Tag Archives: social distancing

Docs are invaluable

These social media messages can be so instructive. This one caught me eye and I want to share it.

The nimrods who bitch about the doctors, scientists, researchers and drug company executives are all too willing to throw themselves at their feet when they get sick.

The COVID-19 virus continues to ravage us. It is infecting us at an alarming rate … still! Yet we hear from the red-state rubes that they don’t trust the vaccines being offered; they mistrust the advice of learned medical and scientific professionals, such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, the world’s pre-eminent infectious disease expert; they rely on livestock medication that the docs say is bad for you.

Then they get sick. They are hospitalized. Then they depend on the very same docs who warned them to get vaccinated, to mask up, to practice social distancing; they want those folks to make ’em better.

Hypocrisy? You bet!

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Most ridiculous political argument … ever!

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

There isn’t an official scorekeeper of these matters, but I want to offer a nominee for most ridiculous political argument in human history.

It’s the argument over whether wearing a mask in public should be allowed. Or should be discontinued.

I have grown weary of all the news reports we hear about individuals bristling at mandates to wear masks in light of the COVID-19 pandemic that, I hasten to add, is still killing people, albeit at rapidly declining rates.

Commercial air passengers are getting arrested; hospital employees in Houston filed suit against their employer for requiring they wear masks; people are defying government orders; they ignore business signs imploring customers to mask up and maintain social distancing.

This is absurd in the extreme! It’s also dangerous — and deadly!

You know how this argument breaks along partisan lines. Conservatives hate the mask mandates; progressives are more tolerant of them. What’s more, they’re fighting with each other, sometimes actually coming to blows.

Holy crap, man!

President Biden took office in January and said mask wearing was an act of “patriotism.” I thought in the moment that he was perhaps overstating a bit the importance of masking up. Now I believe that he was correct in seeking to appeal to our collective love of country.

As for the political disagreements, I will continue to stand with those who believe we haven’t yet crossed the finish line in this battle against the killer virus. It’s getting closer, but we aren’t there.

Not yet.

‘Social distancing’ becomes part of our vernacular

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I wondered a year ago about the term social distancing.

“Social distancing.” The newest term of art born out of the latest crisis. I can’t decide how to define it: a verb? a noun? an adjective?

That was my thought a year ago on a Facebook post as the nation began to grapple seriously with a killer virus. Little did we know — although some of us expected it — that the COVID-19 virus would kill more than 500,000 Americans.

So here we are. The vaccines have arrived. They are being injected into Americans’ bodies. The hospitalization and death rates are declining. President Biden wants us to celebrate Independence Day as a twofer this coming Fourth of July: to mark our independence as a nation and our independence from the virus.

However, we’re going to continue to practice social distancing.

I no longer am concerning myself with how to categorize the term. I have accepted it now as part of our vernacular. It kind of rolls off the tongue easily these days. Heck, I am willing to type the term without enclosing it in quotation marks. I guess that’s a sign of general acceptance.

You know what? That’s OK with me. Social distancing has become a tactic we have employed in our house as part of a strategy to keep ourselves safe from infection.

So far, so good.

I am going to keep my social distance from strangers … maybe even after we are able to declare victory in this fight for our lives.

At least someone is talking about the pandemic

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I get that Joe Biden isn’t president of the United States just yet.

He insists that he knows we have only one president at a time. Indeed, we do. However, I am glad as the dickens that at least one leading political figure — that would be the president-elect — is talking to us candidly and openly and truthfully about the pandemic that continues to rage out of control.

Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris sat down for their first post-election interview together with CNN anchor Jake Tapper. They spoke on a day when we set yet another hideous record for hospitalization and deaths from the pandemic.

Biden pledged that upon taking office he will issue an order declaring that anyone doing business or working on federal property will wear masks and will maintain social distancing.

Got that? Then he asked all Americans to wear masks for the first 100 days of the Biden administration. The president-elect believes that if all Americans don masks and stay way from each other we will see a “dramatic decrease” in the infection rate. Well, I am going to heed his advice … we’ll just have to see how it plays out.

Back to my point, which is that the current president of the United States, Donald Trump, hasn’t seen fit to talk at all about the pandemic. Since he lost re-election on Nov 3, Trump has been preoccupied with sowing distrust in our electoral system. He won’t concede that Biden whipped his a** in the election.

Trump should be talking, too, about the pandemic. He should be meeting weekly, if not daily, with his White House pandemic response team that has been rendered virtually useless as Trump pouts over losing an election. Speaking of the response team, what in the world has become of Vice President Mike Pence, the man who is supposed to be in charge of that effort? He is MIA along with the president.

I am grateful beyond measure that the election turned out as it did. As everyone knows — and I have been willing to acknowledge — elections have consequences.

We are witnessing one of those consequences play out in real time as the president-elect steps into the breech that the current president has abandoned.

Is there a lesson to be learned?

The news that U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Loony Bin, has tested positive for the coronavirus ought to send a clear message to the moronic conspiracy theorists out there who joined Gohmert in dismissing the value of mask wearing.

The Texas Republican had visibly and vocally eschewed wearing a mask, calling masks overrated as a preventative measure against the pandemic. Then he tests positive. Gohmert is now isolating himself in his East Texas home.

Will this clown’s infection stem the naysayers? Will it shut them up? Hardly. These idiots keep yapping about masks being part of some sort of nefarious conspiracy concocted by someone, or some organization, perhaps the Deep State designed to rule the world … or some such moronic tripe.

Gohmert is the unofficial chairman of the Wacko Caucus within the Republican congressional delegation. His initial response, I hasten to add, is that he now will wear a mask “religiously.” He says he feels fine. That’s good. Really, it is. I don’t want him to suffer.

According to CNN.com: “I will not be around anybody for the next 10 days without making sure that I have a mask,” Gohmert said. “Because that’s the real danger. Once you have it, giving it to somebody else, and that’s when a mask if most important.”

I do want his positive test result to send a chilling message to his fellow pandemic goofballs to listen to the docs, who tell us to wear masks and to stay the hell away from everyone else.

Oh, have I mentioned that we passed the 150,000 death count in this pandemic battle? There. I just did.

This is serious stuff, folks. Just ask Louie Gohmert.

Gov. Abbott hands out blame, fails to own this crisis

I have some advice for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

You need to stop dishing out blame to others and start taking ownership of the role you have played in the spike in COVID-19 infection, hospitalization and death in the state you were elected to govern.

Abbott decided this week to blame 20-something Texans for refusing to practice social distancing, for failing to wear face masks in public and for being too cavalier about the threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic that has swept around the globe.

Here’s a thought for the governor to ponder, although he likely won’t: Greg Abbott has the authority to issue a mandate that requires Texans to wear masks. Yet he doesn’t do that. He chooses to follow the lead of others — namely Donald Trump — who decline to accept fully the gravity of the health crisis at hand.

Having said that I’ll accept that we all deserve to be slapped across the face about this COVID-19. We need to ensure we all take it seriously. I get it. However, I found the tone of Gov. Abbott’s remarks to be disconcerting because they fail to address the role he and other political leaders can play in reducing the threat of this killer virus to Texans.

Isn’t there a saying making the rounds that declares that “We’re all in this together”? If were “in it together,” then we need to share the responsibility in looking for ways to get through this crisis. Assessing blame to just some of us won’t do the job.

She’s no hero; she is a lawbreaker

Shelley Luther is being hailed as a heroic figure, someone who is standing up to what many contend is a form of governmental tyranny.

I consider her to be a lawbreaker, someone who flouted a legally mandated directive to keep her business closed to save lives against a killer virus that has swept across the world in the coronavirus pandemic.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered salons closed. Luther’s business, Salon La Mode in Dallas, remained opened. She was doing customers’ nails and performing other cosmetic procedures even though she was putting herself and, more importantly, her customers at risk of catching COVID-19.

As the Texas Tribune reported: Luther knew she was operating in blatant defiance of emergency orders from the state and county. She had already torn up a cease-and-desist letter from local authorities, winning loud cheers onstage at an Open Texas rally in Frisco.

Ridiculous.

Here’s my favorite part. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Houston decided to get his hair cut at Luther’s salon … in Dallas. The Cruz Missile, who backs Donald Trump’s rush to return reopen the economy that has collapsed in the wake of the pandemic, thought he’d score some cheap political points by standing with Shelley Luther.

Cruz should be ashamed of himself, except that he isn’t.

As for Luther, she had been sent to jail for violating the stay-closed order. Top Texas Republicans sought to work for her release. So she got sprung from the hoosegow. She came out to a hero’s welcome.

Now this business owner is being hailed as a sort of cultural icon because she’s standing her ground against what she believes is government overreach.

She is standing instead for the fruitcakes who have stormed the Michigan state capitol building brandishing assault rifles and waving swastikas and Confederate battle flags; she is standing for other protesters around the nation who flock to beaches and ignore social distancing recommendations.

It’s people like Shelley Luther who make enforcing mandates aimed at protecting our health — and even our lives — more difficult than they need be.

You want major national change? Try this!

Mom and Dad saw the world change in front of them when we went to war against international tyranny. We emerged victorious from that world war and took our place as the world’s colossus … and the world changed forever.

Then came 9/11, when those terrorists flew jetliners into office towers and into the Pentagon. The nation went to war again against the monsters who sponsored those madmen. The nation is still fighting that war … and, yes, the world changed once again forever.

The world went through fundamental change in the 20th and 21st centuries because of senseless acts of violence brought to us.

Now we’re entering another fundamental change brought to the world by an “enemy” no one saw coming until it was too late. The world likely is going to change in ways we cannot even foretell now as we seek to stem the attack brought to us by the coronavirus pandemic.

Our world will change culturally, with no arena sports to cheer from grandstands packed with fans like you and me. Our interpersonal behavior will change. We’ll be far more cognizant of personal hygiene.

Think of this for a just a brief moment. Our government has enacted certain restrictions on our behavior. We must not gather in large crowds. We dare not venture into public places without wearing face masks. We pack sanitized wipes, little bottles of alcohol-based cleanser. We maintain what we now know colloquially as “social distancing” from those we meet.

We shouldn’t shake a stranger’s hand. We shouldn’t even embrace friends we haven’t seen in good while. Oh, sure, we aren’t prohibited by law from doing these things. It just is patently unwise given the nature of the COVID-19 virus that attacks even the heretofore perfectly healthy among us.

Therein lies the change that awaits us as we continue this struggle against the pandemic. My rumbling gut tells me we’re likely going to change forever … yet again.

The world changed 75 years ago

Will there be a fan-less baseball season? Well … probably

At the risk of being called a Dickey Downer, or a Negative Ned, I need to suggest what is looking patently obvious to this baseball fan.

If the Major Leagues suit up for the 2020 season while we are fighting a deadly worldwide viral pandemic, the athletes will play in front of themselves and each other. No fans in the stands. No cheering from behind the dugout. No curtain calls after dramatic home runs.

MLB is considering an 82-game schedule to begin around the Fourth of July. I understand that the team owners have signed off on it, but need approval by the players union to close the deal.

Yes, we have all these beautiful baseball venues around the country that will be devoid of fans. Why? The answer is obvious: Social distancing requirements — which are essential to stemming the infection rate — will not allow fans to be crammed into the stadiums next to each other.

Am I OK with that, with playing these games before tens of thousands of empty seats? Absolutely. I want to see baseball return.

Now … I want to speak briefly to my friends in Amarillo, who have been awaiting the start of the Texas League AA season featuring their beloved Amarillo Sod Poodles. The last time I commented on the team’s immediate future, a sorehead among the Sod Poodles fan club accused me of being Mr. Negativity.

I hate to say this, but Hodgetown — the shiny new ballpark built along Buchanan Street in downtown Amarillo — should remain empty, too, even if the Sod Poodles take the field for some hardball.

Yes, this pains me terribly. The ballpark came into being with considerable fanfare and much-deserved hype. It’s a first-class venue. The Sod Poodles’ fans packed the place for virtually every home game in 2019.

For the sake of community health — which at this moment appears to be teetering with a rash of outbreaks — the Sod Poodles should play their games before no one.

Baseball fans all across this great country are going to suffer the same withdrawal. If that’s what must happen, well, there’s always next season … or we can hope.

Beachgoers tempt fate

You are looking at a beachful of goobers who ought to know better than to do what they are doing.

They are congregating along the Texas coast, apparently heeding Gov. Greg Abbott’s declaration that it’s OK to venture to the beach without regard to the restrictions he had imposed on Texans since early April.

You can count me out. What in the world is going on here?

Planet Earth is still in the throes of the coronavirus pandemic. It has killed hundreds of thousands of people and nearly 70,000 Americans. Yet some states, such as Texas, are being run by governors who seem to think it’s OK to reopen their economies that had been shut down by the pandemic.

Abbott said he would let “doctors and data” determine how to loosen the restrictions. Did he really have this in mind? If he didn’t, then the goobers on the beach need to know better. If he did, these numbskulls still should pay attention.

Many governors are proclaiming that social distancing is having a profoundly positive effect on the infection and death rates by the COVID-19 virus. I don’t see a whole lot of social distancing in the picture I have attached to this blog post. What I do see is a crowd of nitwits who are endangering themselves or worse, endangering others.

What I wish would happen is that Abbott reimpose the restrictions. Good grief. He needs to tell those who want to go to the beach to follow the rules they have been following already.

Or, he could deputize Texas Parks & Wildlife rangers to work alongside Department of Public Safety troopers to issue citations to those they see clustering like these yahoos.

We are witnessing a rush to potential disaster and it gives my family me all the justification we need to keep doing what we’ve been doing to avoid getting caught by the killer virus.