I know you have been breathless with overnight anticipation to learn all about the bicycle race that nearly did me in on Highway 92, but always — always — there is covid, and it is foremost on my mind this morning.
I watched our county’s virtual town hall last night, as I do every week, and our public health officer offered this disturbing piece of information: they have estimated that once they go through the voluntary database that people used to request vaccinations, a total of 9,000 county residents will have been inoculated against covid.
Which sounds good, but for the part that the county has determined that 10,000 residents need shots before we can consider ourselves to have reached herd immunity. Somewhere we have to scrounge up 1,000 more people ages 16 and up with a county address who are willing to get vaccinated.
This clearly is an example of a first-world problem, in that most of the world is clamoring for vaccines while we are running around trying to find people to put them into. Our neighbors to the north, the Canadians, have only vaccinated 2 percent of their population because they don’t have a self-manufactured vaccine and are having difficulty sourcing it from other countries, even though they are universally known to be the nicest people on the planet.
I think the biggest problem, all across the world, is that we all seem to have collectively given up on any containment measures. Lock down? No way! Precautionary measures? Over them. Vaccine? Meh. People dying by the hundreds of thousands? As long as it isn’t me.
Brazil is willfully killing as many as 4,000 people each day, and the political indifference to even attempt to control the virus has resulted in a variant that has leeched into surrounding countries despite their best attempts to keep it out. Which is why the rest of the world ought to care that Brazil doesn’t care about its fate, because as we should have all learned, this virus is no respecter of boundaries.
But while most countries cared much more deeply than Brazil a year ago, I’m not sure how many still do. It’s clear: corona fatigue is every bit as contagious as Corona herself. [I go with the feminine because “Corona” ends in an A, not out of the Disney presumption that women are inherently bad.]
In the United States, no one seems inclined to do much more than watch dispassionately as Michigan’s cases scream upward. I thought I heard this morning on the news that one out of every four children in the state is infected. Once upon a time I believed we would all care more if this virus was impacting children adversely, but now that it is, we just don’t.
Michigan’s governor is pleading for more vaccines; so far she is being rebuffed by the federal administration, which is telling her vaccination is a six-week solution at best and that she needs to shut down her state now. Well, she tried that a year ago when everything was fresh and new, and her statehouse was nearly overrun by freedumb patriots touting racism and anti-semitism while toting big guns.
Now that we know that even federal houses of legislation can be overrun by these same wonderful patriots who are only exemplifying the most virtuous of American values, I can’t really fault Gov. Whitmer for not wanting to go there, especially since it turned out some of these “very fine people” had plotted to kidnap her.
Besides, we don’t care about this problem because it’s Michigan’s and we have such short-term memory problems that we forget all about porous borders.
Here in Colorado it’s becoming apparent that our governor really doesn’t care at all. As of Friday, he will be washing his hands of all responsibility. I thought it was just our state covid dial going away, right after the governor used it to determine which counties could relax restrictions, but according to CBS Denver this morning, the state is absolving itself of all responsibilities. It’s now up to each individual county.
To our west, Montrose County had already purposefully misunderstood the governor’s overly convoluted leniency rule — particularly odd since the map I saw showed Montrose to be a “blue” county rather than “green” and thus not entitled to any special dispensation. Montrose determined itself to be free of all public health measures: no masks, no social distancing, everything open 100 percent. It’s called “the Brazil Model.”
Lynn walked into a business selling respiratory supplies — let that sink in a minute — and had the naked-faced staff arguing with her to take off her mask. She opted to leave it in place despite their insistence.
CBS Denver reported that now that the governor is leaving/allowing every county to fend for itself, Douglas County wants to adopt the Montrose/Brazil model. However, it’s intertwined with two other, not identified counties as Tri-County Public Health, and those counties aren’t the loose harpy Douglas wants to be. [Even when we use male names it all comes back to vilifying women, doesn’t it?]
In Gunnison County, where I fear it’s going to be an uphill and losing battle, our public health officer noted our public health order is currently set to expire in July, and she didn’t sound inclined last night to be rescinding that any time soon. Meaning: we’re still wearing masks here. Or supposed to be. Her goal is to get 10,000 residents completely vaccinated by Memorial Day — or maybe more, if the feds approve Pfizer for younger people (12 and up?).
However, first she has to find those elusive 1,000 people who so far have shown no interest — or at least no awareness — in signing up for the county’s database. So, if you live in Gunnison County now, or once did, or you know people who live here, I’m going to encourage you to make sure the people you know are either vaccinated or in process to be so.
It seems like its the one little match we can carry as apathy rages across the face of the entire globe almost as fast as a lethal virus.