Archive - 2021

Date

March 14th

Happy Quaraversary

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Today’s the one-year quaraversary for our household. I’m betting most of your quaraversaries are within a week of this, assuming your circumstances allowed it, of course. Which we’ll get to shortly, because it’s a good time to take a look at the last year and ask ourselves why we were so uniquely positioned to handle this pandemic so badly.

And a part of that is the obvious shit. The decision by Trump and the Republican Party to politicize public health to such a degree that just over a week ago, Idaho dipshits had a rally where they burned their masks on the state capitol steps and thought they’d accomplished something besides reinforcing a system that helped kill half a million people in less than 12 months and the incompetence and the ass-covering and the Cuomo shit and all the rest.

But ultimately, why this went so badly is modern American capitalist society. As I’ve said before on Twitter, capitalism is a system where people see how close they can get to slavery before someone yells at them to stop. Slavery, with its minimal labor costs, is the capitalist ideal, and it strives to reach it at every opportunity. That’s what Krysten Sinema’s thumbing-down the minimum wage increase was all about. Refusing to move American capitalism farther away from slavery.

Why? Because people will put up with shit in order to survive that they wouldn’t put up with if their survival were otherwise assured. So increasing the size of the underclass that’s one missed paycheck away from starvation is very good for business. But in a pandemic, this same underclass is forced to choose yet more risk of illness and death in order to survive, and because it’s a contagious disease, the risk isn’t just to them. It’s everyone that suffers. All because if the machine stops for any amount of time, it collapses.

And while a large part of the population ends up with no choice when it comes to the public health, the rest of the population was left with too much choice. Every state, every city, every town, every household got to pick their own level of participation, in large part because of the void in leadership, partly because of the politicization of public health. In other words, the second half of a recipe for disaster.

Let everyone make their own choices in a world full of dummies, selfish bastards, and massive misinformation, where the right have been demonizing “experts” for decades and previously science-based agencies are having their recommendations corrupted by a president who desperately wanted to look good while doing as little work as possible, and yeah, people are gonna have parties and go to bars and restaurants and Spring Break, because nobody’s stopping them and they can spend five seconds finding someone, anyone, on the internet who will reinforce their belief that what they want to do is OK.

So thank fuck for medical science, because we’re structurally incapable of the public health measures needed to keep a pandemic at bay, and there’s clearly very little political will to get us closer to a place where we are, because frankly, there’s not a lot of money in saving half a million lives.