Gov. Baker today announced the state will be re-opening a 240-bed field hospital in the DCU Center by December as the Covid-19 hospitalization rate continues to rise.
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It's still serious. Even after the election. Are a thousand people dead a day in America actually a thing?
The one who imposed meaningful restrictions. We need to do more to prevent needing the field hospitals again. We should have moved back to Phase 2 weeks ago to try to short circuit this.
I don't want to be locked down again
but people are too relaxed now, and its getting worse. Covid fatigue is a thing and its so obvious that people are 'over' it and just wearing masks just because.
If we do not buckle down by thanksgiving, by it'll be a grim christmas here. April will be a warm up session by comparison to what will happen.
Studies of people in long-term isolation, like astronauts and submariners, show that fatigue tends to set in once the end is closer than the beginning, but still far off; i.e. the "third quarter". Fatigue also gets more acute after the expected end point.
I bring this up because, since we don't actually know when the end of this will be, people's mental model of the duration of this incident is shaped by public attitudes and government statements and actions. I think people are fatigued now not so much because it's been a particularly long time of living in crisis in an absolute sense, but because the messaging people receive has painted a picture that suggests this will be over in the spring, or should've already been over this past summer. Both expectations are arbitrary and could be reset with thoughtful, consistent communication.
Also I strongly suspect that everybody talking so much about fatigue, and how natural it is and there's nothing we can do about it, reinforces the whole thing, which is a spectacular self-inflicted failure on the part of our public institutions. Imagine if the messages in Britain right after the peak of the Blitz weren't "keep calm and carry on", but instead "listen, everybody is so tired of curfews and blackouts, we understand you just want to turn on your lights and open your shades, but pretty please just keep trying a little longer"? Absurd, right?
Of course we should have more meaningful restrictions. But the state can’t go into deficit spending and the Federal Government (who can) is held hostage by Mitch McConnell’s “LOL wut is governance?” philosophy.
In March and April there was meaningful talk of enhanced unemployment and PPE loans/grants. Regardless of however great or poor those and other plans were executed, it facilitated a spirit of individual and corporate cooperation for sheltering in place and flattening and depressing the curve. Now in November with no financial support on the horizon the Trump/McConnell GOP is forcing Massachusetts citizens to choose between revenue/income or cooperating for the common good of our long-term health and economy.
It’s easy to point at the mounds of evidence that shows economies rebound quicker and are stronger long term when pandemics are managed correctly by shutting everything down for a relatively short period, but that doesn’t help when you’re already late on the mortgage, out of rent money, need to make payroll, and have mouths that need to eat today.
We indeed elect and pay leaders to make tough decisions, but “let a deadly, highly infectious pandemic run wild” or “shut down and grind even more small businesses and working people into oblivion” is one hell of a shit sandwich for Baker. (Although, I feel that the course we are on is going to accomplish both, but our leadership will try and wash their hands saying “we tried our best! Look at outdoor dining/takeout.”)
We need Baker and other leaders to say straight out that if things get worse in terms of infection rates, it's going to kill the economy as well as leading to understaffed hospitals and other critical services. This is not a choice between two bad options. It's a choice between bad and REALLY bad.
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