For years we have all watched the movies and read the books about a global pandemic that would herald the end of mankind as we know it. When the virus was first reported, I was alarmed and was very glad that the president at least stopped flights from China. What happened next still puzzles me.
The president listened to his health advisors and began a process, exploited by state governors, to slow the spread while we got a better understanding of this new virus. After a few months, the numbers began to show that the death rate was not going to be as huge as we all feared. As a matter of fact, the numbers in America seem to show that this is a flu although it spreads pretty easily and therefore we all should take precautions about spreading our germs.
Now that we know the numbers are about 1.3% mortality, IF YOU CONTRACT the virus, why are we still acting like this is the zombie plague we have all been waiting for? Locally, government has shut down offices even before a case was reported in Nye County. Amenities at the town parks were closed down. Not even Boston has done that yet, but “out of an abundance of caution” here in Pahrump they took these moves. (Note the release did not say the parks were closed so I may go for a walk later.)
I think what bothers me most about this “zombie apocalypse” is that we all have just gone along with it without anyone addressing the actual numbers. When the real plague does fall on us we now know that the government will be ready, as this was one hell of a fire drill. My concern is the next time, when the death rate really warrants it, a lot of us will remember this “fire drill” and not take it as seriously as we should.
I will not play political guessing games with the federal government’s decision or our local government as I am sure that they all did not want to take this too lightly and then it turns out this is the “Boomer Doomer” plague we have all seen and read about.
The thing that really gets me is that now that we know the death rate is NOT a huge danger, why are we still huddling in our homes hoping the Angel of Death will pass over our house. (No disrespect meant to any religion.)
I am not a doctor, never even played one on TV, nor am I a math whiz, but even I can add up the numbers of cases reported and death rates and see this is just a bit stronger than a normal flu. While I have not had any secret briefings, I can only conclude that we should all take precautions and go back to work.
With that in mind, people making sure they are safe, I have a story to tell you. While my wife was still allowed to work, she noticed a man sitting on a gaming machine and was surprised when this man pulled down the mask he was wearing to sneeze. No, he did not cover his sneeze in any way, just blew it out into the public. Maybe we are not smart enough to do this on our own.
I am not belittling the many deaths that have taken place or that may still come, but this is not the zombie apocalypse we were promised. How do we unravel ourselves from this now? The president suggested that he would like to see our country back to normal by Easter and was immediately jumped on by his political rivals. Which brings me to my final point:
If this were the real zombie apocalypse, we can clearly see that most of our elected officials are more concerned with political points than actually “protecting” their constituents. Forcing through a two trillion dollar “stimulus package” while arguing over how much of their own party’s political wish list they can attach, proves this is not the apocalypse as they, our elected representatives, are still more concerned with how it looks than actually addressing the problem. (How typical, they create the need for a stimulus and then want us to be grateful when they return some of our money back to us.)
I’m sorry, there is one last, last, thing that just flat pisses me off and that is trying to compare this “fire drill” with what the Greatest Generation had to endure during World War II. Gas and food were rationed, and many joined the military to die in the service of their country, while we have to deal with slow internet speed as we sit at home and binge watch TV series and movies.
Yes, we may get sick and die, but isn’t that true from the moment we opened our eyes in this life? I am hoping that at least one of our elected representatives has the courage to stand up and say, “We have seen the enemy and it’s just a flu. Everybody back to work now.”
Dan Schinhofen is a longtime Pahrump resident and former Nye County commissioner.