Just another COVID case.

If I see another headline talking about increasing COVID cases, I think I may lose what little is left of my sanity. Why do you even put that out there? That’s a rhetorical question. We all know why you do it: because it’s scary and gets people to click on your so-called news page, even though you are telling us nothing of value but are instead trying to stoke the smoldering remains of a fire almost put out by riots.

Lets look at a case study: my dad.

My father is now a statistic in all of this: he is a recent COVID case that required hospitalization. At 80, his reported survival prognosis should have been about 50%. But he didn’t die, he beat it. Except he didn’t, because the whole thing ruined him. A few months ago, we would sit and talk about this and that, and I would keep him up on his grand-kids. He was having more trouble getting around, so big trips like the one we took in the fall to watch our friend win a national championship in a Formula Mazda, those had given way to local visits at family homes.

Now he can barely walk. And I have no idea how much he understands of what is going on, because I am not allowed to see him. Yes, I can Facetime or try some other so-called connection, but these things don’t work for people with dementia, and the subtle facial movements that let me know he understands what I am saying, I have to be sitting there to register those. And that’s not allowed.

All because of this virus. Except it wasn’t, because nothing that has happened to him has been a result of the virus. Everything has been result of our reaction to the virus.

COVID cases are increasing, and my dad is one of those. He got the virus and had to be hospitalized. Except he didn’t have to be hospitalized because of the virus, he had to be hospitalized because of our reaction to the virus. Because if you test positive, you have to be isolated, even if you are already isolated. Well, just because.

Here is a more appropriate headline: “The widespread torture of the elderly through forced isolation enters its forth month.”

When I went to deliver a TV to my father last week, another female resident was pleading with her husband by telephone through the closed glass entry door to get her out. I wasn’t there long enough to know if he was going to acquiesce, but the fear in his eyes when I walked past them makes me think she remains trapped. This mandatory isolation is what led to the dramatic decompensation of my father, and we were forced to transfer him to a memory care unit that is capable of better managing dementia patients. And that transfer required a COVID test, and he tested positive, so we added some insult to injury and put him in lock-down in the hospital. And he left what was left of him behind.

Of course, this isolation is necessary to keep everyone safe, but someone explain to me this logic: the bulk of my father’s belongings – including his bed and recliner and personal photos – are trapped in his old room because they are afraid that allowing a moving crew in could also bring in the virus and kill everyone. Wait, that’s because we terrified everyone by saying that the virus would live on walls for days and days (which is complete BS).   

Is my father the only person suffering from dementia? That’s a rhetorical question too: there are about 1.5 million people in nursing homes in the US, and something like half of them have dementia, which means we have similarly devastated something like 750,000 people, and the women in the foyer is part of the other 750,000, and she didn’t seem overly thrilled with her plight.

But hey, it’s all been for the greater good. I mean millions would have died if we hadn’t shut the world down, so while we continue to torture and kill, we need to remember all the people we saved! Because that’s what the math models said, and that’s what the experts told us, and they are already celebrating the stats of the people whose lives we made so much better.

Like my dad. Because, while this isolation nearly killed him, at least the virus didn’t, and that’s why we did all of this, to keep him and all the other residents safe.

Except none of it did shit.

Everything bad that has happened to him, the loss of mobility, the agitation and inappropriate behavior, the doubling of his meds and the quadrupling of the dosing, the loss of months of his life – including the only chance I had to show him that the app that I built in his honor when it went live – all of it is a result of our reaction to a virus, our attempts to stop the spread.

And none of it worked. He got it anyway. Right under your nose, right through your futile mandates, without any of the symptoms you have used to scare us all into submission, and without so much as causing a sniffle in anyone else around him. This disease has killed people, but it has also been used to promote careers, to sway voter opinions, to fund useless industry responses to pointless government grants, to generate headlines and advertising revenue, and to do immeasurable harm to millions and millions of people many orders of magnitude beyond the capabilities of the disease itself. Our reactions have been a combination of societal fear and a drive to capitalize on that fear.

Allowing others to be hurt to protect yourself – that’s cowardice. Allowing others to be hurt because you don’t know what you are doing and refuse to admit it – that’s pure incompetence. Hurting others to advance your career or for financial gain…

To the cowardly, incompetent, self-serving policy makers that are responsible for this fiasco: I am coming for you. I am going to show people how we can stand strong together without you, how we can do things cooperatively using logic over fear, and how we can degrade our dependence on you, so that you can’t use us like this anymore. You know who you are, and I am coming for you, and you will never know what hit you, because aren’t smart enough to get it.

And I want my father back, you sunovabitch.      

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