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The Virus: Week Seventeen

Continued from The Virus: Week Sixteen

The day after that was June 25. Cases of the virus are skyrocketing in Arizona, where Trump just held an indoor rally with the governor, with hardly a mask in sight. The very next day, health officials in Texas (another state that reopened for political rather than public health reasons) are saying that the situation is becoming “catastrophic and unsustainable.” The day after that we are driving and walking and gathering in the thick of Los Angeles, Inglewood, and Gardena to get everything ready for the party celebrating my nephew’s sixth birthday, and every place on this sunny Saturday is absolutely packed with people. Cases of the virus have climbed 69% here in just the past two days, and my skin crawls each time I am approached by another human being in this sea of human beings. On the following day, after spending all day out and around so many other people, I wake up with absolutely crippling chest pain that won’t subside for several days. Just one day later it is announced that LA county beaches will be closed to the public for the Fourth of July holiday weekend. Someone at the CDC speaking out about conditions in the United States right now now says that we have way too much of the virus to hope to stop it now. The day after that, South Carolina and many other states are also reporting their biggest one-day increases, and the World Health Organization says that the worst is yet to come. The European Union has just formalized its new reopening plans. They extend the ban on all American travelers; nobody from this country is allowed to visit their countries. And then the next day we woke up and it was somehow July. The governor just ordered a three-week closure of all bars, restaurants, zoos, theaters, museums, wineries, tasting rooms, and family entertainment centers. Anyone paying attention can feel that this is all beginning to get much worse all over again, but the things that were not in place in January or February or March or April or May or June are still not in place. The weather has warmed considerably since January. But the indifference, the ignorance, the laziness, the stupidity, the lack of leadership, the lack of a plan, the politicization, the misinformation, the disinformation, the selfishness, and the refusal to face the brute facts have not changed one bit.

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