themselves and their kids at risk because they are too lazy to parent? No clue. Gwinnet County becomes the poster child for parental insanity.
The chaos is preventing us from focusing on crucial problems. Rising sea levels mean that cities have to move. The center of the country is turning into desert. We know these things are happening, but the circus paralyzes us into inaction. The rich think that their wealth won’t be affected. The poor know they don’t have the resources. Both have abdicated their responsibilities and both are fatally wrong.
The superrich simply want to leave the planet and let it implode, not realizing that the virus (or one of its mutations or kin) will be their traveling companion.
You can’t run, you can’t hide, and there is no moat of money deep enough to protect you.
Hatred, envy and ignorance aren’t the cure. Dreaming for a time that never was doesn’t either.
Unplugging can make for a much needed mental health break, but nothing gets better while you’re offline. Computer games don’t help, nor does porn.
As for me, I simply strive to help people cope with this mess. It’s what I can do to try to make the world a better place.
What are you doing?