The Current Situation

Happy August!

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It’s August 1st, 2020! I know that it’s tradition to say “Rabbit rabbit” on the first day of the month, but in this case, I think “Stabby stabby” is more appropriate.

Florida of the Day The Current Situation

How well is Florida’s COVID strategy working?

How it started / How it’s going

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Here are the sources for the screenshots above:

Here are the first three paragraphs of the AP article:

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Florida reported 21,683 new cases of COVID-19, the state’s highest one-day total since the start of the pandemic, according to federal health data released Saturday, as its theme park resorts again started asking visitors to wear masks indoors.

The state has become the new national epicenter for the virus, accounting for around a fifth of all new cases in the U.S. as the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus continues to spread.

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has resisted mandatory mask mandates and vaccine requirements, and along with the state Legislature, has limited local officials’ ability to impose restrictions meant to stop the spread of COVID-19. DeSantis on Friday barred school districts from requiring students to wear masks when classes resume next month.

The numbers

Here are the numbers that Google reported last night, around 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 31st…

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…and here’s what the New York Times is reporting this morning (Sunday, August 1st):

If you look at the CDC’s COVID tracking map, all of the southeast United States is experiencing high levels of transmission:

Freedom necessitates responsibility

In the American Catholic magazine Commonweal, theologian and philosopher David Bentley Hart puts into words what many of us who didn’t grow up in the U.S. education system have internalized: Americans are, of course, the most thoroughly and passively indoctrinated people on earth. One major consequence of this indoctrination is that many people treat freedom as  being able to yell “You can’t tell me what to do!” and forgetting that freedom also means taking on responsibilities. Many Americans know the adage “Freedom isn’t free”, but are a little unclear on the coin used to pay for it.

The result of this simplistic approach to freedom is summarized in Ryan Cooper’s article in The Week (featured in the screenshot above): America’s narrow idea of freedom is literally killing us. He poses the question “Which country is more free during the pandemic: the United States or Vietnam?”, and to borrow a popular internet clickbait phrase, the answer will shock you.

Despite the fact that the vaccine was available in the U.S. sooner than in Canada, Canada’s vaccine rate overtook the U.S.’s a couple of weeks ago, thanks to a strong anti-vaccination quack movement and a particularly American brand of Lysenkoism, we still have a significant chunk of the population who refuse to get vaccinated.

The tragic end result will be more stories like the one above, in which a Jacksonville woman lost her grandmother, fiancé, and mother to COVID — all in the space of a week. She tested positive for COVID and was not vaccinated, and neither were her fiancé or mother. She’s now telling people to get vaccinated and plans to get vaccinated herself. (And because this is America, her best shot at digging out of her financial hole might be the GoFundMe that a neighbor set up for her. Throw some cash her way if you’re able.)

So use your freedom wisely, because it appears that as far as COVID’s concerned, remember that more freedom means more responsibility. If it is all about choice as Florida’s “Like Trump, but with an attention span and a work ethic” governor says it is, choose wisely:

  • Get vaccinated if you haven’t already,
  • Avoid crowded places — especially indoor ones — where the majority are unmasked,
  • Mask up when in enclosed spaces with lots of people,
  • Give the unvaccinated a wide berth, and
  • Practice some of that team spirit and resilience that Americans are supposed to have.
America The Current Situation

With great pandemic comes great responsibility

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The Current Situation

I’m calling it “Klansplaining” from now on

Damn, that’s a clever term.

Tampa Bay The Current Situation

In case you hadn’t heard…

Congrats to the Tampa Bay Lightning on their second Stanley Cup win in a row!

Between making it to the World Series, winning the Super Bowl and back-to-back Stanley Cup victories, our teams have earned the area the title of “Champa Bay”. 

I’ll close this post with my favorite meme from the playoffs. Congrats to Andrei Vasilevskiy on winning the Conn Smythe Trophy!

America The Current Situation

How racist do you have to be to vote against a day off?

14 republicans who voted against juneteenth bill
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Here’s the Rachel Maddow piece that the graphic above comes from:

Internet Finds The Current Situation

Do you remember the Great Reddit Bean Breakup of 2020?

Various cans of beans on a pantry shelf.
Creative Commons photo by Darius Norvilas. Tap to see the original.

Last year, when the pandemic lockdown was just beginning, Anitra and I adopted the catchphrase “Defend the beans!” as an in-joke between us. 

“Defend the beans” comes from a Reddit post from March 2020, which recounts a story of a break-up over a stash of beans. At the time, the number of COVID-19 cases was climbing and the general advice was to stock up on supplies and shop as little as possible.

The poster of the Reddit story had purchases 45 cans on various beans for their pandemic supply. The girlfriend decided that the pantry in their apartment wasn’t a safe enough storage place…and buried the beans in the woods. She also announced plans to bury additional beans in the wood every week.

In the argument that ensued, she voiced her concern that “if things get bad”, the beans would be in danger of being stolen by “looters or whatever”.

She also refused to say where the beans were buried, out of fear that the poster might dig them up. “I will never jeopardize the beans,” she said, unknowingly coming up with the origin of the catchphrase Anitra and I use, and also coming up with something that needs to be turned into a Latin motto.

(Google Translate says that “I will never jeopardize the beans” in Latin is “Et non in discrimen adducat fabam” I know how wonky machine translation can be; if you’re a Latin student and can provide a better translation, please let me know!)

The poster and the girlfriend couldn’t come to an agreement over the issue. She broke up with the poster and moved out.

It’s been over a year since the poster wrote in Reddit, and I can’t help wondering what happened to both of them.

In case you wanted to read the original post, I included it below with a link. Enjoy the read…and defend the beans!

TIFU by demanding that my girlfriend show me where she buried our beans in the woods, causing her to break up with me.

I admit I posted a version of this on the relationship subreddit the other day, but they closed it with no explanation, I assume because they just decided it was fake. I can see how they might think that, but this is a true thing that happened and is happening, and now there is more to it because I actually got broken up with over it.

With all that is going on, we had stocked up on supplies, including some canned goods. I ordered a few weeks ago 30 cans of beans. 10 are black beans, 10 are kidney beans, and 10 are pink beans. Also, I ordered 15 cans of chickpeas. I thought this is a reasonable amount of beans and chickpeas to have every now and then and would last for quite some time.

However earlier this week I opened the cabinet because I wanted to make a vegetarian chili using two cans of beans, but all of the beans were gone. What the hell?

I asked my girlfriend and she told me she buried all of the beans in the woods.

At first I thought she was joking, but she explained, no, she had buried the beans in the woods. WTF?

I asked her to explain and she told me she was afraid that “if things get bad” we might have to worry about “looters or whatever” and that the beans would be in danger of being stolen. I said I thought this was completely ridiculous and unlikely. She became angry at me and said she “is protecting our beans.”

According to her logic, the beans are safely buried in the woods behind our apartment complex, and if we ever need some beans she will go to the “stash” and dig up a can or two, but would prefer if we save them all for “if things get worse”.

I said why only bury the beans, why not bury our more valuable items? She said the canned food was most valuable for long-term means, and that since we get fresh food in our online grocery deliveries, it would make sense to continue to stockpile beans. She intends to go bury more beans in the woods every week.

This was too insane for me and I got very upset. I demanded to know where the beans were buried, and she refused to tell me. She said if I knew she was afraid I’d dig them up, I said damn right I would. She said “I will never jeopardize the beans.”

The following day I tried to put my foot down, and I’m not usually a foot downer but there are rare issues where compromise is out of the question, and I foolishly decided this was one of those issues. I demanded to know where the beans were buried and I told her if she was going to bury beans I paid for in the woods that I would move out. We fought about it and I kept insisting.

In hindsight I should have just let it go and created my own hidden stash of beans in the apartment, and given her time to maybe cool down about this bean burying scenario, but I blew it all out of proportion. Yeah it’s weird to bury beans in the woods but why did I have to press it? What’s the harm at the end of the day? In the grand scheme of things?

But I kept demanding her to take me to the beans, or at least draw a map or something, and finally she BROKE UP WITH ME. Over the beans. I have lost the love of my life because I couldn’t let the damn beans go.

I am in disbelief. She moved out. Not only am I heartbroken but I am now paying full rent instead of 50% which is a huge financial issue for me.

TL;DR – I kept demanding that my girlfriend show me where she buried the beans in the woods and she got so angry at me that she ended our relationship and moved out. My heart is shattered and my finances are jeopardized because of a bean hoard.