I guess we just gave up on COVID.
I want to direct your attention to this blog post, written by author Chuck Wendig: “The Great Surrender: How We Gave Up And Let COVID Win.”
I feel like I’ve lost my goddamn mind, but we’ll get back to that point soon. Let’s start with this. Two things seem to be true at this moment in the pandemic:
First, that our numbers are higher than they’ve ever been, in most cases not just by a hair’s breadth, but often by two, three, even four times their previous peaks.
Second, that we are doing less now to mitigate cases than ever before.
This blog post sums up a lot of the feelings of general am I going crazy?-ness that I’ve been having as I watch case counts climb across the US and here at home.
A couple of years ago I signed up for the Oregon Health Authority’s daily COVID-19 email update, so every weekday the OHA emails me the daily case count. I’ve been watching these numbers for two frickin’ years, which in itself seems insane. But anyway, I’m pretty sure at the worst we hit somewhere between 2,000 and 2,500 new cases a day.
Last Thursday we had over 10,000 new cases in one day. I’m bracing myself for today’s email, which will give us the total over-the-weekend numbers. If things hold, it’ll be like 30,000 new cases. I expect to have a tiny little heart attack when I open that one up.
But back when we were hitting 2,000 new cases a day, the nursing homes were shut down, the stores were shut down, the restaurants were shut down, and schools were online-only. We have none of that now. I mean, we’re one of the few states that still has an indoor mask mandate, but that’s it.
The other day my boyfriend had to run to the grocery store and it was a total zoo. Everyone was out sick, so the handful of employees that could show up were working in a madhouse. The lines for the cashiers ran all the way to the back of the store for no reason, other than there were no employees. And this is the state of things all over town.
I feel like I’m going fucking insane. This is objectively, measurably, visibly worse than anything we dealt with, even at the beginning of the pandemic, even at Delta’s height.
Why aren’t we doing anything? Why are we just happy-assing around with everything open? Why aren’t we shutting things down again? Where are those test Biden was supposed to mail us? Why aren’t we getting N95s in the mail every week? Where’s the stimulus money so people can stay home and be safe? Where’s the WFH mandates?
I’m super bad at math, but 10,000 is way more than 2,000, isn’t it? Like, I’m pretty sure it is.