As I believe I've mentioned before, I work at an after school tutoring center in the Northern Virginia area, which is rapidly becoming a hot spot for COVID-19 as we speak. As far as I can tell, all of the cases recorded here are related to international travel - in particular, a certain Nile River cruise - but my kids' parents are peppering our business manager with leave requests anyway. Based on her texts and emails to me, the poor woman is consequently going insane.
I'm not going to say we shouldn't be concerned; I know I'm concerned because I have an aging mother at home who's on oxygen, and this may be worse than the flu for people in that particular bracket. (I honestly don't know because I don't know who to trust at this point.) To be sure, we definitely need to keep an eye on the news - like we should if, say, there were a tornado watch - and follow the advice of medical professionals regarding hygiene and social distancing (advice that, by the way, we should heed even in the absence of a global pandemic). But we still need to be rational. We don't need to buy whole pallets of toilet paper to get through this -- and I don't think you need to worry (at least right now) about sending your kids to a program at which, at any one time, there are only 13 or 14 people in the building. (Our branch is a very tiny operation. But if you're an expert and you think I'm wrong, please let me know in the comments.)
As other people have said, full-scale panic is only going to make it more difficult to help the populations who are actually vulnerable.
In fairness, though, I think I know why we've descended into chaos over this: we no longer trust our institutions -- and for legitimate reasons. The media in particular are not covering themselves in glory, as they seem to be more interested in shilling for the Chinese government than in sober, accurate analysis. Speaking of which: Wuhan virus, Wuhan virus, Wuhan virus! I will call it what I damn well want to regardless of the marching orders the Blue Checks apparently got from Beijing. If it's not racist to call a certain tick-born illness Lyme Disease because it was first observed in Lyme, well -- shut the hell up and focus on what really matters.
Anyway, enough with the serious commentary. Let's get to the memes -- because if I can't laugh at our predicament, I want off this planet. Below the cut are some of my favorites:
|As a member of the Oregon Trail generation, this one's right up my alley.|
|This one's for all my friends who've been looking forward to the zombie apocalypse.|
|Because poking Beijing's bootlickers in the eye is an honorable act.|
|Seriously: soap is extremely effective.|
|Inorite? Poor Dr. Hampson.|
|I'm in this picture, and I don't like it.|
|It fits very well, let's be honest.|
|I laughed like a hyena at this one -- because I'm effing dark.|
|If you guys read my fan blog, you're probably not surprised that Tony's here.|
And one more for the sci-fi geeks in the audience:
|Click to embiggen.|
There's a crap-ton more where these came from, but I don't want to make this post over-long. If you need more than what I've provided, head on over to Powerline's Week in Pictures.
And for the sake of the country, take a deep breath, stay calm but alert, look out for your loved ones and your neighbors, and try not to make things worse.