America and namely Louisiana – The Arrogance and Ignorance is Coming Tenfold with Covid19
It has been about 2.5 weeks since I last wrote about Covid19 although I wanted to write that column sooner. If you missed it, click below…
I intend to tread carefully on everything I am about to say in regards to Covid19 because it is a sensitive, scary and difficult time for many of us, myself included.
What has happened and transpired with the growing spread of this nasty virus is aggravating.
I’ll start with more of the selfish reasons. My job has been affected and I don’t have the timeline on when it stops. I am a control freak. I like to be in control because if something bad happens, I would much rather be able to say “it’s on me.”
I worry every time I have to go to the grocery…the only time I leave my house.
While my wife was working at the hospital, there was constant worry about the virus spreading to her, my child and myself. As I type this, maybe we all have it and don’t know. That is the scary part, the incubation period. Luckily, she has been home the last week and we have pulled our son from daycare for the last two weeks.
In the back of my mind, I know statistics say all of four of us (including my unborn daughter) should be ok even if we contract it. However, there are people we have been avoiding lately who have higher chances of not being ok.
Even with statistics on our side, fuck that shit. I am not risking it by being willfully ignorant. I am writing this as I watch car after car pull up to my neighbors house buying sacks of crawfish. So much for social distancing.
Unfortunately, they are not breaking any orders of the mandates currently in place so nothing can be done except watch their irresponsibility unfold. Sure, I could try saying something. One, I’m not risking anything. Two, my buddy once told me best, “argue with someone smarter than you and you probably lose, argue with someone dumber than you, you always lose.”
That is what I mainly want to talk about here is the willful ignorance and arrogance of Americans.
Disclaimer, if you read that as “I hate America.” Re-read previous statement. I love living here. I don’t beat the drum that I don’t. But if me calling out flaws means I hate it, you’re wrong. That doesn’t make you patriotic. That makes you nationalistic. The latter is a very dangerous place to be. That is a conversation for another day.
Fortunately for us, we don’t have to worry about many of the problems that other countries face day to day. We don’t have to worry about invasions, bombings or terrorist attacks, both foreign and domestic, like some of the well off European countries. We are very safe and protected here as a general rule.
Sure, we have our bad area. We have our mass shootings. But, we are well protected.
We even haven’t felt the heavy brunt of some of the other pandemics the world has faced like Ebola or H1N1. That also isn’t me saying our healthcare is perfect. I don’t live in a Utopian world in my head nor do I pretend it is attainable.
Those are the facts, we haven’t been nailed like we are right now. At least not in a long time. Certainly not in my lifetime.
Unfortunately, that leads to false senses of security when there should be concern. Now, many people in the US are concerned. The virus has now reached more cases than any other country worldwide including China and Italy.
Of course there are far more people in the US than Italy. However, there are more people in China than the US. There are population differences you have to account for. Projections have the US outbreak being worse than anyone due to this being the early stage of the virus for us.
Quite frankly, I have many issues with how all this unfolded and transpired. I will start with the leader of the country, President Donald Trump.
Whether you voted for him, didn’t vote for him, like him, hate him, I don’t care. I am not here to debate that.
Trump downplayed the virus until it began spreading rapidly in his own backyard. He has talked about opening businesses back up prematurely even after seeing what has happened recently. He hasn’t had a good grip on the entire situation from day one.
While I am not going to place blame on the nation’s ignorance solely on Donald Trump, it doesn’t help when your president downplays what is going on. His opinion holds weight whether you like it or not.
If you’re a Trump fan reading this and trying to spin in it in your own web of what happened, bless your heart then. That is a conversation or debate I would lose and it’s not because I am wrong (see statement from the beginning of column).
Follow The Guidelines
Then you have the people who are not heeding the warnings of social distancing and being responsible, such as my neighbors selling crawfish and having different people over constantly. I see loads of kids playing in the neighborhood sometimes.
In order to slow this, you need to do what they are telling us. That is certainly not those things.
Seeing videos of large gathering such as the spring breakers un-apologetically doing what they please for the sake of getting fucked up. You can do that at home. YOLO when it isn’t public course of concern. Don’t be a ball bag.
Unfortunately, I live near epicenter of that mentality. Good ole New Orleans. One of most view columns on this blog in four years is “Why New Orleans Sucks” and this just adds to it.
Watching police officers have to break up crowds on Bourbon is infuriating. It all stems back to the arrogance and ignorance of Americans.
I saw posts being shared on FB with people talking about New Orleans and how we can’t be broken that I referenced in my previous post about all this. How did that hold up? Not looking good right now. I can tell you that.
Not only is New Orleans shut down and businesses are being heavily affect, the cases are spiraling rapidly. Not only are the cases coming in waves, the deaths are as well. As it stands now (could change in the next five minutes), 4.3% of confirmed cases are ending in death for the state of Louisiana.
One of the contributors that many have suggested is Mardi Gras. I don’t do Mardi Gras regardless, but I damn sure wasn’t going as Covid19 began spreading. In addition to worrying about the stupidity that comes, I don’t want to worry about a virus as well. But clearly, the city didn’t care.
People were pissed about the cancellation of St. Patrick’s Day and those people still went despite that.
Of course, Mayor Latoya Cantrell said she would have cancelled Mardi Gras if she knew. One, I doubt it. Two, you have mishandled plenty at this point. I wouldn’t expect her to handle this properly. The ironic part is all the people condemning her are the same people who shit on her for cancelling St. Patrick’s Day.
With Louisiana being hammered by it, I want to talk about a group who is vocal on at the moment…nurses.
Before I dive into everything I want to say, I respect nurses and what they do and what they are dealing with. I couldn’t and I wouldn’t do that job. They have plenty on their plate right now because of all this. I have heard more than enough horror stories.
That being said, there are workers who may not be on the front lines, but still at risk. I think about nurses at risk. I think about all essential businesses and their employees who are at risk because some people are not smart about this virus.
I alluded to my wife being home earlier and I am thankful for that. I have stories about how and why she is that I will not share for her sake. She works in healthcare, although not as a nurse. If they make her go to work as this continues, I will be livid about it.
For nurses, I am not sure if your employer is minimizing what you do or forcefully putting your health at risk knowing they shouldn’t (heard stories of that). If that is the case, my heart breaks for you. Before being a nurse, you’re a person and a person with people you love to worry about.
If anyone tells you “that’s what you signed up for,” they’re a dick. If they do tell you that, I would most certainly ask them if they would tell that to a soldier with PTSD…probably not. No one should ever tell you that. I had that conversation with a police officer buddy of mine a few months back. He was dealing with some heavy shit on his mind and someone had told him that. Not cool.
It may technically be what you signed up for, but it doesn’t mean you have to strip away the emotions that come with it.
While your health may be at risk, we are all at risk right now in ways more than just health.
It appears some nurses are attempting to put their profession on a pedestal, which is something I have felt about some nurses even before this. You’re asking for sensitivity to your profession while simultaneously desensitizing the plight of others in some cases. That’s not cool either.
People are losing jobs, which in turn leads to even more health crisis. Suicide rates go up. Substance abuse increases. As a result of all the negative impact, every time the unemployment rate goes up 1%, 37,000 people will die as a result because the death risk increases exponentially. So with everything shutting down, we are all at risk.
If you see someone minimizing the job nurses do, yes berate them. That is a dick move. So is putting the profession on the pedestal in times like this.
This isn’t one size fits all. I am not saying every nurse out there is doing this either. If you are a nurse and reading, don’t assume it applies to you. I had a conversation with a friend who is a nurse earlier today about all this.
This person mentioned how he/she did not take the virus seriously about a month ago and now they know it is serious. It is the same sentiment I have seen from a number of nurses thus far. The ones being the loudest in terms of that pedestal are the same ones who compared it to the flu no more or less than a month ago or downplayed it in some way, shape or form.
I addressed all the issues of the flu and why that is irresponsible to compare on March 10th. If you wish to see that with earlier numbers, please do. It is linked above.
I have no healthcare experience. I am not a nurse. I am not a medical professional. I don’t pretend to understand everything there is to know about the medical field. In fact, I would say it is one subject where I could use more knowledge.
Upon reading the CDC and WHO websites and sifting through the statistics and data on the virus, it wasn’t hard to see this was not the flu. The first thing I noticed was the death toll. As I alluded to in the column I wrote, I couldn’t even skew the statistics by taking the low number of deaths and high number of cases to to get in the same vicinity as that of Covid19.
One of the factors I understand is the cases may not be accurate because of the number of people without symptoms or those who were never reported or tested. That works in both ways.
That being said, I was able to see all this by vetting and researching. When I see posts from nurses who minimized this at the beginning and say “as a healthcare professional” before stating what they want to say, I do take exception. The reality is you were wrong before when there was data to prove that.
As a general rule, I don’t like when people try to take a stance on a point of authority. Just because something is your field of study or you have a degree does not equate to all-knowing. Act accordingly. It leaves you open to being an easy target any time you are wrong about something.
That isn’t me saying we should never trust nurses, but don’t stand on that ground of it to make your point. Now, we are seeing a changing of the tune. I see more nurses venting about the seriousness because they are taking care of those patients with Covid19.
That being said, they are taking care of the worst case scenarios and not the norm. I have seen some make it seem like that is the norm.
Again, it comes down to language, reasoning and vetting. I am never going to downplay what a nurse may see is scary, disheartening and any other derogatory adjective they may use to describe it. I also ask that you not flip to the other end of it in hopes people will take it seriously.
I have seen viral posts shared over and over ranting about the media pandering to fear of the people. Is that not the same thing?
The last point of playing up the point of authority. We all have political opinions. If you feel that being a nurse gives you the dagger for medical opinions, maybe popular vote should be eradicated based on that principle alone because won’t politicians know what is best for politics?
Maybe we should no longer rip the media because wouldn’t the media know what is best for their industry?
See where I am going with this? It is an argument you should never wage because there is no end game to it.
I will always spin that argument against you. Not because I believe it, but because you left yourself open for a knockout in the first round.
If you have an opinion, state it. Don’t do it on the grounds of your profession because I am sure you wouldn’t like nor agree if done to you.
This is a trying time for everyone. Let’s be mindful of that. For all that is holy, take the proper precautions being suggested. The longer it takes everyone to do that, the longer it will spread. The longer it will take to recover. The longer it will plummet us as a society.
A Thank You To Everyone Doing Their Part
Lastly, thank you to every nurse taking care of sick. Thank you to every restaurant serving our communities. Thank you to every grocery store and all their employees. Thank you to every police officer, firefighter, military personnel who don’t get the luxury of working from home. Thank you to every person who is out working to ensure our safety. Thank you to everyone heeding the warnings and taking this seriously. While I can’t speak for everyone, I appreciate every single person doing their part.