Conversations with the Naïve COVID-19 Edition

By regular contributor Johnnie Does.

Editor’s Note: This article was submitted to me last week but life got in the way and I’m just now able to get this posted.

Well, we are back with another segment. I really wish I could stop writing these but the naïve are everywhere and continue to spout off their naivety about COVID-19.

Here we go:

My friend who manages a movie theatre:
She took a 50% salary reduction along with limited hours at work since the place has been shut down. Her job is essentially to keep the movie theater in decent shape for a possible restart. Key word here is “possible.” She has been told the target date for reopening is June 9th but based on what criteria she has no clue. I have tried to tell her otherwise but like most, they don’t want to hear a contrarian viewpoint. She says that come December, she will have 15 years with her company. Inexplicably, she thinks it’s some vital milestone she must see through despite the obvious fact that at 50% of her income, she can barely cover her bills plus rent. I have tried to reason with her about finding another job/line of work…. crickets. Better the devil we know… or a lack of ambition?

The reality is, we know how this story ends. Best case scenario, she returns to fulltime capacity in August (at the earliest) and at 75% of her previous salary. This fiscal reduction will be explained under the guise of “shared sacrifice” that comes with a benefit cut and bonuses that are unattainable. Nevertheless, if she hangs tough with this arrangement, she’ll be the only one sacrificing. Once the business is back in operation, the suits at corporate are expecting their old pay and benefits packages to be reinstated.

This babe claims she is willing to endure the toil and economic hardship for a long period of time out of some inexplicable loyalty to a company that would gladly kick her to the curb in a heartbeat. Whether her personal finances eventually succumb or not, matters not to corporate. Either way her old reality is over. If she finds employment elsewhere, they will hire a much younger, recent college graduate at 50% of her salary. If she does return as she hopes, she will keep toiling away working just as hard or harder while making less money. Corporate may sing her praises but so what? There is no scenario in which her standard of living will be improved by allegiance to her old status quo. While all this is occurring, she continues to rack up very expensive credit card debt in the process of trying to survive. Sadly, I’ve learned that most need to learn the hard way or not at all. 9/10 times you never earn back your old rate of pay.

A charter schoolteacher:
Ok let me preface this, I do firmly believe there are a handful of really dedicated teachers out there, but the rest are literally the worst types imaginable. Charter schoolteacher (a Berkley Grad BTW), when it was announced school was cancelled for the remainder of the year, decided to berate the administration for dragging their feet on the restart dates of the school year. Keep in mind this virus, as serious or not as it may seem, has made for a very fluid decision-making process. The entire time that schools are closed, teachers have been paid full salary and benefits! Additionally, most teachers and their spouses will be receiving the promised $1,200 stimulus checks. However, due to her perceived injury for not being in a classroom, she decided to spout-off that teachers should be paid double as an inconvenience. Yes, you read that right. While her neighbors and many of the parents of the children she teaches are being furloughed, laid off, watching their small businesses die on the vine, or in the case of frontline workers, being worked as many hours as possible for very little additional compensation, in other words people around her are really suffering, all she can do is demand more for herself. This moron thinks she should get paid double…to not work mind you. Being less aware, you can’t! I hate to break it to her, but she and her fellow educators are not essential…and the Berkeley Grads are literally the absolute worst, most condescending folks one will ever meet.

All the state workers I know except 1:
I am sure you can guess the one. (Hint, hint he owns this space). This lot of folks may be as bad as the teachers; they all feel all is well in the world because they are due as raise 7/1. I wouldn’t count that chicken so soon. Sales tax collections are way down, as are capital gains (stock sales) taxes for the State of California. This will be causing a massive shortfall for next fiscal year’s budget. Every private sector job lost, even the low paying retail and service jobs, has a direct effect on your compensation. While I do not pretend to know how state government employee contracts work, you could be in for very tough sledding; especially with a governor who has his eye on the White House in another 4 years. Most government workers think the pain is only going to be shouldered by private sector workers but beware, you may be in for a rude awakening.

90 Day Guy:
No one has been a star of this more than him. He is a man of many talents and professions and knows more than all of us due to his cable watching prowess. He has decided to avoid Covid-19 danger by staying in his house and smoking weed, whilst watching cable mind you. I cannot think of a wilder trip to be on. I never thought “the munchies” and self-isolation were compatible aspirations during the existential threat we are witnessing on the 24/7 news stations. Additionally, he claims he is doing his part observing social distancing by frequenting various golf courses in the county, since they have been kept open by the county Health Director.

Even amid the coronavirus crisis, Saturday was a busy day for golf courses across Sacramento County, like Haggins Oaks. The parking lot was packed with cars as golfers hit the green, but not everyone was happy about their decision.

The sound of a good swing paired with some sunshine makes a good mix for golfers like Tom Crook and Alisha Griffin-Crook. Both went to Haggin Oaks searching for something to do and stay active in the era of coronavirus and social distancing.

“It’s pretty much it other than walking,” Tom said. Their concern for health still high with this pandemic, but they say there are enough distancing protocols to feel safe.

Sacramento County Golf Courses Remain Open, Packed With People

Cable/Internet People:
These folks have been something else to endure. They hear some rumor or Google some topic and regardless of whether its peer reviewed or scientific, they take it as gospel. For example, the couple who drank fish tank cleaner in Arizona under the guise that it is an antidote for Covid-19. In case you missed that one, one person died from this “home remedy” and the survivor (both lifelong Democrats) claimed it was Trumps’ fault.

A man has died and a woman is in critical condition after ingesting a chemical that contained chloroquine, which Donald Trump has promoted as a coronavirus treatment despite warnings from health officials that it has not been proven to treat the virus.

Coronavirus: Man dead after trying to create Trump’s miracle drug from household cleaner

See also See also: Panic Peddlers: Media Blames Drug Trump Discussed for Death of Man Who Ate Aquarium Cleaner

The aquarium “cure” and the media’s spin on it is just one example of journalistic malpractice in the coverage of this virus. Daily projections of death and hospitalization are another. Hiding behind worthless models of the virus and claiming they’re valid is just as dumb as putting faith in political polling a year before said election… well, except for the fact that our leaders believed them and shutdown the country because the so-called experts cried “wolf” very loudly. The correct phrase for such nonsense coming out of the mouths of these folks is SWAG—Scientific Wild Ass Guess.

Case in point concerning crying “wolf”, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee dissed President Trump a week ago for not offering enough help to his state and a week later, low and behold, Inslee’s extra medical field hospital has been dismantled because it was never needed.

The massive army field hospital that hundreds of troops built inside a Seattle convention center last week will be dismantled before treating a single patient.

Washington’s field hospital to be dismantled before treating a patient, sent to states worse-hit by coronavirus

Nearly 300 soldiers from Fort Carson, Colo., and Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) near Tacoma, Wash., built the makeshift facility inside CenturyLink Field Event Center, normally home to the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and the Seattle Sounders of the MLS, for patients who do not have COVID-19.

CenturyLink Field Event Center emergency hospital #1

Oh, and buried in the end of the story are these nuggets.

The decision comes just days after Washington returned 400 ventilators it received from the federal government so they can be used in New York and other hard-hit states.

Despite these returns, Inslee assured Washingtonians the state was continuing to take steps to bolster its medical resources in the event of a surge in cases, purchasing 1,000 hospital beds and more than 900 ventilators.

The virus has sickened more than 9,000 people in the state, killing 432 as of Thursday.

CenturyLink Field Event Center emergency hospital #2

Against this backdrop of foe drama and disinformation, we all hope for antidotes or cures, but the truth is that in the strictest sense, they do not yet exist. Nothing is yet scientifically verified as a proven “cure.” Anecdotal evidence may help with treatment strategies, but no universally recognized treatment protocol exists, and a preventative vaccine is still in the early stages of development. Many groups are preparing for phase 1 clinical trials and are seeing hopeful signs in certain patients.

Folks this crisis has largely been the product of cable news sensationalism. Folks on television grab on to one possibility or ill-informed idea and run with it, often to the exclusion of all else. (Think dog with a bone.) Somehow one facet of the story becomes their sole focus. It makes me wonder if they are the ones that can’t deal with a complex issue while claiming that we are the ones lacking the requisite number of brain cells. The net result is that most people lack context to what is going on versus what they read on Facebook.

As a result of the 24/7 news cycle, we are now stuck with social distancing, arbitrary shelter in place orders, and business closures. The truth is that only the governors in each state can release us from them not President Trump. That won’t happen until at least the end of April. I would say closer to end of May. I do not have any idea what the criteria to reopen will be and neither do they.

The naivety out there is truly something else, especially during these times. Sadly, I don’t have to look far to find it. If you ever need an example of the blind leading the blind, we’re living it now.

Johnnie Does