I’ve been thinking about what to write here for a while. Not that things aren’t going on – they are. Life continues much the same as it has for a bit. It’s finally raining today after a ridiculously long dry stretch – it rained yesterday too. In that way that the weather seems to be now. All or nothing.
And I’m fully aware that the weather has always done this. We’ve always had extremes. It’s just the frequency of extremes that’s increased. We’ve always had occasional hot periods, it’s just the frequency of that’s increased.
But it’s hard to separate that out from the shift that we’re seeing in our weather patterns. It’s hard to find balance right now. And so life goes on – in a small and enclosed way. People won’t get vaccinated, so people keep dying.
So I don’t go out. We were talking today about how nice it would be to eat in a restaurant. We haven’t had a chance to do that for years. We sat outside a restaurant with Kathryn’s family, which was nice, but it’s not the same as the experience of going out for a meal and sitting inside – of service where I don’t grab my mask to protect the worker (and myself, if I’m honest), but mainly in that case for them.
I’ve recently had to take Raven to have – well, I took it for a warranty repair (the sun visor broke) and a ‘service’ (which being an EV consists of them staring at it) but they hadn’t ordered the part – so it had to be rinsed and repeated.
And so both times I went and sat outside a coffee shop and had coffee and cake – as far from everyone else as I could – because I had an hour to kill and there’s nowhere nearby to sit. It’s that very odd combination for me of being near normality, but knowing it’s not normal. And watching a lot of other people behave like everything’s just fine.
We drove past a restaurant yesterday which was fairly full — and it’s a pretty small space. Being it’s a place I used to enjoy going to now and then I’m also aware that it doesn’t have amazing airflow. And… I just…
…I know the hospitals are — effectively full. I know that people are dying.
And I was talking to Kathryn yesterday about how the UK and the US*’s cultural history of people dumping their sick relatives at the hospital and then leaving (which is super-encouraged now, when we’re not allowing visitors – for obvious reasons), has done us a huge disservice at this point. Because people have no experience or context for illness. They’re going off what it’s like to have a cold, or a cough.
Maybe they had flu once. But the impacts of severe illness or long-term disability aren’t talked about. They’re not allowed to be a part of life – unless you, yourself, have a loved one who’s experienced those things.
People are so disconnected from illness that now – now when we need them to do some simple, basic, minimal fucking things to protect others, there’s a cadre of selfish shits who won’t get vaccinated because [largely insert bullshit reason]** or won’t even wear a mask because – ‘why should I’.
Why should you?
Because it’s the least you can do to stop someone else dying. It’s the least you can do to stop someone who can’t get vaccinated from spending their last days suffering on a ventilator. It’s the bare fucking minimum to be a decent empathetic human.
Let’s run around waving a flag for our vile bigoted king-god claiming some kind of religious freedom (although no major religions actually have a vaccine restrictions, because unlike the GOP they’re mainly not death cults).
Funny how y’all were fine wearing a mask when it was something else killing people.
If I sound angry, it’s because I am. I’m livid. I just want these people to grow the fuck up, get some compassion, some understanding of science and then behave like members of a society. Either that or they can go live on a fucking island and take their plague-love-in with them, so the rest of us can get back to trying to build a better world.
We have real – difficult to solve problems. Climate change is coming faster and harder than everything but our very worst estimates. Interlocking feedback processes that speed our path towards a climate that’s completely unlivable continue to be revealed. We should be working on this. We should be working on stopping the police killing black and brown people. We should be fixing the fact people don’t have healthcare.
Instead we’re fucking around with trying to stop something that we could have resolved in 2 months 2 years ago.
* Who aren’t alone, I’m sure, but are the only two I can safely give real comments on.
** And there absolutely is a very real conversation to have about the vaccine hesitancy seen in some minority groups who’ve been underserved or abused by the medical establishment. Who have every reason to distrust vaccines. Also for those who can’t afford the time off work sick if they have a worse vaccine reaction and feel lousy for a day or two – because particularly in the US the worker protections and safety net is non-existent. For them, I have all the time in the world to try and resolve those problems.