'We' Don't Have a Problem

Anti-vaxxers are fucking this whole thing up even faster than we gave them credit for...

Thanks to the Delta variant, the coronavirus is having its hot virus summer in places like Florida, where as of Monday, one in four hospital beds in the state had a COVID-19 patient in it.

The CDC reported 23,903 new coronavirus cases in Florida on Friday, the state’s highest single-day total since the start of the pandemic.

Florida has also seen a rise in cases among children, with at least 135 of them hospitalized with the virus. Yet late last month Gov. Ron DeSantis, once feted for his revolutionary toxic approach by the Wall Street Journal, issued an executive order prohibiting mask mandates in schools. 

But Florida may also be the leading edge of things to come for the entire US. By Monday, the Delta variant had brought the national daily average to its highest levels since early February, jumping 118 percent over the past two weeks to 124,470 cases.

The spike—which is affecting (90+%) unvaccinated individuals, including children—may portend a fall and winter of rampant spread as nurses and docs continue to turn in their two-weeks en masse. They’ve had it too. 

“[Worldwide] think we’re closer to the beginning than we are to the end, and that’s not because the variant that we’re looking at right now is going to last that long,” said Larry Brilliant, MD, an epidemiologist who was part of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) team that helped eradicate smallpox. “Unless we vaccinate everyone in 200 plus countries, there will still be new variants.”

And while kids under 12 for whom there is no vaccine yet wait and get sick, the start of school means strapping on their KN95s along with their Star vs. the Forces of Evil backpacks because that's life in the ether of criminal dysfunction and negligence. 

As the father of a seven-year-old who missed most of Kindergarten and all of the first grade because of this disease and one botched response after another, it’s the latter part that I fear most. 

Why?

Simply put, I no longer trust anyone. 

We are in a cold civil war with people whose brains have turned to mush, who we’ve had to coax, cajole, spoon-fed, and bribe (and bribe again) to try to get them vaccinated. We’ve deployed singers, and actors, and athletes, and influencers—from booty models to teen TikTok dancers—to explain to them what the miracle of science is that spun up a working vaccine in record time to fight a disease that simply does not discriminate. 

There they are—still being the biggest assholes possible in restaurants, at Walmarts, in Mega-church, at the airport. These individuals, I’m sorry to say, are the most privileged cohort of the most privileged country in the world, with access to every advantage and scientific miracle you can literally throw at them, and yet, their mission is clear: make the most innocent among us suffer.

We’re literally throwing vaccines away in states like Alabama while the world clamors for a shot and criminally seditious politicians cheer on this behavior

It’s not “we” who have the problem. Most of us stayed inside, dropped food and supplies off at our neighbors, never stopped masking up, never complained (well, complained... a little), and waited patiently. 

Most of us tried to synthesize information consulted with our physicians, followed our local, regional, and national laws, questioned whether we were doing enough by sheltering in place and donating what little extra we had. We made vaccine appointments for the older folks in our lives, dropped them off at the site and picked them up when they were done.

Most of us waited our turn and still continued to isolate and push back plans until a vast majority could still have the same treatment and the same peace of mind… and now we are the ones being penalized.

I have an unvaccinated person in my home. He can’t help it. And for the most part, that means we have to stick to the rules now more closely than ever. Not because we like it or because he’s used to it. We fucking hate it. And he now no longer knows what “normal" life is.

But charlatans, bad-faith actors, and selfish fucking assholes are ruining it for everyone because, you know, they "did their research" (scrolled their Insta feed on the toilet, I guess?) And we happen to like our kids participating in soccer, and reading books, and having play dates, not lying in a hospital bed on a vent. And for kindly requesting everyone get a shot to help get us there—we’re the intolerant ones(?)

So you know what? Fuck them. Put them on a barge of garbage ideology and float them out to fucking sea with a three-week supply of Herbalife, Kombucha, and self-actualization audiobooks. 

Give them a biodome complete with the real Stephen Baldwin in the Nevada desert next to Musk’s racist, injury-filled, and cocaine-addled Wonkaland. Give ‘em 24-hour yoga and rolling Toby Keith and Kid Rock concerts. I don’t give a fuck; we’ll feed you, and booze you, and supplement you to your heart’s content. Just go the FUCK away from here, for good.

You don’t believe in a society, not a functioning one anyway—and certainly not the just one you claim your ancestors fought for—and you’re a fucking vector on top of it. 

You want ultimate freedom? You want to be left alone from the tyrannical threat of reason and common decency and the consequence of experts and the manifestation of research into a cure? Fine. 

We’ll find a place for you where you can broadcast Jenny McCarthy on a Jumbotron all day and eat açaí bowls to your heart's desire and build your immune system with colloidal silver—an endless buffet of snake oil on-demand and Joe Rogan playing DJ and Chet Hanks on the mic. Go for it. Enjoy that shit. 

…Just leave the rest of us alone with your “personal decision” because that decision is to be a walking, trolling pathogen who got duped by age-old anti-Semitic rhetoric into becoming a killer.


Giants vs. Diamondbacks

As a palette cleanser, I watched the Giants vs. the Diamondbacks last night. It was the first game that the Giants’ former ace and best pitcher in postseason history, Madison Bumgarner, returned to SF in front of a crowd that wasn’t cardboard cutouts since signing with the Arizona Diamondbacks before the 2020 season. 

During opposing team introductions, Giants fans cheered so loud and so long that they forced Bumgarner out of the dugout to tip his cap. He cracked a sheepish smile and allowed himself to take it in for a minute. 

And for that moment, I at least felt something that wasn’t this knot of frustration for humanity treating each other like absolute dog shit as we stretch toward the finish line of our species’ collective existence.

Anyway, the Giants went on to build a 5-0 lead and lose it. Then a 7-5 lead heading into the 9th, and lose it again, and then they finally wrapped the game 8-7 in a walk-off.

It’s been that kind of season for both teams, with few reasons to take a moment to smile and soak it in between.

Tonight it’s Giants’ ace Kevin Gausman (10-5, 2.31 ERA) vs. the Diamondback’s 1A guy, righty Merrill Kelly (7-8, 4.13 ERA). The only Arizona pitcher who’s stymied the Giants (who after last night’s win are 11 games over .500 vs. the Diamondbacks) is Bumgarner—the home team and their fans are happy to cheer him on stashed away safely in the dugout. 

Take the San Francisco Giants 72-41 (-215) vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks 35-79 (+195) at 6:45 p,m. PST