In the midst of late night comedy and courtroom drama rages the pandemic in full throttle. Yet, you wouldn’t necessarily know it based on what we have been seeing from the administration. It all depends on who you pay attention to. That confusion continues down to the state and local level. It really is a microcosm of this entire four year period of hell.
The guy at the top obviously stopped caring awhile ago. Everything would go away after the election. To no one’s surprise it hasn’t. Yet, he has completely stopped governing. He isn’t doing anything other than complain about “rampant fraud” that cost him the election. It’s a logical conundrum. If you are so convinced that you won then wouldn’t you carry on like you had won? Wouldn’t you continue to govern? Instead, he seems to be stealing everything that isn’t bolted down.
However, that is neither here nor there. The biggest problem comes with the pandemic itself. We have the ultimate battle of mixed messages. We have an outgoing administration that says its going away. We have an incoming administration that’s sounding the alarms. We have a corona virus task force that’s doing more than that.
So, let’s look at some facts. This week, we surpassed more than 100,000 people in hospitals nationwide for the virus. That’s a first. We surpassed 200,000 new infections every day. We also surpassed 2500 deaths per day. While neither of the last two are firsts, they are high water marks. The second one in particular is a bad predictor for hospitals and health care workers that are already exhausted.
The corona virus task force has told local health officials to bypass government entities and sound the alarms. They want seniors to stay at home as much as possible and everyone who travelled over Thanksgiving to assume they are positive. Essentially, anyone with comorbidities should have their groceries and pharmaceuticals delivered.
California has basically decided to shut down again. Famously, the San Francisco 49ers have been banished to finish their season in Arizona. The rest of the state is shutting down. Yet, in other areas of the country where the virus is just as rampant if not more, they are continuing on as if nothing has happened. The collective response is not at all collective. It’s fragmented. It’s quite possibly the best example of a much larger phenomenom over the past four years.
Down is up. Up is down. Left is right. Inside is out. A vaccine is coming but there is no plan to distribute it. That’s going to be left to the states. They promised 300 million doses. They may get ten percent of that and even then they don’t know how to convert it into useable doses. Sometimes you can overplan these things.
Meanwhile, schools in Texas are poised to force hundreds of students to return to school. Our campus alone has around 1400 students and about half of them have remained at home. We are prepared to force up 200 of those to return. I get it. They are struggling at home and nothing seems to be working for them academically. I work with many of these students. Believe me, I get it.
Yet, when you put this in the backdrop of what is going on in terms of health it just doesn’t make any sense. Nothing seems to make sense these days. I guess this is how federalism is supposed to work. National governments do what they do. State governments do what they do. Local governments do what they do. In the normal course of life it all makes sense. In a global pandemic it makes no sense. People are starved for someone to take charge. At least some of them anyway.