SXSW, COVID19, and mansplaining The Stand to Stephen King
I haven't had time to "creatively complain" about anything between teaching middle school, grading for the NASA HAS program and my side hustle. That's what I call my brand of sarcasm, creatively complaining. This week is Spring Break for me and I have more material than the law should allow, so let us begin.
COVID19 comes from the family of Coronaviruses that are common. I have seen a lot of people who do no research at all, (not even a quick Snopes search!) say that this is a mountain out of a molehill because it says on the Lysol can that it kills the coronavirus so it can't be worse than the flu and we have had it all along. Not so fast there. The flu kills 25,000 to 80,000 a year in the US alone. We know the flu, we don't know this iteration of the Coronavirus, we don't know death rates or anything, the name itself lets us know that it is novel, or new to us as in 2019. Okay, the background is done.
I have said that I liken this to Captain Trips from the Stephen King novel The Stand. Mr. King has been asking people to stop doing that which leads to the mansplaining. Some poor sod, a self-proclaimed professional troll, answered King's tweet with a "How the hell would you know?! Did you even read that book?" Funny he is not because people think his crap is real. For really real. (Insert facepalm here) This is why I have been calling it Captain Trips, not because I think it will kill 98% of the world but because people have lost their minds. Really, a run on toilet paper? So you are going to self-quarantine and have plenty of paper to wipe your behind but no food??? And why stockpile water? Is the city going to cut your water off in 14 days?
Let's not forget how the virus in the novel got out: a lab tech decided to break quarantine and get to his family, kind of like Republican Louie Gohmert who not only had contact with someone who has the virus but took it upon himself to lead a group of kids on a tour of the Capital. Full stop. He took the most precious asset of the nation on tour of an area that has traffic from thousands of people from all over the world...
And finally, we get to SXSW. I have been there and it was the most tiring fun I have had in many years and that was just my first trip. The education, music, film, gaming, start-up festival will not be held for 2020. Why? People from all over the world come here and the City of Austin decided to error on the side of caution because sick people might or might not quarantine themselves, they might not even know they are sick until AFTER they have been all over Austin in 14 days. My heart goes out to the organizers of SXSW because their insurance covers weather, acts of terror and many other things but not health emergencies. They, along with the city and all of the businesses in Austin stand to burn an estimated $300 million dollars. That can't compare to human life but dang, that's a bitter pill.
So here we are. Schools closing, parents who are supposed to stay home actually ignoring the order and taking their kids to school events, political figures in place of actual qualified medical personnel running things, said personnel being slapped with a gag order to not discuss anything (let the VP handle it), actual CDC departments created to handle this disbanded because the previous melanin filled president put them in place and school districts across the nation closing for a few weeks at a time. No one knows how to deal with this. Sick folks will go to work because, you know health care for all is socialist and Obama did that so they don't want it but they can't afford the estimated $6K in testing and who can afford to stay home for 14 days, but that's another political post. Sorry, Stephen, it's totally Captain Trips.