Post #848: Two amusing (?) absurdities of the current COVID-19 situation.

Posted on October 4, 2020

These days, you have to find the rays of sunshine wherever you can.  This post is about two aspects of the COVID-19 infection of the President and numerous Republican luminaries that I find funny.  Or, at least, mildly entertaining.  All things considered.

Knife-edge Republican compliance with CDC and government guidance regarding coronavirus.

By knife-edge, I mean that Republican officials’ behavior on one side of a very fine line is vastly different from their behavior on the other side of that line.

One one side of the COVID-19 knife edge:  Absolute contempt for CDC and other government public health guidelines.

Our Republican leadership more-than-ignores all guidance from the CDC regarding basic pandemic hygiene, including but not limited to:  wearing masks in public, social distancing, and (with this most recent round) quarantining after exposure to a known infected individual.  They do none of that.  And they don’t just ignore it, for themselves.  They hold it in contempt.  Famously, they mock others for complying with those common-sense public health guidelines.  They appear to take great pride in expressing their contempt for what the CDC recommends, and have made a sort of brand statement/litmus test out of blowing off the US CDC.

At the state level, they have routinely barred local (city, county, town) governments from enforcing those CDC guidelines through local mask ordinances.  So this isn’t merely their choice for their own behavior, but they hold the CDC recommendations in such low regard as to act to prevent enforcement of them at any level of government.

Complete and through disregard and contempt, that’s my point.  Not haphazard compliance.  Not, I’ll go my way and you go yours.  But an absolute, complete rejection of those guidelines, while mocking and/or coercing others who comply or attempt to enforce compliance.

Similarly, Republican leaders routinely flout state and local guidance on the size of gatherings and social distancing at gatherings.  Not just on Federal property, where, at least by report, such laws do not apply.  But also in private venues.  Those limits, aimed at protecting the public health, simply do not apply to important Republicans.

Again, it’s not that they accidentally overshoot those limits on occasions.  Or that they (e.g.) fail to put stickers on seats, so that the crowd is distanced.  They positively and with forethought aim to ignore those recommendations, and (e.g.) remove any “social distancing” stickers from auditorium seats and purposefully compact crowds together at their various events.

And, of course, it goes without saying, they mock others who do abide by those limits.

So that’s one side of the knife-edge.  Absolute, total disdain and contempt for government guidance aimed at limiting spread of disease.  Not mere sloppiness in adopting that guidance.  Not simple laziness or stubbornness.  But a thorough, coordinated effort to dismiss that guidance in its entirety.

And I’ll end this by pointing out that these are our elected officials.  This isn’t some random rabble.  This isn’t some set of self-appointed spokespersons.  These are the duly elected leaders of America.

What’s the other side of the knife-edge?  Complete, total, unquestioning compliance with one aspect of the CDC guidelines.

When they get infected, they all meekly quarantine for the CDC-recommended time period.  No exceptions.  No complaints.  No non-compliance.  Not a bit of resistance.  Not a peep out of them.  Nobody questions it.  Nobody passes laws preventing others from doing it.  Nobody uses lack-of-quarantining-when-sick as a political litmus test.  Nobody mocks Democrats who quarantine.

On that side of the knife-edge, they are all meek, go-along-to-get-along, socially conscious, rule-following, law abiding little lambs.

I find both the lock-step behavior, and the the totally irrationality of that, to be fascinating.   Pick your excuse, for not following CDC guidance on one side of that knife-edge, and the same excuse should apply to the other side.  And yet, somehow, completely, fully, utterly, and totally, it does not.   I just don’t get it.

C’mon Republicans, go for it.  Blow off the quarantine rules.  The Government has no right to tell you whom you can associate with, where you can travel, and so on.  It’s your body, and your choice.  If individuals are afraid to be in public with a known COVID-19 infected individual, then let them stay home — you can make your choice, and they can make theirs.  Plus, it’s all a hoax anyway, the illness isn’t really that serious, children can’t be infected with it.  And I’m sure Herman Cain would agree that the loss of a few lives is just a small price to pay to achieve Herd Mentality (sic).

So, show some intellectual rigor for a change.  Take off that mask, step out of isolation, and show your contempt for all of the CDC guidelines.  Including the quarantine guidelines.

My wife insisted that I put that in italics, because a lot of people don’t recognize sarcasm these days. So, to be clear, that’s sarcasm.

On a more scientific note, the only difference between knowing that you’re infected, and not, is probabilities.  Best estimate, somewhere around 40% of disease spread occurs from totally asymptomatic individuals.  Typically, that’s people in the period between infection and onset of symptoms.  That is, 40% of spread occurs from people who would, at that time, be totally and utterly convinced that they, themselves, were not infected.  And so, to see our Republican leadership cross that knife-edge, just because they have a diagnosis, i.e., just because they know they’re infected?  I just find that both fascinating and amusing in its total irrationality.

Newspapers are shocked, shocked to see that people will lie about the President’s health.

And speaking of irrational, this one continues to crack me up.

What do these things have in common:  WW’s 1919 stroke (forgot that one, initially).  The extent of FDR’s disability due to polio.  The seriousness of DDE’s numerous heart attacks.  The extent of JFKs disability due to Addison’s disease,  including steroid-induced osteoporosis.  RWRs’s incapacity when shot, and his deteriorating mental condition toward the end of his second term.

And now, from a White House that always talks out of both sides of its mouth on virtually every issue, the press is shocked to think that maybe the press isn’t being given totally straight answers about the President’s health.

As if that were somehow something new.

In America, the White House has a long-standing tradition of lying about the President’s health.  Why anyone thinks that would change now, particularly with this President, I can’t even imagine.

When I see the press harrumphing about the conflicting information and lack of information about the President’s illness, I just have to laugh.  Really, what did they expect?