Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Back in My Home Town

 Or the one where I went to High School, anyway:

A group of parents sidestepped school and public health officials and threw an unsanctioned, semi-secret, maskless homecoming dance for students in Rolla, Missouri, last weekend, putting not just their children, but their greater community at risk. Even as local public health officials fear the worst—that the completely unnecessary event was also a dangerous virus super spreader—and order attendees to quarantine until Nov. 22, organizers appear to stand by their very bad decision to encourage hundreds of sweaty teens in fancy clothes to breathe each other’s breath while swaying to slow songs, as beaming parents lurked in the wings.

The school where those sweaty slow dancers attend—Rolla High School—announced Wednesday that at least 10 students and one staffer had tested positive for the virus; though not all of those cases can be traced to the sickening shindig, Officials from the Phelps-Maries County Health Department have been consumed by investigating the dance since learning about it, and fear more cases will surface in the coming days.

Of course the whole thing was arranged via Facebook, where one of the organizing parents posted this:

So my friend and I did a thing yesterday. We did a REALLY big thing. And we had a lot of support. And a lot of help. And a lot of really happy kids. And it was kind of amazing. And I really want to recognize and thank these people but I can’t. But my heart is full and I think the kids are happy and it was worth it. I would do it again. I’m happy and sad at the same time and I want normalcy. I think we delivered this for one night.

And there you have the reason why a thousand people a day are dying in America: the longing for normalcy, for happiness, for full hearts, and a thumb-in-your-eye attitude toward spoilsport authorities who don't want anyone to have fun.

Honestly nothing remotely that interesting happened in Rolla when I lived there.


David said...

Wow. That's some story. It's making me realize that, deep in my soul, I must be Korean.

When reading such stories, I also try to remind myself of that great quotation you posted months ago, from the introvert who, in order to understand why so many people find quarantine so hard to bear, made himself imagine a national crisis in which, in order to do his part, he would have to go to parties and make small talk every day.

G. Verloren said...

And there you have the reason why a thousand people a day are dying in America: the longing for normalcy, for happiness, for full hearts, and a thumb-in-your-eye attitude toward spoilsport authorities who don't want anyone to have fun.

The thing is, EVERYONE wants to go out and do all the things we used to. But some of us recognize that no amount of fun is worth even a single innocent person dying. Some of us realize that selfishly putting other people's lives at risk to satisfy our own petty desires is the literal definition of evil. If your individualism is so extreme that it's getting innocent people killed, you are a monster.

We could have been more or less done with the pandemic a long time ago, if we had had competent leadership and actually done what was necessary to contain it. But too many of our leaders are imbeciles and conmen, and too many of our citizens are selfish and evil bastards who refuse to wear masks and practice social distancing.

If I believed in an afterlife, I'd yearn to see them all go straight to hell. As it stands, I just want to see us actually, finally, day-late-and-dollar-short tackle this pandemic properly, with enforced quarantines, contact tracing, and all the rest. But I know that won't happen.

We're going to keep half assing things until one or more vaccines get the green light, and then we're going to slowly roll them out in phases prioritizing the most critical individuals before the masses, and that's where we'll hit the next stumbling block. People will see that the end of the road is in sight, and that's when all the anti-vaccine nutjobs will come out of the woodwork to encourage THESE EXACT SAME SCHOOL DANCE HOSTING MORONS to refuse to get a vaccine, because why should THEY get the vaccine, when they can just let OTHER people get it, and that will be somehow be good enough?

And if the government tries to make a vaccine mandatory, they'll cry foul, they'll accuse Biden of being a tyrant trying to rob them of their freedoms, politicians will be unwilling to go through with enforcement, and the virus will continue to linger in America among millions of unvaccinated people long enough to cause a second flare up in a year or so after the vaccines lose effectiveness (just like flu vaccines do, which is why you need them yearly).

We're not going to continue to have Americans die at fives times the rate they died to World War II, the numbers will drop drastically, but there will still be a trickle of deaths coming in constantly, and it will spike again, and we might have to consider lockdowns again down the road, and we'll have to do the whole damn song and dance over again.

All because somewhere between a third and half of the country are psychopaths who care more about having fun than saving innocent lives.

Shadow said...

Just a guess, but I wonder where and with whom all those college and professional football fans are spending game day. Drinking and eating requires removal of mask, not that a mask would protect you from seating and crowding so intimate that you are breathing each other's air.