The Elephant in the Room

Two Elephants, actually.  One is Election Day, and the other is one party of candidates.

The first Elephant is a reminder to US citizens that voting is not just a privilege, but a duty…and a related duty is not interfering with anyone else’s right to vote.  So please, if you haven’t voted during early voting, do vote on Election Day.   And please, remember that your right to vote is no more sacred than any other citizen’s right to vote, and harassing, threatening, or otherwise interfering in someone else’s right to vote is both illegal and ethically wrong.   So vote, and then let others vote without interfering.

The second Elephant is the symbol of the party now controlling the federal (and some state) government.    Its theory of government has caused three hundred thousand excess deaths so far this year, with two months to go, two hundred thirty thousand of those excess deaths acknowledged to be from COVID-19and a current rate of a thousand excess deaths a day from COVID-19 alone.  And this has led to the nation with only four and a quarter percent of the world’s population having 25% of the pandemic’s deaths.  It is also poised to attack this nation’s major source of retirement income and medical care for most people over 65: Social Security and Medicare (yes, in the face of a pandemic.)    And has already attacked all environmental protections–allowing more pollution of the air and water (already evident) ,  because people threatened with a lung-and-heart damaging illness (or having one already) really need more toxic crap in their bodies.

Do I have a dog in this hunt, you may ask?  Well, yes, I do.  I lost a sister-in-law (husband’s younger brother’s wife) to COVID-19, and the younger brother was also sick with it.   Our small town’s city secretary and several of her family members were sick with it.  Some kids on the football team.   A few others.  Noticeable people, to their families, and in the case of the city secretary, the person who kept the city running, along with our mayor.  I also have an economic dog in this hunt, a building in my home town that the Elephant notion of international policy turned from a reliable, if modest, moneymaker into a dead loss, made even deader by COVID-19.    The governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general in my state, all being loyal elephants locked onto the tail of the big Elephant, have publicly argued that people like me (like them, too, but they know they’re special snowflakes, for whom the freezers will always be available come the hot days) …that people like me are not worth worrying about in a pandemic.  We should not only “just die” but should be willing and eager to die to save the otherwise shaky economy that keeps their donors pouring millions into their election efforts.  Their younger and even smugger elephants opine that “those getting sick are mostly elderly or Hispanic”…in other words, worthless in their accounting.   As long as the rich are getting richer faster, who cares what happens to the old, the poor, the sick, the disabled, the darker-skinned?    I do.  Being, as it were, in one or two of those categories and having many friends and family members in the others.

So that’s the end of the Elephant discussion…lots more could be said, and has been said, and is still being said, and ordinarily I’d put this on Facebook, but for the inconvenient difficulty that right now I can’t access Facebook because it’s on a permanent rapid re-load on my machines and I don’t have the time to try to unstick it.

Vote.  Vote in every category.   Vote however you want, but Vote.

Thank you.


5 thoughts on “The Elephant in the Room

  1. This whole time is very, very strange to me; a woman I’ve known for almost 30 years who was a life long Democrat, staunch Clinton and Obama supporter, and who also works in the medical field came to wish my mother happy 88th birthday today. She is 70, was diagnosed with Covid-19 over a month ago, had a relatively mild case, tested negative and has gone back to work as a hospice chaplain. She sat at my dining room table with her mask on telling me how worthless it is to wear a mask, that the people who have died would have died of a co-morbid condition anyway, that the number of deaths is largely over-reported, and finally that I should be voting for Trump. I managed to not ask her what happened to her in the past 4 years but only because I couldn’t stand to listen to any more. What is going on here?

    1. Leslie, that’s…tragic. I don’t know what’s going on here in the case you gave. It sounds like someone inserted FoxNews into her head, but how? Is she married to someone who’s pressured her? Is it her job? Is it her church? I dunno. I do know she’s factually wrong on several things (deaths are NOT over-reported but under-reported, it’s not worthless to wear a mask…those are the standard FoxNews/GOP talking points) but why she converted is…a blank to me.

      It troubles me that anyone who’s worked in health care confounds the effect of a comorbid condition on lifespan with death from a different condition that may shorten life but a lot slower. (Also, factually wrong on assumption that everyone who dies of COVID-19 has one of the four or five “increases risk of death from COVID-19, but that other error is more insidious and damaging to public understanding.) If you have a condition that may shorten your life by five years, but at present this means you’re looking at another 15 instead of the maximum of 20…then death from COVID-19 this year is shortening your life by a lot more than your underlying condition. Saying “He would’ve died of [diabetes/heart disease/lung disease/etc] anyway” does not mean that those were going to kill him in 2020. I have some underlying conditions…nearly all 75 year olds do. But genetically, I have both long-lived and shorter-lived ancestors. If I take after the women in the J-family tree, I’ll be around into my 90s (and some were 100s). If I take after women in the B- family tree, there’s a mix of very long life and death in middle age from uterine problems. (Mine’s gone, no worries there. Wish they’d taken the ovaries like I asked them to, though.) We all die. No question. But how and when we die is part genetics, part luck (not being on the bridge when the earthquake shakes it apart and drops some cars into a bay, not being on the plane that crashes, not being in the school the mass shooter targets, not sitting beside the one person on the plane who’s shedding COVID-10 or Ebola or some other disease), and part prudence (wearing the seatbelt, coming off the mountain as the weather worsens, not driving when there’s severe weather, wearing a mask in this pandemic.)

      We don’t exonerate the drunk driver responsible for a fatal car crash with “Well, the other driver had high blood pressure and would’ve died of that sometime, so it’s OK you ran into them.” We don’t exonerate a shooter by noting at the victim had a medical condition that could have eventually killed them. Even if someone’s dying of cancer, if you walk in and put a bullet in their head…it doesn’t matter to the judge and jury that they were dying already. And the thought of someone talking to people in a hospice that way….UGH.

  2. So thankful to see this post and trust you are in good health. You are my favourite author and a real hero to me!
    All the best from down under, looking forward to NewBook.
    I’m currently reading The Deed of Paksenarrion for perhaps the fifth, this time to my fiancée.

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