Welcome to the COVID-19 New Normal
This Straight, No Chaser addresses the emergence of the COVID-19 new normal.
The COVID-19 New Normal is Here
Mark the calendar. Normal has arrived to America, and as things currently stand, it will include an annual death toll of over 100,000 due to COVID-19. If you’ve listened to the Trump/Woodward tapes, it’s clear POTUS understood early on that America had previously become comfortable enough with 30K-60K annual influenza deaths not to “close the economy” over such things, and such that life could go on. He has aimed to apply the same mindset to COVID-19.
The return of sports en masse this weekend was an important step in that direction. In addition to serving as a “helpful distraction,” it’s the type of incremental step that makes you comfortable with the new normal you didn’t realize had arrived. I’d suggest these entities are not to be applauded for performing to empty stadiums. We should be concerned that the hundreds of people on the field of play could each represent weekly, ongoing super-spreader events (I’d say this isn’t the case for those entities like basketball and tennis that have created self-contained bubbles).
This is not an overstatement. Be reminded that we now exist with about half of the population actually either believing COVID-19 is a hoax, a Democratic plot or are of an “if I die, I die” mindset. Now let’s be clear: from those tapes, we know the president is not in this group. The administration’s mindset is even as the pandemic is real, the loss of any number of lives isn’t sufficient to disrupt the economy and the “American way of life” (not to mention chances of retaining power).
Basically, it’s on you – individually – to decide what your new normal life is. Each of us will will act based on an aversion to or an acceptance of various risks. We will prioritize activities such as work, weddings, flights, dining and other social interacts based on quality of life considerations and our perceived risk factors.
Some of us will die. Others will not. Much of America will continue to believe that “a good job” was done. Life will go on. Meanwhile, my colleagues and I are still here to inform and empower you, not to debate you. I’ll still continue to provide you with facts and information of interest. Do with it what you will. Good luck. Be smart. Choices have consequences.
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