Message in a Bottle
“What we have here is a failure to communicate”
The Governor says “Stay at Home”
The Sherriff say “Screw that (kinda)”
The City (dependent on which one you are traversing through on your way up and down Hwy 111) says “Well, maybe and Hell yes, and No way”
The Federal Government says…well, they are just missing in action.
Is this any way to run a country? A state? A community?
I think we can all, Democrat, Republican, or Contrarian, agree that the clarity of our information is severely challenged, with fatal results. We are talking about a highly transmissible disease, passed through the air we breathe, that has killed millions of humans worldwide and a disproportionate amount of them in our own country. This disease does not care whether you are dining al fresco on El Paseo or carrying take away in Palm Springs. Anyone who goes anywhere in our valley has to cross the paths of thousands of others, in their own and other jurisdictions, that may or may not have the same degree of protections and enforcements in place.
When we divvy up the state (and the country) into thousands of semi-autonomous jurisdictions, each intent on satisfying the loudest constituencies of voices within their control regardless of the health and safety implication for the rest of their citizenry, you get exactly what we have now; an uncontrolled, out-of-control, viral catastrophe and a mass of the population screaming “Freedom at any cost”. Freedom for them and their families to pay the ultimate price for their thoughtless choices. Freedom to over-burden the healthcare system that they, along with everyone else, has to rely on and exist within. And freedom to ultimately infect so many others in their orbits, either directly in their homes and families, or indirectly in the grocers or Walmarts, or public venues of their choosing that are barely scraping by under the worst of circumstance and hesitate to get into confrontations over mask use for fear of alienating even one more potential customer.
California is a polyglot of lumped together constituencies at this point. SoCal consists of over half of the population of the state but as such, includes such diverse locals as Los Angeles, Fresno, Santa Barbara and the Coachella Valley; hardly comparable in any sense in the best of times but when trying to institute fair and demographically feasible health restrictions on populations, it is unruly at best and unfair in the utmost. Yet that’s where we, along with the rest of the “United” States all are. It may say “united” up front but thanks to the current administration we are anything but.
Politics had polarized every one of us in every one of the states. The Feds have fanned the flames, and the institutions we have always had in place for the betterment of “the people” are now in the hands of the “few people” who are agendized to NOT operate on this core tenet and instead, throw the ball back at each of us with a specious state’s rights theory, trying to back-think the founders into positioning their intent as to what each state is tasked with doing and liable for not doing. Spread the responsibility on “the states” and the blow back from the inevitable failures (50 times over) will be directed at each of the governors and not at the President and the Congress where the actual responsibility has lain from the start.
So, when we look at the current recall effort of Governor Newsom, please remember what we got when Gray Davis was recalled; Arnold. Please keep in mind that mistakes, small and large, will be made and can and must be corrected. Newsom was the rising star that everyone loved, until he wasn’t. Let’s not be too hasty to up and toss the baby and the bathwater all into the cesspool that the feds have left us. Let’s all, please, do our own parts, now, until the coming vaccine has actually come. Months looks easier to swallow when taken a week at a time. Months look easier to commemorate when they are, as now, in the rear view.
Basically, we have been tossed a Message in a Bottle that may or may not wash up on the shore in time.
We have done miraculous things this past year, even though it feels as if we only sat around getting fat. We have, across the country, weathered waves of virus, beat back throngs of infections, all to save our healthcare systems and ourselves by insuring that they would be there when we might need them. Right now, it is more than critical that we triple down our efforts and ride this last wave to its conclusion and reach the shore safely. Our hospitals are running out of oxygen again and again. Our morgues have two-week waits in order to accept bodies. There are 5–8-hour queues for ambulances to unload their patients INTO a hospital and then most likely into a hallway, a gift shop, or a chapel for treatment.
Stay home. Wear a mask. Quit ye bitchin’. Live to fight another day.