My husband and I went to get tested for coronavirus a few weeks ago at a south side National Guard testing site located in the parking lot of a Milwaukee community job center.
The attraction was how this site was free, a drive-thru and also did not require an appointment.
And it was a remarkably pleasant experience. We got there early and there was a line but it wasn’t crazy long, and it went faster than we expected.
Also, the other people waiting in their cars in line were astoundingly able to navigate the line which wound its way back and forth in the parking lot, marked by sparse traffic cones and little else.
Somehow, magically, people were courteous and able to figure it out.
That temporarily gave me hope in humanity.
Then at least three of the National Guard workers looked and behaved like Chris Pratt’s Guardians of the Galaxy character.
Wearing what looked like a space suit.
Granted, Chris Pratt’s character was wearing a “space suit” in those Marvel movies which were, uh, set in space… but… these looked more like moon suits.
To my interaction-starved brain, the Chris Pratt lookalikes were wearing moon suits.
Which is… um, nonsensical.
It’s clear I have spent too much time watching movies during this isolating quarantine and my brain had officially rotted.
I was thinking of astronaut suits.
But, back to shared reality, the outfits the Chris Pratts at the testing site wore weren’t space suits at all but health worker hazard gear.
Like those seen in the movies Contagion and Outbreak.
Because… we are now living in a pandemic movie aka reality.
Well, some of us.
Others have dismissed this reality or can’t be bothered.
People have lost their jobs, small businesses continue to suffer and many have had to close because the American federal government also couldn’t be bothered by this.
Some people snickered, derided and angrily, violently, protested reality.
Or, specifically, they protested the actions local and state (not federal) government took to “flatten the curve.”
In so doing, they behaved like anarchic militia which should be perceived as a threat to society but, somehow, irrationally, here in the good old US of A, is not.
In any case, despite all the hubbub and whining and screaming and suffering and dying, the pandemic continues merrily on its way.
Because, in order to defeat it, we have to work together.
And… um, yikes.
That’s unlikely because many Americans feel that “freedom” means they’re free to do whatever the hell they want.
And to twist the word “freedom” to mean anarchic selfishness is nauseating.
We Americans already have trouble with that word and its allocation to all lives.
All lives matter but, uh, they don’t which is the problem.
And just because we don’t want this to be true, it is and our personal wishes don’t matter.
Similarly, just because we don’t want to “do this pandemic anymore,” it clearly doesn’t care.
I chuckled when reading a Facebook comment someone posted in response to a Black Lives Matter protest being organized in my hometown of Baraboo, Wisconsin.
It was: “Get out the snowplows.”
In case you don’t get it because you don’t keep up on what us insane Americans are screaming at each other now, a “snowflake” is an antagonistic nickname conservatives give to those they deem as “liberal,” inferring that liberals are always upset, weak, victimized, feel wronged, whining, unable…
Have some of these people looked in the mirror lately?
So it’s funny to me.
Boo hoo, I can’t get my hair done!
Boo hoo, I can’t get a beer at my favorite bar!
Boo hoo, I can’t get a fish fry!
Boo hoo, they’re coming for our guns and I only have ten!
And yeah… we the people are not likely to get along anytime soon.
But don’t get me wrong… the extreme inconvenience of this really does suck.
Weddings canceled, the OLYMPICS cancelled, graduation ceremonies cancelled, school canceled, sports cancelled, music concerts cancelled…
However, unfortunately, so many other hardcore socio-cultural and health-related realities been further exacerbated by this virus that seems to be more infectious and damaging than scientists first believed and which has killed millions of Americans with no signs of slowing down.
“Uh, yeah, it may be, uh, worse than we thought…” – scientific community
Not that it matters. Some Americans still think it’s all a big conspiracy.
Great. Shorter testing lines then.
Thus, my husband and I were planning to go back to where we went the first time for our second coronavirus test.
We always wear masks when out in public and aren’t in public often.
But… since we came back from our short anniversary stint in Kenosha, he has a cough and maybe a fever though it’s so hot in our apartment it’s hard to tell what’s what.
In any case, we needed answers.
And the coronavirus testing site we visited before has looked almost deserted for the past few weeks so we expected short lines when we left the house to get tested yesterday.
Over the last month, non-essential businesses in Milwaukee were suddenly opening, some without any safety precautions, so more people should have been consistently in that testing line.
Yet, slowly, the premature opening of some bars and restaurants has produced the somewhat inevitable outcome of staff/patron COVID exposure.
And from Wisconsin’s state government:
So the partisan bullshit in our state government is endangering lives further.
The federal government with its terrible messaging continues to endanger lives.
Furthermore, the lack of federal support for small businesses and their employees has caused many to experience economic ruin.
And, suddenly, the line at the free coronavirus testing was insanely long.
Suddenly some people were all “STENY’S IS CLOSED BECAUSE OF CORONAVIRUS?! I’ve been there for its packed Friday fish fry the last five weeks!!!”
So some people must have had epiphanies and we didn’t get tested yesterday.
Instead, we drove to the usually quiet Oak Creek post office to mail books and prints which lovely people ordered from my Etsy shop.
And, while the postal workers there were incredibly nice, they weren’t wearing masks.
Neither were people in the long line behind us.
My husband and I were the only ones wearing masks in that postal office which had maybe fifteen strangers within ten feet of us.
Craziness. It’s like we’re living in the Twilight Zone.
Today we tried our favorite testing site again, and we showed up a half hour before the site opened.
This was the line:
Again, we didn’t get in line and instead went to mail another order at a different USPS location.
This time we went to the post office in Bayview which is right next to the Milwaukee airport.
Again, the two postal workers did not wear masks. Sure, they have a plastic shield up but it isn’t consistent or solid. There are spaces where mail is pushed through and the plastic ends in between each station.
That allows a lot of free-to-circulate air.
And, again, the other customers were not wearing masks.
There were far fewer people at this post office but the lack of masks was still jarring.
So we drove back the way we came and again passed our testing site and the line was longer and again extended beyond our view.
So we called and made an appointment through our GP’s clinic, Sixteenth Street, and were thankfully able to get in this afternoon for a free drive-thru test.
The nose and throat swab were way more intense than they were at the National Guard testing site so now we’re a little worried the Chris Pratts didn’t do it right before.
In any case, we got our second test and are waiting for our results.
And, until we get our results, we will quarantine ourselves in the one room with air conditioning.
Beyond this air-conditioned room, there is still hope.
Dane County today issued an order that everyone must wear a mask if they are indoors and can only sit with members of their family.
I imagine some who are about as sick of their immediate family as they are of this pandemic are saying
Meanwhile, Milwaukee County is floundering as usual. Milwaukee city officials were apparently supposed to consider the whole face mask being a requirement thing yesterday but they didn’t get to it.
In any case, it seems highly unlikely that this shared reality we’re all in will ever feature Matt Damon screaming “I JUST HAVE TO GET TO WISCONSIN!” at a state border traffic block as he did in Contagion.
Nor does it seem likely that partisan Wisconsin will agree on any course of action and, besides, it would always allow Matt Damon in.
Off/on topic, have any of the four people reading this ever seen the movie The Martian?
People love this movie. My husband and I saw it in the theater whenever it came out and when we could go to the theater and, after it ended, we got up immediately, feeling disgusted, and turned to see the rest of the audience staring at the screen, starry-eyed.
Soooooooooo… Matt Damon gets accidentally left on Mars and… shit happens.
But, oh no, Matt Damon whined and cried and stomped and shouted his way through the entire movie.
Because he wanted everyone else to risk their lives, to abandon their mission, to defy their military orders, to abandon their family if they should die… so he could come home.
And, uh, this space biology thing was a career choice he made. He wasn’t forced into it.
If that’s not a movie about a snowflake, I don’t know what is.
“Let’s abandon all we stand for and go get Matt Damon for no real reason because the fact that he is just such a great guy.”
When video stores still existed, my husband and I would stare in wonder at how many copies of The Martian the video store always had, and how many copies were apparently checked out.
To us, the fact that people loved a movie about a white guy who spends a movie screaming “Pick me up because I said so,” served as a sign of what was to come.
Meanwhile, in a similar vein, the alleged leader of this country has just made a move to formally withdraw from the World Health Organization (WHO).
In the midst of a health crisis in a country which is really not handling it well even a little… the President of the United States is cutting ties with the World Health Organization.
Short answer: Because he said so.
Slightly longer answer: President Trump has to blame someone for the exceptionally poor handling of the coronavirus catastrophe which is still unfolding and so naturally he will utilize his respected mantra of
“The buck stops somewhere far from me.”
But, no worries, as here in Wisconsin we still have alcohol which, given the amount Wisconsinites consume, could potentially kill the coronavirus based on biological law.
Of course that’s not true but I can’t think of anything else cheery or relevant to say to end this so…
Support your local grocery store.
9 thoughts on “Some Americans Suddenly Realize Coronavirus Is Not Fake News”
Didn’t see it. Don’t want to see it. You can’t make me see it. This is Murica, damn it.
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I’m sure there is more than four of us reading this 😉
Oh I liked the Martian but now that you put it that way…. yeah not cool 😛
Fingers crossed your tests are negative and stay safe.
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Hahaha I’m all about self deprecation, dear Hestie. It keeps the ego in check and the wine flowing. 😂 There are usually ten people who read my blog. And I’m so thankful to you and each of them.
Yeah! It’s so crazy! I haven’t found one person who was upset by The Martian so… excuse my rant. I had to get it off my chest. MATT DAMON! (Shakes fist at sky)
And… thank you so much. Hoping for negative news. 😘Hope you and yours are staying safe! xx
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I saw Gravity, does that count? It made me feel intolerably anxious. (I watched it with my mom who had Alzheimer’s. She was worried that it might be real).
Nooo, I like my head firmly in the sand, these days. Watched How To Train Your Dragon tonight. It was delightful. I highly recommend.
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Awwwww. Your mom seeing Gravity and thinking it was real… that’s… sad and also scary. The poor thing. It was very real-seeming so I can definitely understand your anxiety and your mom’s fear.
I… love space movies though. Ad Astra was really good and my favorite space movie still is Sunshine.
But I am also terrified of being in space… I mean, we ARE in space… but I’m not getting in a rocket anytime soon. 😬 I mean, no doubt. 💰
You keep your feet firmly on the ground! 😘
True words Hilly. Most people here don’t wear masks…”I don’t want to!” And our govenor has no say at all, he will just be denied by the other side..so, we’ll all try to stay healthy, wear our masks and avoid people!
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Indeed! It does seem like so many are all I’LL DO ANYTHING TO PROTECT AMERICA (raises gun in the air) but “FUCK OTHER AMERICANS!! And… WEAR A MASK?!? AM I IN A TYRANNY?!”
No. But… close and… getting there. 😑
So all we can do, as you say, is continue to maintain physical distance and wear a mask when in public. Hope you’re stand safe and healthy, my beloved aunt. 😘
It’s free-Dumb, damnit!
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