Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Surging In The Heartland

Back in February when Covid-19 came to the United States, it arrived in the coastal regions because it was brought in by people coming from other countries.  Places like New York, Seattle, and Los Angeles were hot spots because that’s where international flights arrived.  Before masks and social distancing were fully in place, infection spread in those areas.  Trump and his allies and the wackos put the spin on it that was one person from China (Trump is still whipping the China horse) and according to one of my now-unfriended contacts on Facebook, it was only happening in places where there were immigrants (illegal, of course) and if we kept them out, then we’d all be better off: kids could go to school and we can get our nails done.

It still spread in places where the governors and the public were convinced it was a liberal lie and fake news; the South and Texas.  When cases and deaths skyrocketed in June, two weeks after those states began to reopen the beaches and the beauty parlors, those governors, notably Gov. Abbott of Texas, suddenly realized what was happening (even as his lieutenant governor said the equivalent of “oh well, folks gotta die”).  And now it’s spreading in the Midwest.

The novel coronavirus is surging in several Midwestern states that had not previously seen high infection rates while average daily deaths remained elevated Monday in Southern and Western states hit with a resurgence of the disease after lifting some restrictions earlier this summer.

Missouri, Montana and Oklahoma are among those witnessing the largest percentage surge of infections over the past week, while, adjusted for population, the number of new cases in Florida, Mississippi and Alabama still outpaced all other states, according to a Washington Post analysis of health data.

Experts also see worrying trends emerging in major East Coast and Midwest cities, and they anticipate major outbreaks in college towns as classes resume in August.

Whether it’s karma or epidemiology, Covid-19 is ravaging the places where Trump and his deniers defiantly refuse to wear masks and threaten those who do, often with weapons.

No one should take any schadenfreude from this. What we should take from this is that willful ignorance and political posturing have become as deadly was the virus itself.