CORONA BLUES REDUX

7/7/2020 I HAVEN’T POSTED in a long time, at sea in the maelstrom of coronavirus and social upheaval that surrounds us all. So much to try to focus on, but possibly the most baffling to me is the way the president has turned a simple, scientific, medically supported recommendation – to wear masks – into a statement of identity politics. America is 4% of the world’s population but we have 25% of the world’s covid-19 deaths, and that’s not an accident. It’s because the president won’t wear a mask himself, and holds rallies encouraging thousands of Americans to endanger not only themselves, but all the people they’ll go on to infect for weeks after these rallies. He actually encourages people to refuse to wear a mask if they don’t feel like it. As if it was okay to refuse to turn out the light in your window during a bombing raid, when we are at war. And we are at war, with a virus who doesn’t negotiate.

And why is “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service” fine with everyone, but “No Mask, No Service” sends some people into a rage about Constitutional rights – when they also never complained about “We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to Anyone.”

Europe won’t let Americans in any more, because we are one of only 3 countries in the world (along with Brazil and Russia) who have handled the pandemic so badly, our citizens are viewed as dangerous, infectious risks to be around. 130,000 US dead today, and no end in sight.

But then I know we’ve been through terrible times before – more Americans died in the Civil War than any other. And 1918 saw WW I as well as the Spanish Flu. And of course there was the Great Depression, WW II… the world is a dangerous place. Maybe it all comes in cycles, and this is just our time to go through it. Maybe the recent anti-science bias in our culture will finally do us in. I don’t know.

All I know is… wear a mask, save a life. Maybe someone close to you. I’m a doctor and I promise you that while masks don’t stop the infection from spreading, multiple studies have shown they slow it down and lower the death count. So please: Wear a mask. Don’t end up like this guy.

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