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13 WEEKS TO GO! On COVID/Masks/Science

“The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.”

—Neil deGrasse Tyson

“If we’d stop testing right now we’d have very few cases, if any” – The President Of The United States

Like so many of you, I have loved ones directly at high risk of contracting COVID. My wife is immune-compromised, and I just went to the local pharmacy outside Nashville to pick up some drugs. Lo and behold, the pharmacist is not wearing a mask. Yes, the pharmacist… where sick people go to get medicine.

We are 4.4 percent of the world’s population, yet we have almost 30 percent of the COVID-19 cases and almost 25 percent of the world’s deaths. Last week, Vietnam (population 98 million) totaled 334 cases, 327 of which have already recovered. China reported around 230 cases in seven days, South Korea 404. Here in the USA, we reported 463,000. Most of the world is closed to US citizens right now because we are currently losing this fight. No matter how many times the president of the United States boasts about the incredible job he is doing, the numbers don’t lie.

Yet somehow, we see two different versions of the truth. Two different versions of our news. COVID has only one truth: its sole purpose is to infect as many human beings as it can until we get a vaccine. We are still unclear as to what exact age kids can transmit it, but the science is clear that healthy people in their 20s can die of this disease—a brilliant young singer/songwriter friend of mine almost did just last week.

If this pandemic is teaching us anything, it’s that those who were already working the hardest and had the least saved (53 percent of Americans were living paycheck to paycheck before COVID) are the very ones put on the front lines, while those of us with money in the bank sit back and talk about how nice it is to take a break and have time with our families. I’m one of those people, so I figure the very least I can do is try to help protect those out in the real world keeping everything running.

The GOP has been working to cut the Affordable Care Act while all this is going on. The GOP is currently squabbling over how much money to send American families. Please don’t forget that they didn’t blink when it was time to cut taxes for billionaires.

We’ve sure got some work to do, my friends. On ourselves, on our country, on our democracy.

The effects of disinformation can cost lives. I have a couple of friends who are nurses, and when I read the conspiracy theories—the deniers who downplay or call this disease a hoax or tell others masks don’t work—it’s surreal to me. Fauci has worked for six presidents; Trump has joked about mainlining bleach. I wonder who I should put my faith in? Just ’cause you can angrily log in to Facebook doesn’t make you a scientist. The selfishness and disrespect to frontline workers who have to go out and face those of you who can’t seem to find the strength to cover your mouth with some cloth is unreal. Our grandparents sacrificed their lives to protect the country in wars past, and we equate standing six feet apart and taking five seconds to cover our faces as an attack on our freedom? Are we truly this spoiled?

When you see the numbers rise again tomorrow, please remember that in response to COVID, the leader of the free world has literally said, “I don’t take responsibility at all.” There is a breakdown in our civility, our kindness, and our willingness to sacrifice that is going to take more than one election to fix. But I believe that this election is the best and most concrete place to start making sane and fact-based voices heard again.

I’m not here to argue with anyone who still loves Trump at this point. I’m hoping to reach the 45 percent of us that don’t vote at all. Americans have marched and died for our right to vote, and on November 3, we will have more power to change this world and literally SAVE LIVES than we will have again for years. We need each other more than ever, and I hope you will join me in voting for change this November.

#nov3 https://www.usa.gov/register-to-vote

G

Gooding writes a new post most Wednesdays. Please like and subscribe on all social media sites with @goodingmusic. You can also subscribe to the blog’s RSS feed athttp://goodingmusic.com/blog/feed/.

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