My Corona … Day 55: Enough already!

Question:  If we – The American Public – reach consensus in acknowledging that Corporate America is a). “In this together …” with us; b). Are doing everything they can to recognize our “Heroes on the Home Front“; and c) Are willing to do “whatever is necessary” to serve our needs during the COVID-19 crisis, can we dispense with the endless commercials “celebrating” our “shared experiences” in being incredibly annoyed and monumentally bored?!? 


At this point, what Corona America needs right now is relief from the endless Corporate Corona Imaging efforts!


On-line image searches suggest the COVID-19 virus comes in an assortment of color patterns. Personally, I like this one best!

So how do I really feel about the COVID-19 crisis?

Like a lot of us, I am pretty fed up with the restrictions, the draconian measures and – as you can tell from the above – flat out getting annoyed with the perpetual message that “Golly gee … Ain’t this a wonderful Community-building opportunity?!?”

As for the crisis itself, I do not presume to know more than scientists and medical experts.  However, based on 64 years experience on this planet, I can offer several rational checks on the emotional responses and the measures taken to protect us Everyone.

My biggest issue here is the premise that ALL people need protecting.  That could be either a pragmatic, experience-based point-of-view or a cynical, sick-of-this-crap response. You decide.

The following might help …

  • Never in my life has anything even remotely similar occurred, where everyday normal life functions have been curtailed by quarantining the entire populace.
  • Swine flu, avian flu, H1N1, Asian flu (Was not considered “racist” at the time.), Hong Kong flu (ditto) never resulted in responses this restrictive and severe.
  • Is it really statistically possible that there has not been a similarly threatening flu or virus flying around the globe since the 1918 Spanish flu. (Something I really have a very difficult time accepting!)
  • People die of flu-type and viral illnesses every year.
  • In general, it’s the same people, who are most likely to die, regardless of the viral type or its virility.  The elderly, the very young, those with preexisting illnesses are always the most susceptible.
  • There are no proven effective measures at stopping a potent flu or virus from spreading, not locally, nationally, or globally.

Now here’s where my particular brand of cynical pragmatism might get me in trouble with some people.

My salute to dairy farmers on the front line.

Exactly what has been gained by shutting down society; crippling economies; and threatening the very subsistence (e.g. meat packaging) of our healthy population? We still have thousands of the elderly dying from COVID-19, despite the measures taken to protect them. In some cases, the very decisions made by government authorities under the powers bestowed upon them under COVID-19 protocols killed more of the institution-bound elderly!

From the perspective of societal evolution, it’s is always the old, the infirm, the weak, and the very young who are most likely to succumb to such health threats. Does that change in any way by forcing everyone into isolation?

And what of the biology of the healthy? We know that the human immune system works to evolve by creating antibodies when new biological threats present themselves. How is this being affected through attempts to keep everyone from being exposed? How does such an approach help should – as some predict – this virus recycles itself as it circles the globe?

Sweden has taken a very different approach to the corona virus, where the social, economic, and vulnerability issues appear more balanced, based on risk assessments and folkvett, a cultural concept that roughly translates to “good manners”, that – colloquially – can be expressed as “act like an ******* adult”. And although some express caution or even open derision at Sweden’s strategy, their objections are largely based on the lack of sufficient statistical data to support the strategy and emotional responses to the threat to vulnerable populations.

Meanwhile, in Sweden …

In my humble opinion, if you take Emotion out of the risk assessment equation, the Swedish example sounds like a much more pragmatic approach. And let’s recall how often Sweden is elevated as a shining example of sound socialist healthcare management! If such is the case, why do efforts to behave closer to the Swedish model meet so much resistance, particularly in our more liberal states?

Risk, fear and emotion will be the biggest obstacles as we emerge from quarantine. My biggest fear – given how risk-adverse politicians are – is the potential for monumentally slow and tentative decisions on how best to get back to normal (whatever “normal” will look like). Many politicians – in their interests to remain employed as public servants benefactors – may very well approach every COVID-19 decision as a three-sided puzzle (please everyone, risk nothing, minimize emotional responses).


img_0320Under such circumstances, a productive and fair balancing act is not impossible. Attempting to avoid any and all losses, which are inevitable, will retard the recovery and accomplish nothing more than prolonging the pain for those for whom normal life means survival (hands-on, in-person workers; small businesses; retail, bar and food employees; personal service providers; etc.)

An interesting example of sensationalizing COVID-19 statistics popped up this morning on Lehigh Valley Live.  The article highlighting a new model forecasting “PA coronavirus deaths to TRIPLE …“!

What the authors neglected to leave out is Perspective, in favor of attempts at triggering Emotion and Fear.  As in … If – as this model suggests – Pennsylvania deaths were to increase to 8600, the overall death-per-capita in Pennsylvania (pop. 12.7 million) would be 0.068%.

Those whose health is compromised or threatened we must continue to protect, but frankly, that should have been the primary focus all along, not necessarily a total societal shutdown. It’s always the duty of the healthy to be mindful of the vulnerable with whom they will have contact (family members, friends, coworkers, etc.). COVID-19 did not change what is – should be – a modicum of human decency.

Put another way, we should prudently reopen the country, especially in less dense population areas (e.g. suburban communities) and demand that people act like adults! Now THAT would be an effective use endless Corporate Corona messaging!

And if this proves too difficult a concept for some to grasp, then maybe Society will benefit from their absence on the evolutionary ladder!

Why is recognizing and fixing Voter Fraud considered a political issue at all?

Report from Chicago

We are trapped in a “Twilight Zone” of deliberate ineptitude when we are prevented from resolving very fixable problems for reasons having nothing to do with protecting the sanctity and our confidence in reliable institutions such as voting!

‘Facts matter’: FEC chairwoman challenges Trump’s voter fraud claims
— Read on

Voter fraud does not need to be “rampant” to be a problem requiring correction. We don’t allow occasional financial fraud or identity theft to go unpunished or uncorrected, especially if there are systemic flaws. What’s the difference here?

Does anyone truly believe an example such as the proven and recent occurrence of Dead People voting in Philadelphia cannot or should not be addressed in a systemic way that would make such instances much less – even if not entirely – likely to happen in the future?

Prove to me that such reluctance is not simply an overreaction to Political Objectives callously anchored in false racial sensibilities!

Santa Claus crucified

(I strongly recommend NOT OPENING the link that’s included below in the presence of any young children who may still be innocent enough to get a kick out of Santa. – Cranky Man)

A brouhaha erupted in Loudon County, Virginia this week over the content of a holiday display allowed to appear on the courthouse lawn.  As has been happening all over the country for years, various groups protest the mixing of religion and government by targeting the long-standing practice of religious Christmas displays appearing on public lands.

The situation in Loudon County, how it developed; the way it was handled; and the end result, renders the issue interesting on several levels.

Loudon’s solution to the challenge to what should be displayed on the courthouse lawn was an attempt to please everyone by trying to avoid the only sensible decision.  The Loudon County board decided instead to allow anyone who applied and received approval of their holiday display to show it on the courthouse lawn.  (Only 9 display spots were available.) 

As a result displays designed by atheist groups, artists and everyday citizens were included along with a traditional nativity scene and Christmas tree.  The result – I would think – they should have seen coming from a mile away.  This year the displays included one by the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, two that promoted atheism and even one celebrating The Constitution.  Last year, there was even a vulgar version of the Twelve days of Christmas

But the one that caused the big stink this year was Santa on a cross (Please check over your shoulder for little Cindy Lou Who before you click!), featuring a skeleton dressed as Santa Claus hung on a cross.  The display – intended to comment on the over-commercialization of Christmas – was promptly vandalized by a woman in the middle of the afternoon in front of news cameras that had come out to report on the controversy.  

What was mind-blowing to me was the reaction of County officials who were shocked when the Santa on a cross display appeared.  Yet the display had been fully explained and described when the application was submitted for approval! 

Who’s been reviewing these applications?!?  The Grinch?

In any case, I believe the situation and the way it was handled should be provided as case study material for municipal leaders everywhere as the way NOT to handle such situations.

It is regrettable that Christmas traditions our generation – and those before it – enjoyed every December are being pushed off the public square due to Political Correctness and the resulting legal appeasals.  But this country is not the same – in cultural demographics and level of diversity – as it was 40-50 years ago, when we were kids and our parents continued the traditions of their generation.  Whether you view that as a good thing or a not-so-good thing, you can’t argue with the fact that it’s simply different now.

My own personal view is that trying to walk that fine line between religion and government only gets more and more perilous the farther you try to toe it, as the Loudon County example illustrates. 

As a born and bred Christian, who admittedly struggles with the concept of Church, I enjoy the meaning, the fellowship and all the trappings of a Christian Christmas.  And though I appreciate the often misunderstood concept of God as integral to the founding  principles of this country, I accept the reality that the judicial concept of separation of church and state (found neither in The Constitution or the Bill of Rights) renders the public display of religious symbols on publicly-owned lands an unwinnable position from which to preserve certain Christmas traditions.  That might be a source of constant irritation at this time of year; but there is no chance of ever going back to those “good old days”.

What would have been the better solution for Loudon?  To allow everyone to speak their mind on whatever level they relate – or react – to Christmas …  all the good, the bad, the preposterous, the blasphemous?  Or would the better solution have been to simply not allow any displays on the courthouse lawn aside from the safe and innocuous “Happy Holidays” sign, as offensive as that might be to their Christian sensibilities?

I would have bitten the bullet and opted for the latter in the belief that it would be better to keep what’s precious at this time of the year safe from the disenchanted, the uber politically-correct, and the wackos.  If Christmas and all those images and icons we associate with it face the risk of corruption and defilement in the public square just because it’s “public”, is it really worth leaving it in the square? 

There are more than enough privately-controlled spaces for us to display our Christian Christmas spirit, on church and private property where we have singular control over what we believe is important to honor with displays.  There’s no need for us to expose our beliefs to what amounts to government-approved public comment and – at times – ridicule all for the sake of making a point.       

Some of the other possibilities are subject for some interesting discussions.

  • Interesting that it would have been “scandalous” to place a cross of any kind on public property, yet it was approved for the crucifixion of Santa Claus.
  • If you cherish the right to free speech, would you be able to stomach the kind of messages that might result from a decision to allow everyone the opportunity to express their Christmas views no matter how offensive or provocative?
  • Was the woman who ripped down the Santa on a cross display a hero, a censor or a criminal?  Was she simply exercising HER right to express herself?
  • What would happen if someone wanted to display a scene disparaging or criticizing the beliefs or concepts of HanukkahKwanzaa or the Muslim equivalent of Christmas, Eid Al-Fitr?
  • How far do you think local officials should go to preserve public displays of Christmas themes? 

Merry Christmas!