This week the U.S. passed a grim milestone—a record 500,000 COVID-19 cases in seven days. HALF A MILLION CASES IN ONE GODDAMN WEEK.
According to USA Today, that means that we had an American testing positive every 1.2 seconds. And it’s more than that, because these are only the people who went out and got tested. We know there are people with asymptomatic and milder cases who don’t always get tested, but they are out there and can pass the virus to others, who can get seriously ill.
Johns Hopkins estimated that one American died every 107 seconds this week. Yesterday, over 1000 Americans died of COVID. This is the trajectory many experts expect will happen as our numbers tick up all over the country: 1000+ deaths a day.
Things are bad, people. Really freaking bad. Tragic, really. The second (or third, whatever you want to call it) wave is here, and it’s dark. Dark AF. It’s different from the spring, where the virus was more localized: now, it’s widespread all over the damn country.
In addition to all this, as of Tuesday, more than 44,000 people were hospitalized with COVID. ICUs are overflowing in certain parts of the country. That means that getting properly treated for COVID will become harder, and more people who might have survived will die. It means that people who need to go to the hospital for other procedures may be turned away or receive less than optimal care.
And this doesn’t even scratch the surface of all the people whose lives are about to be torn apart once again because of job loss, hunger, lack of safe childcare, and trauma from watching loved ones die.
This doesn’t even scratch the surface of the many people who will get COVID and “survive,” but experience months of debilitating and lasting symptoms. Who will lose work, who will lose money, and who will lose precious life and time because of this horrible virus.
This doesn’t even scratch the surface of the number of doctors and nurses who will be stretched thin—who will be outnumbered in ICUs and not even have sufficient PPE to keep themselves safe (yes, this shit is still happening).
And yet, when I scroll social media, I see people acting as though COVID doesn’t exist. People going to their indoor Halloween party, with face paint, but no mask. People throwing birthday parties, weddings, etc., as though it’s freaking 2019. Families having playdates with other families who aren’t in their bubble. Families hopping on an airplane to travel because they are “so bored.” Communities throwing block parties. People having maskless family get-togethers and dinners.
WTAF, people. This is not okay, and the “you do you” philosophy does not apply here.
Yes, we have a corrupt and morally bankrupt president right now who has basically decided that this virus isn’t his problem anymore and is going to take zero responsibility for stopping its spread. He’s useless, and we know that.
But at this point, if you are still not following the basic rules of wearing a mask anytime you are outside of your home, socially distancing, and avoiding large gatherings, you are complicit as well. You are complicit in the situation we are being faced with as a country right now. You are complicit in the spread of this virus that is killing innocent people. And I have no chill for you.
I know what you are going to tell me:
We can’t let COVID rule our lives.
We have to learn to live with this virus.
Everyone needs to do what works for their family.
No. No, they don’t. Because even if you don’t think the virus is going to harm you or your family — even if you are fine with getting the virus, and “letting it burn” through your family and your friends, you can still spread it to others.
You can still harm others. And yes, I’ll say it: You can still kill others with your stupid, selfish actions.
That is reality. That is fact. Why is this so hard for people to understand?
Viruses don’t move on their own from person to person. They do so because of our actions, or lack of actions. So that means each and every one of us is responsible for keeping each other, and our own families, safe. This is group effect every damn step of the way.
I am tired of being kind. I am tired of politely asking the dude at the drugstore to pull his mask up over his nose. I am tired of scrolling through my social media and looking at pictures of people who don’t seem to give a fuck if my mother lives or dies. Who aren’t bothered that their actions could lead to someone’s immunocompromised child ending up in the PICU on a ventilator (or worse).
Fuck you if you are “done” with this pandemic. Fuck you if you think it’s okay to socialize without a mask, gather in large groups, or throw a fucking party in the middle of a pandemic. Fuck you if you think your own impulses and pleasure are more important than the lives and livelihoods of others.
Fuck you if you keep saying “you do you” and ignorant shit like that.
Fuck you, because we are entering a dark moment in our nation, and if we don’t change our behavior right now, it’s going to get even darker.