Friday, October 23, 2020

CoViD-19 | Squandered Opportunities | Mental Health Resources | US Sets New Daily Case Record

La Jolla Cove (Taken 10.23.2019)

I think I'm recovered from the whiplash of last night's debate and I keep teetering with anxiety about the outcome of the presidential bid on November 3. On the one hand, it feels like there is going to be record voting nationwide to get covidiot-in-chief outta there, on the other hand, the last 20+ years of intentional voter suppression, gerrymandering, court-packing McConnell blocking hundreds, if not thousands, of bills, and the horrible record of polls and I'm really scared, but I can't really dwell on it or it's going to be a long 2 weeks. 

The other thing that I was thinking about today was all of this squandered opportunity. When the pandemic struck and we knew very little about it, lockdown was appropriate. But as we learned more and things loosened up, it feels like we could've had a really hard reset on our way of life. Certainly some businesses realized they could allow their staff to work from home or with more flexible hours (or both,) but imagine if there had been a real shutdown: if the City took the opportunity to fast forward all the street and sidewalk repairs, upgraded lighting and bike lanes and all of the backlogged 'Get It Done' projects, if people were encouraged to clean up their streets and neighborhoods like we were encouraged to garden, if nationally we were called on, especially those of us who got stimulus checks, to put in hours at national or state parks or hiking trails or at beaches or cleaning up schools. Imagine if, besides a national coordinated COVID-19 plan and messaging, if our national politicians reprioritized literally everything related to our environment and infrastructure.

Instead, most of us just tried to keep our heads above the water while maybe making bread or learning new recipes or planting a garden on the side while trying to make sure our kids could manage distance learning. Meanwhile corporations made insane profits and politicians took advantage of our attention by stringing us along on stimulus packages while taking the election to new slanderous depths full of not just attacks, but flat out lies and deception. Now we've got pandemic fatigue on top of election fatigue and it's making people drop their guard, take greater risks, and ignore the things that will continue to keep us healthy, despite all of the early warnings that we were staring down 1-2 full years before a vaccine could be expected and widely distributed and could see from the lack of early national response that we'd see the worst of it all. 

2020 has been a really hard and long and depressing and stupid year, but it didn't have to be this bad. I hope that everyone remembers that as they prepare their ballots all the way down ballot to our local races. 

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