Hard to believe we’re rapidly approaching the middle of May and the middle of the year.
Time seems like its flying by of late.
I haven’t been posting as much as I’d like of late because I’ve been so damn busy. Its a combination of things, really, though much of it is related to my daughter finishing up her studies in Jacksonville and us getting her apartment -and the apartment’s furniture, which belongs to us- down here while readying the apartment for the termination of its lease.
Its involved doing multiple travels up north and we’re all but done now -thankfully!- but its been a strain.
I’ve noticed the roads are becoming a lot more congested as people seem to be settling back into their pre-pandemic patterns… perhaps earlier than they should.
Granted, there are a lot of people now vaccinated and the rates of COVID-19 transmission seem to be dropping -which one would expect would happen as the vaccinations go up- but we haven’t quite reached a level where enough people -70 to 80% of the population- have gotten vaccinated.
Will we ever get there?
Without naming names, I had a conversation with someone who you’d think would know better who was adamant that they weren’t going to get the vaccine, that they had COVID-19 previously (this was news to me) and they didn’t want to go through the same crap with the vaccine, as if it would replicate the bad times they had. This individual went on a further tear about wearing masks and CO2 levels and how angry he was to see someone walking their dog with full mask on and shield and how he wanted to rip it off her. Somewhere along the line they also got into how bad it was to constantly sanitize/wash your hands and how funny it was that the Flu was essentially eradicated over the past year and…
The kicker? This person is in the medical field.
At some point this person also mentioned that people were being “brainwashed” by the media and it occurred to me that here was another great example of what psychologists call “projection”, where people somehow attribute their flaws to others.
Without asking, I was pretty sure this individual was very much a right wing media watcher, perhaps Fox and/or any of the myriad right wing talk shows on the radio.
Is the liberal media always right?
No. They get things wrong.
But it seems like the right wing media is fixated on a) proving that COVID-19 isn’t as serious as it should be, and b) rejecting all logical means by which to control the virus.
It’s almost as if they want, through their hard headedness and a desire to “own the libs” prove that anything related to COVID 19 and any means that should function to control it (wearing masks, washing your hands, getting vaccinated, etc.) are bullshit and not only should be called out, but you should get really angry with others who are following these guidelines.
Its stuff like that which not only depresses me, but makes me wonder how much longer will this virus’ domination of our lives go on.
If people continue to actively resist things like vaccinations, when will we get to the level of herd immunity?
A few days back Russian ransomware hackers cyberattacked and knocked out Colonial Pipeline, one of the East Coast’s biggest distributors of fuel.
Now, days later and without the Pipeline in operation -though they indicate they should have it up and running by the end of this week- there’s signs of gas shortages as people are scrambling to stock up on fuel.
I took one of our cars to the gas station this morning early to fill up -because it was low, not because of the panic!- and found there was a fairly long line to fuel up. It was a mild inconvenience at best but it did remind me of the fuel crunch of the 1970’s (…gah… I’m so old!).
For those who don’t remember those wonderful times…
This was the type of crap you’d see in/around gas stations. Cars in very long lines as people tried to fill up.
Often, you’d see limitations or, worse, signs which stated that the stations were completely out of gas.
It was something else and, I strongly suspect, it was one of the main things which helped in the downfall of President Jimmy Carter.
It was the time the OPEC nations were at their very strongest. The gas shortages back then were a result -if memory serves- of them holding the line with regard to the release of fuel to other countries, including the United States.
For oil producing countries, it was truly a golden age, where their product was highly sought and would sell for a great profit.
It wouldn’t last.
Holding the line for a while is fine, but greed eventually creeps into the picture. While all the others are holding the line and releasing only so much gas, it becomes quite tempting for a nation to say: “Hey, they’re starving for our fuel and we’re only releasing so much of it to comply with OPEC… what’s the harm in releasing a little more and making even more of a profit?”
And so it went.
Poor Jimmy Carter bore the brunt of the OPEC nations’ strength while Ronald Reagan enjoyed the moments when their greed took over and, into the 1980’s, oil producing nations went rogue and undercut the high prices. What was strength became a weakness and while gas prices continued to move up -and do so even to today- OPEC has never been quite as strong as it was in the 1970’s.
Of course, what’s happening today isn’t comparable to what went on then. A cyberattack is but the latest issue on has to deal with in an increasingly computerized world and, if we’re lucky, we will be among the last generation to deal with internal combustion/gas engines.
I hope we never see those lines again.