Friday, July 03, 2020

Locking Down and Masking Up is the Only Way We Get Through This. Trump is Killing Us.

WTF is the matter with people?

The entire rest of the world had managed to grasp something that we can't seem to - that the only way out of this pandemic is to lock down and mask up.

But the delusional science-hating reality-deniers are insisting that it's more important to "get the economy going again" by reopening and putting people back to work than to save hundreds of thousands of lives.

The problem with this is - reopening and putting people back to work before this pandemic is under control will NOT "get the economy going again." 

In the very short term, the economy could incrementally improve. But the cost in lives will nullify *financially* (since this is the only lens these people can see things through) any short-term financial gains. 

We will be set back *financially* much, much farther than we would if we stayed locked down. There will be less people alive, more virus roaring through the remaining population - and good luck getting a functioning ecomony going in those circumstances.

What's happening here is the same old Republican trope about lazy poors sucking up unearned money from the hard-working well-off.

It is KILLING them that there are  people who are momentarily receiving more money from unemployment and stimulus payments than they were making before the pandemic.

Every second this is happening is burning them up inside.

The idea that the government is paying people not to work is driving them out of their minds.

Some Republicans are coming right out and saying it.

Vanity Fair reports that "Senators Lindsey Graham, Ben Sasse, Rick Scott, and Tim Scott are sick with fear that the legislation will make unemployment so enticing that low-wage workers will decide to lay themselves off."

Claiming the relief package will encourage people to stay out of the workforce, Graham told reporters that the bill “pays you more not to work than if you were working,” noting that it would provide the equivalent of $24.07 an hour in South Carolina versus the state minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.“If the federal government accidentally incentivizes layoffs, we risk life-threatening shortages in sectors where doctors, nurses, and pharmacists are trying to care for the sick, and where growers and grocers, truckers and cooks are trying to get food to families’ tables,” Graham, Sasse, and Scott said in a statement. 

Somehow, they don't seem to take in the fact that sending these low-wage workers (whose wages are too low to support themselves working full time) back to work while the pandemic still rages is condemning them (and the people who interact with them) to a possible death sentence. 

These people cannot do their jobs from home. And the people who are hotly demanding they go back to work are, more often than not, people who can work from home or who can afford to stay home.

The demands to send the low-wage workers back to work and off the government teat are not accompanied by the requisite protections to keep them safe - mostly because right now, there IS no safe way to go back.

The best way to protect ourselves and even our ecomony is to literally pay people to stay home. 

Pay people to keep them from killing themselves or other people. 

Cam you imagine, if this were the bubonic plague, that it would be "freedom" to force people to choose between starving because they have no money and going to work and spreading the plague wherever they went?

This has to be done from the federal government, because their first responsibility is to keep Americans safe - to save American lives. Nothing is more important than this. Certainly, making sure poor people don't get too much money is not more important than saving hundreds of thousands of American lives.

The fact is, we have to think of the money as an investment - one that will, in the long term, truly "get our economy going again." We simply can't be so short-sighted as to be "penny-wise and pound-foolish".

The federal government also MUST make wearing masks and social distancing a requirement, not a suggestion.

Right now, Trump's politicization and personalization of mask-wearing as an insult to him is a literal death sentence to countless Americans. It needs to be understood as such.

The rest of the world has already done what's necessary to get to the other side of the pandemic. They have nationally mandated masks. They have locked down and stayed down until the numbers came down. 

They're already back to work, back to school, back to restaurants, back to a sort of normalcy that we cannot possibly achieve until we take the steps that the rest of the world have taken.

And as long as Trump is refusing - because of his own personal vanity - to do what's necessary to get us out of this, and forcing his ride-or-die supporters to choose between him and their lives (and the lives with whom they interact, i.e. the rest of us) and frame lifesaving measures as an assault on liberty, we will continue down this highway to hell with no exit ramp in sight.