I Want My Old Normal Back

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© James Pyles – Selfie in the age of COVID-19

I’ve been hearing the phrase the new normal a lot lately. It’s the idea that even once the COVID-19 pandemic has passed, the U.S. and the world won’t simply go back to “business as usual,” as if the pandemic never happened.

There are some people who even see this “new normal” as an opportunity to “improve” things. For instance, House Member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is advocating for people to not go back to work once restrictions are lifted. She is specifically referencing people who work 60, 70, and 80 hours a week at low paying jobs and who feel no security in their lives. You can watch a video of her statement on YouTube.

Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden has said that the pandemic response is an opportunity for structural change. Of course that might only be a good thing if you share his political viewpoint.

Yet, from what I’ve seen, the protests people are actually doing go in the opposite direction from Ocasio-Cortez and Biden.

A few days ago, people in Orange County, California (where I used to live) held a mass protest at Huntington Beach opposing Governor Gavin Newsom’s closing beaches in Orange County and only Orange County. He did this in response to a perceived overcrowding at Newport Beach the weekend before. Just how crowded the beach was has been disputed, but based on the photos, it looks crowded.

Nevertheless, Californians are pushing back, including at a rally at the California State Capitol where 32 people were arrested, both because they were in violation of Newsom’s stay-at-home order, and because of the ban against protests on state property (but I thought people had a constitutional right to protest on any public property as long as it was peaceful).

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Coronavirus is no laughing matter…or is it?

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Sorry about the “language”

I’ve read a number of social media memes that have suggested the death rate due to COVID-19 has been exaggerated. I also read a New York Times article that said New York City added more than 3,700 additional people who were presumed to have died of the coronavirus but had never tested positive, which seems to support that suggestion.

And yet, when I tried a Google search on overestimates of Coronavirus death tolls, all I came up with is info on how the death rate is underestimated.

Here we have more or less the same news from ABC News, Nature, and CNN among others.

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It’s Okay To Be All Three

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Social media meme

First off, I’m going to say for the record, that a lot of you aren’t going to like this.

My previous blog post Presenting “What good are constitutional rights if they are violated when Americans get sick? drew a certain amount of attention because (I believe) there’s this notion that governmental intervention in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic (lockdown, quarantine) and U.S. constitutional rights are mutually exclusive. That is, you can’t be a responsible citizen in this crisis and still retain civil rights.

If you complain that there is a potential for certain governments to take advantage of the crisis to not only temporarily relieve citizens of their rights, but to plan to never give those rights back after the crisis has passed, you are considered something like a “pandemic denier” (and there are a few other things that being accused of being a “denier” is like being accused of mass murder).

However, as the graphic and title above suggests, it’s okay to be all three.

That said, I’ve seen a few things on twitter lately that have caused me concern.

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Presenting “What good are constitutional rights if they are violated when Americans get sick?”

judge

Image found at washingtontimes.com

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” — Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

With the grand kids over this weekend (long story but it’s coronavirus related), I haven’t had a lot of time to write (even though I’ve still got a lot to say, especially on Easter Sunday and during the week of Unleavened bread). So I’m just posting the Washington Times article What good are constitutional rights if they are violated when Americans get sick?.

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The COVID-19 California Police State

cdc map

Found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website

No, I’m really not that paranoid, but you have to admit that people are probably getting nervous about not just the pandemic, but governmental responses.

First, the rise of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic across the globe. Then the hoarding, including guns and ammo, and then martial law…well sort of.

Yesterday, I heard that San Francisco and several of the surrounding countries all went on lockdown:

Almost 7 million people are affected by the lockdown that went into place Tuesday as Bay Area counties followed San Francisco’s lead in ordering residents to shelter in place. It was the first of such measures in the United States as authorities try to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Okay, I get it. The northern California authorities are trying everything they can think of to flatten the curve.

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This Probably Isn’t Funny, But…

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© James Pyles

…we’ve got plenty of toilet paper in Boise, Idaho.

Addendum – March 13, 2020: Idaho’s first case of coronavirus has just been confirmed. While an Oregon doctor said that 82% of cases are mild, there is also information about how it is different from the flu.

This is off the cuff. No research (or damn little) involved. I’ve been listening to the hysteria over coronavirus for weeks it seems. No cases in my little corner in the world, but I can’t ignore that thousands have died. I also can’t ignore that this isn’t anything like Stephen King’s The Stand, either.

Look, I’m sorry actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson contracted the virus while on a trip to Australia, but on the other hand, being celebrities doesn’t mean they are any more victims than the rest of the world.

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