I was going to do the weekly blogging challenge this morning -- I really was -- but the topic is "your silliest pet peeves" and at this point I'm not coming up with anything. Like, I could throw out "People who think 3.5 is the better edition when DnD 5e is clearly a superior system" just to annoy one of my friends, but honestly? They appeal to different kinds of play. Who cares? Or I could go with "People who insist that Trump is somehow competent and not stultifyingly corrupt," but at this point that feels less like a pet peeve and more like an existential crisis. So... yeah, no good topics there for me.
We're on, I don't know, maybe 2,547 years of lockdown now -- or at least it feels that way. And it's wearing us down. It seems like every morning it's harder to get my family out of bed (including myself, honestly), harder to get out the door, harder to get the boys down for bed in the evening. Monday night, the dog got ahold of the last little bit of Secondborn's chocolate bar and promptly devoured it; then Beautiful Wife decided to sleep on he couch so she could cuddle with the dog. Somewhere in small hours of the morning, she rolled over and put her foot out, very likely smacking Crotchstomper McSnuggles in his already-sore-from-eating-chocolate stomach, and he bit her foot: not hard enough to draw blood, but hard enough to bruise and really, really hurt. Then she spent the day trying to get Secondborn to do at some work (any work) on his schoolwork, while I spent the day in the office dealing with a chaotic cascade of incoming issues. I really need to go finish the thing I was trying to work on yesterday (and finally got to look at for maybe twenty minutes at four o'clock in the afternoon) but I can't seem to focus and I'm not sure I care.
The boys aren't getting anywhere near enough exercise; neither is the dog. I have eaten more bacon in the past few weeks than is currently legal under the Texas Blue Laws (so please don't tell the authorities). And, of course, I'm watching various elements of our government try to navigate the pandemic using the only tools they seem to have: a combination of denial, dishonesty, and homicidal, kleptomaniacal greed. We've already had a lot of completely avoidable deaths, and we're going to have more; I will not be at all surprised when we see other countries closing their borders to us. (Canada already sort of has.)
And it just goes on. The best case scenario that I'm seeing (in the things I'm reading) is that we loosen the Stay At Home restriction is a couple of weeks, enough to keep the economy from collapsing. (Beautiful Wife: "That ship has sailed.") Then we see a rise in cases, and a few weeks after that we go back to a tighter lockdown. Wash, Rinse, Repeat... at least until we have a workable vaccine, a very effective and widely available treatment, or evidence that we've built up enough herd immunity for the worst of the threat to be past us. And the timeline on that -- assuming we get wildly lucky and develop a vaccine that works brilliantly and gets fast-tracked through testing and can be put into widespread production immediately after -- is another fourteen months.
This. For another fourteen months.
Well, I say that. The actual Best Case scenario is that the government steps up and provides some degree of Universal Basic Income and Universal Healthcare, at least for the duration of the pandemic. But I'm pretty sure that won't happen, because we have too many politicians and too many oligarchs who are absolutely fucking terrified that people will realize that yes, we can absolutely do that. They'd rather let people die. They'd much, much rather let a whole lot of people die. Over in Georgia, Governor Kemp is moving to "reopen" a whole lot of business (and an awful lot are precisely the kinds of businesses where it's not going to be possible to maintain social distancing). He is, at least, getting some pushback, but one of the things I've seen pointed out is that the move probably isn't motivated by a desire to get the economy going again; people are still going to stay home, and a lot of business will actively lose money by trying to have paid staff available when customers aren't coming in the door. No, it's probably an underhanded attempt to cut off unemployment benefits; if people aren't going into work/looking for work just because, y'know, there's a highly contagious and life-threatening plague on, well... that's on them, right? We're not paying unemployment if the jobs are there and available. The Texas Lieutenant Governor is back on his "Some people are just going to have to die to get our economy going," kick and I'm absolutely baffled as to why there isn't a row of guillotines in the street in front of his house. You know damned well he's not going to be the one nobly laying down his life for the greater good. Perfectly happy to sacrifice other people, though.
I had hoped that writing this out would make me feel a little better, but it hasn't. I'm angry, I'm disgusted, and I'm sad. I still think we'll pull through this -- though I think it's going get even more horrible before it gets any better at all -- but if I'm wrong, well... as a species, we'll have brought our extinction on ourselves.
Yeah, I'm not thinking happy thoughts right now.