It all began with some muscle aches. Not that I knew it was the beginning of anything; I just knew that my body ached. More than usual. Look, I'm 50; I have a routine of muscle aches that center around my right shoulder, due to how I sleep on it. I noticed on Sunday or so that my shoulder was aching a bit more than usual and that it had spread those aches all through my back, etc, etc. But that kind of thing happens periodically, anyway, depending on how weirdly I may have slept, and I didn't attribute the ache to anything beyond the usual.
Except that it persisted for a few days which wasn't normal but also not enough to raise any alarm bells.
Let's talk about social distancing for a moment.
California was one of the first states -- Maybe the first? I don't remember -- to go to shelter-in-place, and that was especially true of the Bay area. My family has been doing all of the things. I'm the only one who has been out, because I'm the one designated to grocery shop, that being a thing I do anyway. I wear a mask and wear gloves. I avoid people as much as possible. Since the beginning of March, that's pretty much the only place I've been other than taking the dog out. The Bay area has been one of the most successful places in the United States at "flattening the curve."
I had no reason to have any alarm bells going off.
Wednesday night, while still having muscle aches, I started getting a touch of a sore throat, but I didn't really think much about it. It was late when I started feeling it, and I figured it would be gone by morning.
But I was wrong.
By Thursday morning, I was having the full blown sore throat and wondering where I could have gotten sick. And not just a sore throat; the lymph nodes in my neck were swollen, so my whole neck hurt, inside and out. It ached. That's not a thing I had ever experienced before. By that evening, I had a fever of nearly 102.
There were other symptoms, too, but I'm sure you don't need or want to know about all of them.
I did, however, keep my senses of taste and smell.
California is doing a big push to get testing centers open and do more tests. Tests, after all, are where all the data comes from, and we need the data. A testing center had just opened about an hour away that was running tests on people with COVID symptoms. I drove down Friday afternoon to get tested.
That was a week ago at the time I'm writing this, and I still don't have the results of that test. This is not the fault of California. The testing facility I used is being run by a national group that has been allowed to test in California as part of California's thrust to increase testing. They say they have been overwhelmed (yes, I called them), which is probably true, but it makes the test worthless. To me, at least. By the time I have the results, I'll be over the disease. I suppose the data will be useful to someone.
Needless to say, I'm not exactly happy with any of this. And I'm not talking the being sick part.
Let's look at two things:
First, the opencalifornia people. Or openwhateverstate people.
And I know some of them personally.
These people are ignorant and selfish. That's not an opinion; it's Truth.
I'm not going to break down the minutiae of their argument as to why we should just go on living as normal, because it all comes down to two things:
1. These are people not likely to be affected themselves in any real way if they get COVID-19.
2. If they are not going to feel sick, why should they alter their lives to protect other people?
I know a guy who went to one of the protests at the capitol in Sacramento waving around a sign that said "Facts > Fear."
Here are the facts:
Coronavirus is extremely contagious. That I picked it up is proof of that. I almost never get sick and, yet, I picked up coronavirus despite a mask and gloves and all the stuff. Not that the mask is preventative in that way. But the grocery store requires everyone inside to wear a mask so that anyone who happens to be sick will not as readily spread the disease. I got it anyway.
COVID-19, last time I did the numbers, is about 16 times more deadly than the seasonal flu. All of these people talking about it as if it's just a cold can go shove it up their asses. It's just gaslighting to justify their own selfishness on being able to do what they want to do.
The other thing to look at is the Federal response to all of this, which has been, frankly, pathetic.
I'm also not going to break down the minutiae of this. Remember that train wreck at the beginning of Super 8? Imagine if that whole movie had just been that train wreck. Two hours of slow motion train wreck. That's what this whole thing is like, except we're all on the train and can't do anything to get out of the wreck as it's happening. It all boils down to two things though:
1. "Our" #fakepresident believes that having cases of coronavirus is bad for the economy and, if we have a bad economy, he won't get re-elected.
2. Somehow testing creates the cases of coronavirus. If only we didn't test at all, no one would have it.
And that's where we are. In a society where people think not just that it's okay but that it's their god-given-right to carry guns to state capitol buildings to protest about how their freedom to do whatever the fuck they want is more important than other people's lives. More important than your life. Because, you know, if people die from COVID-19, it's not their problem. Those people were weak and needed to die anyway.
The unobstructed armed protest in Michigan is just another step toward what looks like an inevitable civil war in November. Sorry, but Wuher yelling "no blasters, no blasters" didn't stop Ponda Baba from pulling his and losing his arm for it.