Today I prayed for my friend Dorothy. After being really careful for the last 2 years, she got infected with a) optimism and then b) COVID. She's tripled vaccinated and said so far it just feels like a bad cold. I know we're all sick and tired of masks and vaccines and all the precautions that are saving our lives but while I was standing and praying I wondered if God gets sick and tired of people like me praying for our COVID-stricken friends.
10 reactionary Senate Republicans-- Mike Lee (UT), Ron Johnson (WI), Rick Scott (FL), Ted Cruz (TX), Rand Paul (KY), Steve Daines (MT), Roger Marshall (KS), James Lankford (MT), Cynthia Lummis (WY) and Mike Braun (IN), just threatened to shut down the government-- in the midst of this Ukraine crisis (though it;'s worth noting than 10 of these 10 have ever had a patriotic bone between them)-- if they don't get a chance to defund "Biden's vaccine mandate." The 10 Putin-loving crackpots wrote that "These COVID-19 vaccine mandates amount to a serious abuse of both federal power and executive authority. They also further strain the economic and social pressures our society currently faces, while completely ignoring existing evidence-based data on natural immunity from previous COVID19 infection." Nearly 40 pro-Putin extremists in the House sent a similar letter to Kevin McCarthy. You know, cause it's all over, right? No, not right. On Wednesday there were more than a million and a half new cases reported, and probably double that many not reported. The dozen countries with the most new cases:
South Korea- 219,237
Hong Kong- 55,353
USA- 52,599 (1,951 new deaths)
And on Thursday there were even more new cases. These dozen with the worst reports:
South Korea- 198,802
Hong Kong- 56,827
USA- 49,353 (1,327 new deaths)
Yesterday was another miserable day in COVID-world
South Korea- 266,838
Hong Kong- 52,523
USA- 45,698 (1,454 new deaths)
I've been planning a trip to Berlin. Am I crazy? I started eating in restaurants again this week-- more crazy. Regardless of what our asshole neoliberal governor says, California has a full-fledged pandemic. We crossed the 9 million reported cases mark yesterday. There were 10,341 reported new cases on Thursday (and 180 new deaths) and yesterday there were 6,569 new cases (and 227 new deaths).
Politicians aren't ending mandates because of science, they're ending mandates because they're getting pressure and they care more about their careers than about our health. That hasn't changed one iota since early 2020, when I was masking up while the U.S. government was recommending against masks for reasons that had nothing to do with my-- or anyone else's health-- but because they were making political decisions. I'm not saying their political decisions are "wrong," just that they're not health decisions... which is why I was ignoring the nasty stares at the grocery store in January, 2020 when I was wearing an N-99. And it's why I have been way ahead in getting vaccines (including my 2nd booster/4th vaccine... and evusheld). I have a great doctor; she and I listen to everything and then make the decisions about my health, not government bureaucrats with their own agenda and certainly not politicians, whose decision-making can always be counted on to be venal.
In any case, I can look at these numbers and be pretty certain about one thing: no matter how sick and tired I am of the damn pandemic, the danger of COVID-19 is not over. And caution is still very much mandated... at least for me. I wonder if Trump supporters know that erectile dysfunction is a frequent part of long COVID. Anyway... do I cancel the dinner reservations at Mozza tonight? They make an incredible Ribollita Da Delfina... but I've eaten at Ristorante Da Delfina in Artimino (Tuscany) and I figured out how to make it myself, just like Nancy Silverton from Mozza did-- but, believe it or not, healthier and even tastier.