This essay is long but definitely worth your time. Jason Horowitz reports on the devastating early days of the COVID outbreak in Bergamo, Italy.
In certain ways, the U.S. finds itself in a similar situation this holiday season: Hospitals overflowing with nowhere near enough medical staff to treat patients, and with too many of those frontline workers getting the virus after working far too many hours.
Things here are worse now than at any point during the crisis, and it’s all due to the refusal of too many American public officials (mainly those on the Republican side of things, as well as their radical court appointees) to have the common sense to institute a multi-week lockdown and an accompanying mask mandate.
As a result, too many Americans are forced to show up for work, where masking and social distancing aren’t always possible or required. This dramatically increases the chances of getting the virus and passing it on to others.
Other Americans who can quarantine and who can follow social distancing and mask wearing protocols – but who don’t – have shown us their true colors during this pandemic, insisting that ignoring any preventative measures is their God-given right as an American, damn the consequences. ‘Fuck other people,’ they essentially say, ‘I’m not going to compromise my daily way of life or inconvenience myself in the least, even for a short period of time, in order to help my fellow Americans remain healthy’….proving themselves selfish beyond measure.
And so, because of this irresponsible (and, as I see it, un-American) behavior, I am stating right here, right now, I am not taking part in any holiday celebrations with anyone who refuses beforehand to follow basic COVID protocols: Wearing masks anytime they’re out of the home, a proper 2 week quarantine prior to holiday get-togethers, and, most importantly, restricting such get-togethers to less than 10 people (way less than 10, preferably).
I know it’s the holidays and we all want to spend them with family and friends and others we love so dearly. But if you really, truly love them, you’ll follow the protocol above. If not, then stay home and hope beyond hope that next year we’ll be back to some semblance of normal.
Because right now, the selfishness of others not to follow simple COVID protocols is literally killing thousands of moms, dads, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, and grandparents per day.
And for what, other than their selfish need to not be inconvenienced?
I’ll wait for an answer.