My First Rodeo

Folks, I’m impervious to emotional outbursts about COVID because I already played this game.

When I was against the war in Iraq and the Patriot Act, I already heard all this. That I don’t care about the lives lost on 9/11, that I’m a truther, that I want people to die in terror attacks, that this is an absolutely unique threat, that if the government says the threat justifies the measures, then it must know something, that a fraud this big would be impossible to perpetrate. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

It got particularly icky when a friend accused me of not caring that her fiance had died in 9/11. Of course, it turned out he wasn’t a fiance but an ex-boyfriend. It also turned out he was very much alive and nowhere near NYC on 9/11. I have no doubt that my friend would have been one of those fake tick-tocking nurses if social media existed back then.

I’ve been through all these discussions before, folks.

“As soon as WE ensure that the threat is gone, WE can go back to normal.”

“But it isn’t hard to wear a mask take your shoes off. Why are you making such a big deal out of it?”

“Didn’t you see? We are on Red Alert!! It’s because of people like you that we are still … Blah blah blah.”

Of course, now everybody says they always knew and they were always against while they put on their masks and sit in front of screens.

18 thoughts on “My First Rodeo”

  1. Ever since you wrote about the “state of exception” a few days ago, I see it everywhere. Everything has the potential to be an exception. We can never make a normal unless we recognize that. I am so pessimistic right now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! The exception slowly becomes the norm. This is why we hear so much about the “new normal.” And then it’s on to a new emergency and yet another reduction in individual rights. Then on to another.

      The moment you agree that an exceptional situation justifies a reduction in your rights, everything becomes an exceptional situation.


      1. I don’t agree to lock downs, to Zoom school, to destroying people’s livelihoods, to fraudulent voting machines and procedures. But what does that help? I feel helpless.


        1. The way I see it is if one person helps two people change their minds, then each of them helps two other people, and so on, eventually there will be enough of us to turn the tide. All it takes is for a person to say, “Wait, this can’t be right. What’s going on here?”

          That’s the best we can do.


          1. It’s so depressing though. I went to the post office today, and out of maybe 40 people in line there, I was one of four not wearing a mask. Even though it isn’t required. The sign by the door clearly says they “recommend” masks in the lobby. Not “require”.

            9 out of 10 people. Why are they so compliant?


  2. Saw something very nice via Rod and decided to share:

    “Politico‘s Tim Alberta has a great feature in which he picked 20 different people he was in touch with during his campaign reporting, who, taken together, give us a picture of America today. These are people of all races, straight and gay, one trans person, Democrats, Republicans, and independents. It’s a depressing picture, as Alberta says straight-up, because it reveals a country anxious, fearful, and deeply divided. These are all fascinating snapshots — the one about the black woman from Detroit who is feistily pro-Trump is an eye-opener — but none are as memorable as ”

    20 Americans Who Explain the 2020 Election
    We have very little in common except our fear of each other.


    1. I apologize but this is tendentious, partisan garbage. People who think that losing the Senate majority to Democrats will be disastrous aren’t stupid victims of propaganda. And everything else, gosh. We’ve seen so much of this simple-minded, earnest propaganda that it’s enough already. What’s so eye-opening about a black woman voting for Trump? These people live in a bubble. I’m so over their incessant, pathetic chattering.


      1. I thought you wouldn’t like the author after reading the first sentences, but wondered whether voters’ own words wouldn’t be of interest.

        For instance, the last 20th person he presents is Grazie Christie, a Hispanic American, who says:

        // “Miami Hispanics are crazy about Trump. He makes us feel safe from the socialism and lawlessness that destroyed our home countries. He speaks patriotically about the great country that took us in, instead of with contempt like the Democrats do,” she wrote me in January. “Hispanics believe in family (the classic kind), country, God, order, and freedom to prosper. Democrats have alienated them with their identity politics, their anti-religious bias, their gender ideology, and yes their lack of respect for our country’s borders.” //

        Because of your profession, you know of such Hispanics but not all Democrats (and probably not all Republicans) do.

        As a foreigner, I wanted to find a nice piece presenting a variety of American voices and was encouraged by Rod’s recommendation.


      2. We have people openly saying that they will abolish the Electoral College and pack the Supreme Court, and it’s insane to believe that this is dangerous? We have a party that’s gone completely off its nut, demanding that police be defunded, the constitution be rewritten, and the beliefs of the tiny minority be enshrined in law. And we are the radical ones?

        Excuse me, but this is insane.


        1. I’m not a huge fan of the electoral college, but I think people really underestimate all of the other things that would have to be changed if we got rid of it. The biggest would be that we would need to standardize presidential voting procedures in all the states. If it’s a straight-up popular vote for president, then everyone has to be able to vote for president using the same rules and procedures. Standardizing voting across all 50 states would be a HUGE and complicated undertaking, but no one ever mentions that that would quickly become necessary if we got rid of the electoral college.


    2. Notice how strategically the highest number of these 20 Americans voted for Biden, as if to prove that Biden really won.


  3. We are in the middle of Hannukkah and my mother lights a growing number of candles every evening 🙂 The New Year is approaching and I’ll even have a Russian TV for this month to watch NY programs and, of course, the night itself.

    Yet, there is covid and yet another possible elections on Israeli TV since Netanyahu isn’t interested in fulfilling a rotation agreement with Gantz. Here we naturally discuss covid and (US) elections too…

    Really liked your post about the possible new book. Hope it won’t be on a narrow subject but something that’ll remain relevant and interesting for a long time, helping us see beyond the current crisis / elections to long term global processes.

    As New Year approaches, may you write a post about the good discoveries of new great blogs and books? May be, the readers would share too.

    On the subject of vaccinations, will your parents do that? My mother plans to get vaccinated in the near future. She doesn’t advise me to do that, yet I take public transportation and go to two schools, so may be I should if I don’t want to bring it home to her.


    1. My parents don’t want the vaccine. But they are afraid they’ll be forced to if they want to have a chance to travel inside and outside the country. That it has come to this. What an absolute shame.


    2. By the way, only 5% of people that the Pfizer vaccine was tested on were over the age of 70 and those were the unusually healthy 70+-year-olds. Nobody has any idea what the side effects are for the only group that might actually benefit from the vaccine.


    3. The vaccine makers say the vaccine does not prevent you from getting or spreading COVID. It supposedly makes the illness less severe. It’s in the fine print, if you can find it. They also did not include in the study pregnant women or children under 16.


  4. On another note, I finally found a doctor who will listen to my damn lungs and not insist I be tested before being seen for my long-term post-COVID complications (it’s been 57 days since I tested positive, and you can throw a false positive while recovering for about 90 days). I just got a call from a doctor’s office “to talk about my recent positive” and whether I have been retested.

    I couldn’t call them back because I was at work. Which was a good thing, because it’s like…56 days. This is not really recent in the clinical setting. I don’t even have a damn flag on my account any more. I can go back to work in a hospital but I can’t see a doctor? At the ED they didn’t test me specifically because I could end up with a false positive. This was not the office I’m actually seeing — I managed to be placed with a doctor who works specifically with post-COVID patients. I’m debating whether or not I should even call the office that called me about that, because I really don’t want to get in that argument yet again.

    It has taken me weeks to be able to see a provider. I went to the ED twice, saw an NP once–because my PCP wouldn’t see me–was told that my lung function testing could be indefinitely delayed by a false positive, and have finally managed to make an appointment with a pulmonologist. And this all started over a month and a half from my initial positive, and about a month since I was released by the county and my employer. And that’s just me — other members of my family have had trouble seeking care, as well, because of their previous COVID status.

    I have to have testing before my lung function testing, and I had a conversation with someone from employee health about it. They said they I would probably have to isolate with a FALSE positive. Even though that positive couldn’t be confirmed as a true positive without a viral culture — something that nobody does in my area. They backtracked, then, and said they really didn’t know and would have to work with my provider.


    1. Gosh, Pen, I’m so sorry this is such a struggle. I’m glad you found a doctor who agrees to see you without testing but the whole story is disturbing. This can get to the point where anybody who had COVID will be refused medical care for whatever other issue they might have.

      Very, very disturbing.


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