Coronavirus Report July 16: Many Americans Say “F*ck COVID”

Water fun at the beach.
Many Americans are not letting the coronavirus slow them down when it comes to summer fun.

For the young in Miami Beach, it is the best of times as the beaches and bars reopen, but for the elderly and those in nursing home and other care facilities, it is the worst of times as cases of COVID-19 surge and deaths increase.  For the partiers and beach goers, it is the season of sunlight while for those with underlying medical conditions, it is the season of darkness as they must endure lock downs and stay home.

In the face of this dichotomy, governors and public health officials decry the casual approach of the young, pass rules, and threaten fines and shutdowns, but a significant percentage of the populations just doesn’t care.  There are valid arguments on both sides of the equation, and just because the media doesn’t cover both sides doesn’t mean the people don’t know them.

Even as the virus is growing in 40 states, with Florida and Texas seeing more than 10,000 cases per day, a huge number of Americans just don’t seem to care.  They are hitting the beach, going clubbing, and packing bars.  And while some of them are catching the coronavirus, most of them are saying “F*ck COVID-19.”

An Unsettling Dichotomy

The different reactions to COVID-19 has created an unsettling dichotomy for life in the United States:

  • People are partying while down the road, patients wait on gurneys for a hospital room to open up while refrigerated trucks are lining up out back to store the dead bodies.
  • Some school districts are planning on reopening with no masks while others are cancelling school for the foreseeable future.
  • While the grandparents remain locked in senior care facilities, unable to receive visitors and eating box lunches dropped off on their front porch, their kids and grandchildren are taking a summer vacation and having friends over for a cook out. 
  • Governors object to political rallies fearing that they will spread the coronavirus yet they tolerate or even support large crowds of protestors.

Why People Don’t Care

There are people that will tell you that American Exceptionalism is a misnomer and that Americans are no different than people from any other country.  If that is the case, then explain to me Americans why don’t seem overly concerned that Florida had almost 14,000 new cases yesterday, but Australia closed the border between two of its provinces after detecting 191 new cases. 

The answers are legion, but they mostly deal with attitude.  Americans are not raised to cower and blindly follow their leaders.  Americans are aggressive and are far more likely to attack than retreat.  We’re the folk that believe the best defense is a good offense. Many of us will spray a disinfectant, killing germs, before we’ll wear a mask to defend against them.  Give us the equivalent of a bug-zapper for the coronavirus and we will celebrate every zap and flash.  But tell us it is a silent enemy that we cannot fight and many will shrug and go on with their lives.  Just like people smoke, drink and eat fatty foods when we know it is not good for us, many are willing to take the COVID risk.

Our Independent Streak

Americans are also strongly independent and have a highly developed sense of righteousness. We’ll follow a good law that make sense, but we’ll ignore a bad one that we feel violates our natural, God-given rights.  We’ll defend your right to stay home and self-quarantine, but not the right to force me to do so.  And after three months on lockdown, many Americans think that strategy doesn’t make sense. It created too many problems and now that they are out of the gate, it’s going to be hard to round them up and lock them down again.

And for better or worse, those rights include the right to make the wrong decision.  It includes the right to do dumb stuff.  And if the dumb stuff kills you or a beloved family member, well, that’s what happens when you do dumb stuff.  You’ve been warned, what you do next is up to you.

 “F*ck COVID-19” is a very American approach. It may not be the best approach, but for better or worse, it is uniquely American.

You Do You

As we have said over and over again since the outbreak began, how you decide to face COVID-19 is up to you.  Just don’t act from ignorance; do some research and make an educated decision.

We’re being cautious, mostly because of our age and my wife’s asthma, which makes her a magnet for bronchitis and pneumonia in the best of times.  But the medical issues related to the coronavirus are only part of the equation.  We’re taking steps to protect ourselves from the economic fallout of COVID-19 and the potential for more civil unrest.

But we’re preppers, that’s what we do.  You do you, but if you think some preps may not be out of line, here are a few articles that can help:

COVID-19 By the Numbers

67,200 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the U.S. in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to just over 3,512,700.  According to the New York Times, this is the second most cases reported in a single day.  Texas reported 10,791 cases, a new high.  Florida, considered by many to be the new epicenter for COVID-19 cases, reported 13,837 new cases.  137,319 deaths are attributed to COVID-19 in the U.S., which represents an increase of 963.

Globally, cases grew by 232,000 to a total of 13.589 million.  Global deaths climbed by about 5,500, reaching 584,990.

Coronavirus Report July 16: Many Americans Say “F*ck COVID”