This seems to be the question occupying those in power right now: “Is all this crap for real?” What follows is my attempt to frame the current socio-political situation in the United States, circa June 2020. Namely, weeks of daily protests and nightly riots about systemic racism. Whether those in power are stoking the fire or co-opting the mob for political agenda–I’ll not name names there–all those in established positions of authority seem to be asking that self-same question:
It was going to be something. Something was going to wake a nation of people who’ve been quarantined for 80+ days. People are bored, anxious, afraid, and simply tired. Turns out, that something was the death of George Floyd on 25 May, a week ago today. Today, an independent autopsy indicates he died of asphyxiation This is probably the most impactful picture I have ever taken. #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd #LongBeach #LongBeachProtest #BlackLivesMatter pic.
The world went to hell on 13 March 2020. We’d been watching a slow-motion tidal wave from China come our way since January. We’d hoped it’d stop like SARS in mainland China, and we’d get to say “Whew! Close one.” Nope. We saw it bloom in Europe, but hey–we’re still an ocean away from this thing, right? No. On March 13, I got the email saying “Work from Home until further notice.
A Tale of Two Housing Transactions In 2012, I sold my house at Georgetown, Kentucky. If you look far back enough in this blog, you’ll find posts and pictures from that little builder-grade “story and a half” house on a corner lot sitting within dynamite’s distance from an active limestone quarry, two houses away from a meth house. Quite the neighborhood, that. In any case, I sold that house via a realtor, and I never saw the people buying the house until we were at the closing table.
If the “Great Lockdown” or whatever history calls this thing had sight, smell, sound, taste, and feel, what would they be? Feel is easy: Tired. The feel of a not-so-early morning after a long night of binge-watching whatever (Mandalorian, Picard, Friends). Being tired for no particular reason, like the tired of a long road trip or transcontinental flight: You haven’t exerted yourself, but you’re exhausted, disoriented, and cranky. CoVid19 tastes like bad breath, that cottonmouth you get from dehydration after too late a night or far too early a morning.
So, phase one (shock/denial) appears to be over. Over 20 million people are out of work, roughly a 20% unemployment rate. There are almost 700k total cases, and 32k deaths. This is just from people we know had the disease. Whatever “rainy day funds” most people had are exhausting. Quickly. It seems clear, this is going to be somewhere between the “Great Recession” and the “Great Depression.” And honestly: There’s no end in sight.
So, it’s official as of today (Source. As an aside, this ‘worldometers.info’ site is a clinic on how to present and visualize data at scale.) Eight-three thousand cases, and no sign of let-up after 2 solid weeks of “shelter-in-place” or “stay-home-pretty-please” New York is simply exploding, especially The City. I’ve taken to following a former member of disaster preparedness for Obama, @JeremyKonyndyk. Here’s his take as of today: Let me build this out a little more.