The Bounce Commeth

Today, Texas is living in denial. In a month, its people will be paying the price.

Back in March, when Harris County unexpectedly cancelled the Houston Livestock & Rodeo, residents were taking things seriously. SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 has a slow incubation time, but the numbers don’t lie when you plot them. Slowly, new confirmation rates started growing at a slowing rate as the virus burned through the supply of infected but not yet ill people. Then, by the first week of April, the growth of new cases flattened, then actually started to drop.

And so, the state and federal “leadership” decided to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, and encouraged parishioners to attend Easter services–insisting that the worst was behind us. And it might have been, had the government used the time wisely, had it put in place the sort of testing and contact tracking used in South Korea over the same time to bring the virus to its knees. But not here. No way, that there’d be commie talk.

Here, there worst was not behind us. Of course it wasn’t. All the experts SAID it wasn’t. They said there would be a spike in new cases after Easter–and there was. Not only that, beaches around the country started opening, “leaders” gave increasingly conflicted messages, and idiot protesters filled the streets and the Internet with idiot messages like “you can’t hide from disease.” Maybe not, brainiac, but you can at least wear a mask and wash your hands when you meet it.

That was then. Now, Texas has caved to economic and political pressure and returned to business as usual. Sure, there’s a lot of talk about a staged return to work, but drive around and see. The roads are full. Everything is open. Mexican restaurants are filled with unmasked patrons clustered around communal chips. Hair is being cut, nails done, crap sold at the doller store. A few people are wearing masks–people like me who can work from home indefinitely, actually paid attention in science class, and don’t ascribe to a worldview that equates responsible behavior or minor sacrifice for the common good with communism. You know–people who actually know what communism means, and that socialism won all the wars we’re so proud of and put those Corvette owners on the moon.

Today, down here in the real world, the data looks pretty bad for Texas. We have just experienced our largest weekly case growth thus far–and that’s with the farcically half assed testing regime that is barely up to taking the state’s collective temperature, much less actually preventing deaths. The growth curve for new cases has already tipped skyward, and in the next two weeks is likely to be as steep as ever. And two weeks after that–we could again be headed for economic collapse as the population falls ill en masse. We can pay now or pay later–and we’ve choosen not to take the discounted price of testing, tracking, and not all being dicks about it.

Meanwhile, we have learned a lot about the virus. We’ve learned that at least on anti viral drug appear to be helpful–though not the one the president bought by that container ship load. And we’ve learned that the only available over the counter anti-tussant helps this virus replicate–so that’s swell. And we’ve learned that COVID-19 is an aggressive killer of the morbidly obese, but fortunately we don’t have many of those…oh wait… And we’ve learned that this virus, adapting to humans what it evolved in some other host, is doing weird things–causing strokes and blood clots, scaring lungs, having weird neurological impacts, and who knows what else.

Oh, and in case anyone’s still paying attention, we’ve lost more people to this disease in a month that to the flu in a bad year, and this virus is not tapering off with the warming of the season.

The will be no miracle. The miracle is, we managed to evolve a brain that can see and cope with an invisible virus–and yet is too stupid to do it.

Whatever. Ya’ll do what you want. Go to church. Go to Denny’s. Glad hand one another, and whatever you do, don’t wear a mask. Be a man. Be a Texan. Be the poster-people for evolution.

Just drop off the voter rolls when you go.