Home of the Free and Contradictory: Another Day in Denial Land

Venturing out of the house today, I found that despite the president of the United States saying yesterday we should not be around more than 10 people at a time, nothing appears to have changed with the onset of the COVID-10 pandemic… at least in our corner of northwest Harris County, Texas.

We have a stockpile of rice, beans, venison, broth, frozen veggies, pasta, etc. (OK, and TP), so I don’t need anything. I just wanted milk, vitamins, produce, dog bones and a few other things. Well, forget those things!

A drove through the packed parking lots at Kroger and H-E-B in our neighborhood and there was no social distancing or metering of people going into the stores. When the doors opened, I could see checkouts full of people and staff close by packing bags. Hell no!

Why are we being told retailers have it together and are changing their logistics to limit how many shoppers they field at a time and to accommodate curbside pickup? Or, rather, why have they not done this across the board. My Kroger offers curbside pickup four days out, but there are no available time slots. How many time slots are there? Who knows. Also, some basic stuff isn’t on the online items search, such as all-purpose cleaner.

Can we review that President Trump actually said we should not be in gatherings of more than 10 people? Today, he said people should stay home and “enjoy your living room.” Apparently, a lot of people are not listening to this man. Maybe they are heeding his comments from late February when he said this novel coronavirus was a “new hoax” perpetrated by Democrats. Of course, today he said, “I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.” Perhaps this kind of contradictory messaging is leaving people to believe whatever they want to believe.

Here in Harris County, officials have ordered bars and restaurants closed to the public (you can get takeout) and urged the public to report violators. We’re being told that these extraordinary measures are being taken to flatten the curve of the spread of COVID-19. Maybe we need these local officials to order supermarkets to set up curbside pickup and limit entry to small numbers of customers at a time.

Meanwhile, spring breakers are still partying, like these people down at the beach in Port Aransas, Texas. People, c’mon. Maybe hanging out with under 10 people for spring break sounds lame, but hey, why not when there’s a pandemic. The problem seems to be that many people who carry the virus are asymptomatic. And, it takes awhile for the effected to become sick. It’s a waiting game at the moment to see how bad this could get.

But it should give you pause that today Trump was talking about mobile hospital setups, right? And, yesterday he was urging states to order extra ventilators, right? I am not blaming Trump. On the contrary, I am blaming people who refuse to listen to him now for not listening.

This virus has been in the news for several weeks. Sadly, it make take seeing local hospitals becoming overwhelmed before Doubting Thomases realize this is no hoax. This is not a drill. It’s time for universal social distancing.

And can I please get some curbside pick-up? I have an autoimmune disorder, for which I take a specialized medication. My doctor said I should stay on the medication because it “does not specifically or significantly compromise viral immunity,” according to her office, but I should take my vitamins and yes, stay away from crowds. Lordie, you should see the crowds at the supermarket. Again, we have plenty of food at home so I am good.

This comes down to human nature. We are social creatures and we don’t make significant changes unless we see other people doing something. We all saw there was a rush on toilet paper, so people ran out and bought toilet paper. Now, unless supermarkets all adopt metering and social distancing, people are going to go shopping normally. To be fair, the main supermarkets here are hiring and I suppose that is because they need to change their logistics to move to drive-up service. They need to institute that as soon as possible. I’ll wait!