Totitto social distancing. There are worse places to hunker down.
Well its another day sitting at the keyboard at home during the time of the virus, pondering what to write about. So much to ponder. Yesterday I ventured out to the local grocery donned in latex gloves and did two weeks worth of shopping. It was early and the store was virtually empty of people as were the roads. I got just about everything I needed, save toilet paper which is still being hoarded. I have enough for me for now.
Our Governor, a Republican finally issued a “stay at home” order effective Thursday at midnight. Essential travel only for groceries or to a doctor or pharmacy. It doesn’t affect me much since I’ve been living like that for the last couple of weeks. On the other hand, it might result in furloughs or uemployment for my youngest daughter and a son-in-law. We will see.
Speaking of unemployment, some 6.6 million people filed for unemployment benefits in the last week on top of the 3.3 million the week before, a staggering collapse of economic activity. And I fear this is just the beginning. The month of April 2020 will be etched in memory of those still young for a long time to come.
Over 1,000 people died in America yesterday from the new plague. We currently have more confirmed cases than any country on earth and this too, I fear is just the beginning. And in the richest country in the world by far, we have shortages of masks, paper gowns, test kits and ventilators. A private plane owned by the New England Patriots will arrive in Boston tonight with a million masks from China. We look at each other and ask “How is this possible?”
What started as “We’ve got this under control” and a “Democrat hoax” is now being taken more seriously by our Great Leader. Governor Cuomo’s brother is now ill and legendary jazz pianist and teacher, Ellis Marsalis, patriarch of the great New Orleans jazz family and father of Wynton Marsalis is dead at 85 from the virus.
Rush Limbaugh continues to spout his vitriol, claiming the great American economy is being destroyed “under the guise of saving lives” and threats on Dr. Anthony Fauci’s life have resulted in his security guard being stepped up. Dr. Fauci is the face of the battle against the virus on national television and he has had the gall to gently correct the President when he was feeding us feel good bullshit.
Meanwhile out in Texas the great heartland the oil industry is near collapse.
Former Energy Secretary Rick Perry believes that the oil industry could collapse because of the dramatic decrease in demand worldwide caused by the coronavirus outbreak and a steep decline in prices.
“Our capacity is full. The Saudis are flooding this market with cheap oil,” Perry told Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Tuesday night. “I’m telling you, we are on the verge of a massive collapse of an industry that we worked awfully hard, over the course of the last three or four years, to build up to the number one oil and gas producing country in the world, giving Americans some affordable energy resources.”
Many U.S. states and countries around the world have ordered their citizens to stay home in order to contain the spread of the virus. And airlines have dramatically cut back on flights as the number of passengers has fallen off. Fewer cars on the road and planes in the sky means far less demand for oil.
Coupled with a dispute between Saudi Arabia and Russia that resulted in an oil surplus, the price for crude as well as gasoline has plunged. The national average for gas in the U.S. is now below $2 a gallon.
Perry, a former governor of oil-producing Texas, said that could destroy smaller, independent companies and hurt the people who depend on them for jobs.
“There’s this host of Americans who their entire future – taking care of their family paying their mortgages – is tied directly to the energy industry,” Perry said. “It’s a driver of a massive amount of our American economy.”
And he said the loss of those smaller companies would have long term consequences for the American consumer.
So much for our “friends,” the Saudis. On the other hand the air appears a lot cleaner in many cities.
The preachers are coming back out. Religious services will be deemed “essential” activities here in Florida. One local Elmer Gantry was arrested n Tampa last week for holding services and “laying on hands.” Of course if there was one among the congregation with the virus and not showing symptoms, these folks could leave church and spread it around their grocery. Just remember, if one of you or your mother dies, it was God’s will. Don’t blame the athiests.
Meanwhile two Holland America cruise ships with four dead passengers and sick aboard, denied entry everywhere have pleaded to dock in Florida. Looks like they will be allowed to dock in, Ft. Lauderdale. The sick will be quarantined or hospitalized. . Everyone will be tested; foreigners sent home via chartered jet.
Who is dumb enough to take a cruise at this time in these petri dishes? Vessels should be moth-balled for the foreseeable future. That business is not going to return for a while.
So as the plague continues to spread, the number of deaths rise, the economy is collapsing, millions have lost their jobs and income and the likelihood of a serious recession becomes more inevitable, our President again took to the six o’clock news to give us his now daily update on the current situation and what he is doing to stem this calamity.
He spent half of the time touting his new war on drugs.
President Trump opened the daily coronavirus briefing by touting an “enhanced counter-narcotics operation” aimed at keeping drug cartels and other terrorists from exploiting the pandemic crisis. Trump announced the program at the top of the briefing
: “As governments and nations focus on the coronavirus, there is a growing threat that cartels criminals, terrorists, and other malign actors will try to exploit the situation for their own gain, and we must not let that happen. We will never let that happen. Today the United States is launching enhanced counter-narcotics operations in the Western Hemisphere to protect the American people from the deadly scourge of illegal narcotics. We must not let the drug cartels exploit the pandemic to threaten American lives.”
He announced the war on the cartels, mentioning Venezula and Maduro by name and detailed the deployment of the navy and coast guard in force into the Caribbean and Mexico’s Pacific coast to intercept drug shipments by sea. On the stage were three or four admirals who were going to protect America from the drug scourge.
One would think it might have been easier to protect America from drugs by directing the navy against American pharmaceutical companies. But hey, what do I know.
Further to the war on the Coronavirus we were warned Iran was using our preoccupation with the pandemic to plan an attack on our soldiers, promising the mother of a responses. Let Iran beware. Like Iran doesn’t have enough problems right now.
How about as a humanitarian gesture we offer Iran what help we can in fighting the disease? Nah.
Now all of this tripe is clearly aimed at changing the headlines, as a diversioon. Have any of you out there currently locked in your homes been thinking about the looming danger of the drug cartels this week? I didn’t think so.
What we have been thinking is that how is it that the United States of America, the richest country in the world, can find itself in such deep doo-doo having to buy its paper hospital gowns from China?