The numbers are starting to come in from the superspreader event in our neighboring state of South Dakota known as the Sturgis Bike Rally. They are frightening. If the those fiction writers who wrote some of the classics of the horror genre had written stories with such a plot they would be extremely prod. The plot of our current dilemma should scare anyone to the quick.
We have a fast mutating virus that has skipped species from animal to human. It is a killer, but also has effects that can be life-altering. It is equally at home on any human regardless of age, sex, location or status in life. It spreads quickly and almost imperceptibly with symptoms that don’t show up for days, if at all. Thus the virus can easily be spread by carriers who think they are healthy.
But the biggest trick is in its ability to mutate. So when human with their mighty powers of reason and logic can create vaccines to slow the virus, the virus’s ability to mutate extremely fast gives it power also. And the virus’s opponent, humanity, has among it a large number who will refuse to do anything to fight the spread of the virus.
Unfortunately among the last group is a large number of people with power who are able to block any attempts to stop the virus, thus making it nearly impossible for humanity to mount a campaign focused and large enough to contain the the mutating virus. Even as humans come up with procedures that can stem the virus’s spread and mutation those humans who refuse to cooperate are in reality the virus’s best friend and biggest victim.
And just this little hook for pathos: While vaccines have become easily available for those over 12, children under 12 can not be vaccinated. Despite that, those in power in many regions of the country have decided that these children must be physically taught in schools that are well set up to allow the virus to spread almost unabated. The one weapon these kids get against the virus. – a mask over their mouth and nose – has been greatly discouraged by those in power who seem to be working for the virus.
Quite a story line, huh? We could also add in those seemingly sentient adults who refuse to be vaccinated for various flimsy reason including religious beliefs. They would rather trust their health to some loudmouth on the internet they never met who is touting such quack cures as ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine.
Maybe too far fetched and involved? Guess we could add in that one of the two major political parties is aiding the spread of the virus under the blessing of its disgraced but still popular leader. In order for regional leaders within that party to advance they must seek approval of the disgraced leader. Thus their decisions have little to do with what is good for society and much more to do with their career. Reasoning for bad decisions can easily be hidden under the guise of “freedom” and “liberty” as they define them
With that as a background let’s take a look at just how this real life shit-show is progressing. Of interest to Iowans is how our own Covid Kim Reynolds is doing. Oh, by the way, Reynolds doesn’t like the moniker “Covid Kim.” As reported by iowastartingline.com:
Price suggested that some people think she has been uncaring in her actions throughout the pandemic.
“That’s not true, it’s not accurate,” she replied. “You know, I have to take a look at the data, surround myself with experts that give me feedback, we did that.”
Some of those decisions she’s taken have included banning schools and localities from requiring people to wear masks, requiring schools to offer in-person instruction for the spring 2021 semester, and resisting calls to implement more COVID safety measures last year. Reynolds also pushed back on federal calls from experts to put some of these in place.
I suspect that as the school year goes on and Iowans have to deal with the very preventatble deaths of school children her new nickname will be “Killer Kim.”
And how is Iowa doing? Pretty bad, but maybe not as bad as Texas or Florida or South Dakota for that matter. From the Des Moines Register:
The 7,112 new COVID-19 cases reported in the past seven days brings Iowa’s total for the pandemic over 400,000 for the first time. The daily average of new reported cases over the past week topped 1,000 for the first time since January.
It’s a similar average to what was reported in the state in mid-October 2020. The rate of new cases means a new Iowan tested positive for COVID-19 roughly once every 90 seconds over this week of reporting.
The worsening numbers have Polk County officials on high alert.
“Our hospitals are full. Our healthcare workers are tired. Parents and guardians are scared to send their children to schools,” Polk County Health Director Helen Eddy said in the news release. “We implore everyone to step up, once again, and do the right thing for the people you love and care about, for our community and for the 82,000 kids in Polk County who cannot be vaccinated.”
While Reynolds has really screwed it up, she is but a pop gun to the big bazooka that is South Dakota’s Kristi Noem:
But while Southern states have been the main drivers of this surge thus far, the recent spike in cases in South Dakota warrants special concern.
The state more broadly has witnessed a 686.8 percent increase in daily case counts over the past three weeks, currently more than 10 times the nationwide rate. Meade County’s post-Sturgis uptick is certainly a contributor to this state-level increase, but neighboring counties have experienced a sharp incline in cases, too—ranging from a 1,900 percent increase in the past three weeks in Butte to a 1,050 percent increase in Lawrence.
The story elaborates on the devastation that Noem is causing in South Dakota. You will be happy to know that Noem will stand up against mandated vaccinations. That could eventually affect you and me. But it may help her reach her ambition of being president. Imagine that.
Finally for today, as I have run on way too long, we have one of the two vying to be the Killer King, Mr. Greg Abbot of Texas. The other is of course Ron DeathSentence of Florida. But right now I will Gove Abbot the nod for this bit of one-upmanship when it comes to dealing out death and suffering:
Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday announced an executive order banning government COVID-19 vaccine mandates in Texas regardless of a vaccine’s approval status with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Mr. Abbot is a one man wrecking ball. He treats the Covid-19 virus as a buddy to do business with. Sadly Abbot’s business right now is to burnish those anti-government crews, no matter who dies. That is extremely popular in today’s Republican Party. I predict that Abbot may be the man to bring back polio, pertussis, scarlet fever and other childhood diseases as his mission mutates (ha!) into stamping out all vaccinations. Let’s hope he isn’t contagious.