COVID-19: America the hotspot

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Is anyone surprised Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has declined to meet with the Orange Douchebag in Washington, D.C.? The United States is the worst country when it comes to the novel coronavirus, with the most infections (over 3 million) and fatalities. And of course Trump himself is the misinformer-in-chief.

From Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final in Las Vegas (Claudia Gestro)

Then there’s this: in the NHL’s planning for their reopening of a Stanley Cup playoffs, the league looked at a bunch of cities to find two to be the hub cities where a “bubble” could be created to protect all the people involved, players, coaches, other team and league personnel and selected journalists. Las Vegas, Nevada was considered a lock to be one of those two cities.

Until COVID-19 kicked back into high gear and made Sin City a COVID hotspot once again. Now the NHL is eyeing two Canadian cities to host the league’s Stanley Cup Playoffs because Canada actually has the pandemic under control and can better protect the NHL folks from the pandemic.

For you hockey fans the Eastern Conference teams will play in Toronto, Ontario and the Western Conference teams will play in Edmonton, Alberta.

Google Edmonton and check out exactly where that city is located. You will go, “Holy Fuck!” or some strange derivation. When people use the term “Middle of Nowhere” Edmonton is pretty close. I’m sure they are all fine people., They are Canadian after all and would just as soon buy you a beer after the Oilers game than punch you in the face for wearing an L.A. Kings hat. In Los Angeles … be prepared for a ton of verbal abuse if you’re wearing anything other than Kings gear. Nah … actually it ain’t that bad in L.A.

Edmonton has the largest shopping mall in the Americas. It’ enclosed of course. The thing that make living in Canada no Bueno for me is the brutal winters and the fact that summer only lasts about six weeks … maybe eight.

Anyway, Hockey is about the only team sport they play in Alberta — that and their version of American football — so the Edmonton area is lousy with indoor hockey rinks that can accommodate all the Western Conference teams vying for the Stanley Cup.

Caesar’s Palace, like all the open casinos in
Las Vegas, will take your bet
(Claudia Gestro)

Let’s get real: Can you imagine trying to keep everyone disciplined enough to stay in the bubble in Las Vegas, Sin City, or keep the city’s … err … more attractive entertainment … out of the bubble? In Edmonton people be like, “Nah, I’m stayin’ at home. They can just pleasure themselves.”

If you were looking for the perfect place to isolate people from the general population — and the NHL was — there’s no better place than Edmonton.

Toronto, on the other hand, is a very cosmopolitan city. Good luck with that bubble … of course Toronto residents are Canadian as well and they’ll be like, “Okay everyone. Let’s not mess this up and look like the Yanks.” And they will be very nice and accommodating to the needs of the NHL bubble.

The other leagues should play in Canada. Baseball is in summer training, the NBA is in Walt Disney World getting started; the MLS has already started real games at the ESPN Wild World of Sports at Disney World. Our reporter Claudia Gestro is there to catch a couple games with the AL Galaxy and LAFC.  All in another hotspot state, Florida. Claudia had this report before she left.

So anyway, no NHL hub city for the U.S. and no visits to Washington by Justin Trudeau. At least not while the Orange Douchebag is president. You know, precautions could be made to keep everyone from the Canadian delegation protected, but honestly, what self-respecting, anti-fascist world leader wants to visit Washington and spend any time whatsoever with Donald John Trump?

The president of Mexico, López Obrador visited Trump. He flew coach as well and suffered the indignities of having a layover.

There are very good security reasons presidents have their own planes, complete with essential hardware for running a country and accommodations for the politician’s security detail. Obrador decided to get rid of that particular presidential amenity and show the Mexican people he was one of them! Another case of populist affectations gone too far.

(Tim Forkes)

But we can’t throw stones at Mexico — we elected Donald J. Trump.

This rant was started a couple days ago and today, July 10, the U.S. just recorded 70,000 new coronavirus cases. In this one day. A week ago the headline was the U.S. has 55,220 new COVID-19 cases in one day. That’s a 22% increase in just seven days. So a week from today we could have more than 85,000 new coronavirus cases?

Dr. Fauci said he would not be surprised if we started recording 100,000 cases per day. Other infectious disease experts say we are just in the beginning of this pandemic. This isn’t just new cases due to more testing, hospitals around the country are being filled to capacity as the COVID-19 patients come in. Nor is this the second wave. It’s the first wave just regaining momentum.

It was eye-popping to hear one expert say we should wait a week or two and the rise in deaths per day will reflect the increase in new cases and hospitalizations per day.

The United States, the nation where the conspiracy theory nuts are treated as if they have legitimacy. Have you heard this guy on Facebook yet? I don’t know if this is the guy speaking, but it’s the profile where the video originated. I’ve been having second thoughts about giving this asshole a link. A fool, an asshole spewing out that dangerous conspiracy theory nonsense that could be increasing the death toll. Sure, the U.S. government — or is it the One World Government — demands we wear masks as it launches a secret surveillance program that utilizes facial recognition software … the stay-at-home orders are “house arrest mandated by the state.” And all the over-crowded hospitals are staged, those doctors and nurses are nothing more than crisis actors.

He has a political agenda, actually makes a few credible points that he could frame without using a conspiracy theory about the coronavirus pandemic, but for him the coronavirus pandemic is the linchpin for all the different loose ends.

A testing site in Los Angeles County (Claudia Gestro)

Those are not staged events at the hospitals. Those are not actors playing the parts of doctors, nurses and others, support personnel. I know because the hospital where I get my care has been gearing up to accept large numbers of coronavirus patients. It was already receiving COVID-19 patients that last time I was there, roughly two weeks ago. I had a completely different reason for being there, an ongoing medical issue I’ve been dealing with for nearly three years.

The hospital and a coronavirus triage tent where patients were given tests before being allowed into the hospital itself. Those patients were not allowed to enter the hospital through the same entrance as the rest of us who had “normal” medical issues. But let me be clear: there’s nothing “normal” about my medical conditions.

So, one of the options for my therapy would have had me spend a few nights in the hospital receiving intravenous antibiotics. And I can say with all my heart I always prefer not spending a few nights in the hospital for any reason.

And it was COVID that came into the decision on what course of therapy I should take, a course that would have me out of the hospital at the earliest possible convenience — hours, not days — and away from the coming onslaught of COVID-19 patients.

Not just because the hospital needed beds for the coronavirus patients, but the hospital’s E.R. doctors and nurses wanted to reduce my chances of contracting the deadly disease. One nurse showed me some electric doors through which the coronavirus patients were being treated and when the doors slid open I saw one person, couldn’t tell if it was a doctor or nurse, man or woman, dressed in the PPE (Personal Protective Equipment for anyone who as forgotten what PPE is) walking through a different set of electric sliding doors to administer to the COVID-19 patients.

Not actors — actual doctors, nurses, technicians, housekeeping and other support personnel.

For the most part I am fine, but I do not wish to be around people that who tell me they don’t wear masks because, “I don’t like being told what to do.” Grow up. Assume some responsibility for your fellow humans, the same way they are responsibly protecting you from them.

(YouTube screenshot)

I really don’t like hearing people say “I have my rights!” on one hand and then counter protest Black Lives Matter people who are demanding they have the same — equal — rights as white America. Call me crazy (a lot of my friends do), but if someone is going to march on a state capital building, dressed out in body armor (with their fat bellies sticking out at the bottom) and fully armed with assault rifles to demand the right to go get a haircut and pedicure, then it would seem those people would be on board with the Black Lives Matter demonstrators and march, fully armed, with the BLM movement.

But they don’t because … Trump doesn’t like BLM and Trump wants to liberate Michigan. Black people ain’t part of the equation.

Now I’ve veered off COVID-19 specifically as a topic into social justice vs I want my haircut demonstrations. Yeah, I’m probably simplifying and trivializing what the fully armed white people want, but it’s hard not to trivialize what they are doing because it is so damaging to the rest of the people of America, and especially to the economy. How many people are out of work, how many more will join them?

The fallacy of our so-called capitalist system has been ripped open as the communal lie that it is. It isn’t even communal. It has been dropped on the lower 90% of America like boulder of Sisyphus. We keep pushing it up the hill under the mistaken believe we can become part of that 10%, be allowed to share that wealth only to have some calamity, like stock market crashes and pandemics send the boulder back to the bottom of the hill.

Maybe that analogy is too kind to the one that hold the power. Richard Wolff, one of my favorite economists, puts it much better in this video, from his YouTube channel. You want to know who benefitted from the Payroll Protection Program? It wasn’t the little guys.

Back onto the COVID-19 pandemic. Most people have no clue what this disease can do and how people that have “recovered” suffer. The doctors and scientists at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center say we should consider COVID-19 to be a multisystem disease. To quote a CNN report, “Their (CUIMC) comprehensive picture shows the coronavirus attacks virtually every major system in the human body, directly damaging organs and causing the blood to clot, the heart to lose its healthy rhythm, the kidneys to shed blood and protein and the skin to erupt in rashes. It causes headaches, dizziness, muscle aches, stomach pain and other symptoms along with classic respiratory symptoms like coughing and fever.”

As the coronavirus rages across the planet, scientists and doctors are learning new things about the disease. This isn’t just another flu. And it hits poor people, people of color the hardest because they are the ones that live in the most crowded conditions, working at those low paying “essential” jobs — click on Richard Wolff again.

As Trump and his lackey AG Bill Barr shred the Constitution, commuting Roger Stone’s prison sentence and firing U.S. attorneys, this pandemic rages on, picking up momentum in the U.S. As Trump tries to bully cities and states to open the schools, sending children and young adults into COVID-19 incubators.

Good job Donnie. We lead the world in coronavirus infections and deaths and you’re trying to run up the score on all the other nations, like Brazil. CNN did a segment on this virus and spoke with Dr. Peter Hotez, Dean of tropical medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine. For him the growing trend is getting scary. He makes it sound scary. “We will have hospitals overwhelmed and not only in terms of ICU beds and hospitals -— and that’s bad -— but exhausted hospital staff and hospital staff that’s getting ill themselves. So, we won’t have enough manpower, human power, to manage all of this.”

So far this “hoax” has 3.29 million COVID-19 infections (experts believe it’s 10x that number) and at least 137,839 deaths. We need new leadership in the country.

Top photo is a CBC YouTube screenshot of Canadian PM Justin Trudeau