I choose life….


Patton Oswald recently tweeted that “Anne Frank spent 2 years hiding in an attic and we’ve been home for just over a month with Netflix, food delivery & video games and there are people risking viral death by storming state capital buildings & screaming, “Open Fuddruckers!”.   He was rightly excoriated by opposing tweeters who understood that the protesters were concerned about their job and ability to eat, not go to Fuddruckers.  While I am not personally out protesting (except by mounting my own form of resistance to the lockdown by going anywhere I can), I am concerned that we are forgetting what Anne Frank wanted most, to live.

I have long been saying that there has to be a middle ground.  Assuming that social distancing is working, if we can social distance at “essential” businesses (grocery stores, hardware stores, nursery’s, etc.), we should be able to social distance everywhere else.  Increasingly though, governments appear to be waiting for a path that all but guarantees the health of every individual and in so doing are killing our collective souls.

Let us recall that the original goal of the lockdown was not to prevent the spread and/or death but to slow the rate of the spread so as to not overwhelm the hospitals.  To this day, no one really knows how many people are infected. The Stanford (Stanford Antibody Study) and USC (USC Study) studies suggest that the actual infection rate is much higher than once believed. If the infection rate is that much higher than anticipated, can we conclude the lockdown was for naught?  Maybe. Maybe not.  What we can conclude is the so-called “experts” may not have (if ever) enough information to plot a path forward.  The only thing they know is that there is a virus, it is contagious and particularly deadly to certain groups of people – although thankfully not as deadly as originally anticipated.  We don’t (or shouldn’t) have to be doctors to know that viruses are rarely if ever eliminated.  If they were, we wouldn’t need vaccines or the yearly flu shot.  So why are we waiting for “THE” answer before lifting the lockdown?

As I was thinking about the resurrection over Easter, it occurred to me that our response to this pandemic had turned us into a worldwide colony of lepers.  Jesus’ life and death were supposed to teach us to conquer fear and here we were hiding behind modern technology.  While Jesus waded into the leper colony, we have isolated. Is it really necessary to avoid all personal contact with family and friends, to eye each other suspiciously if we are not standing at least six feet apart with a mask, to “snitch” to the government about those not following the “rules”,  to publicly shame anyone with the temerity to venture beyond their exact home boundary for a change of scenery or to dismiss protesters as weak fools?  And, in the greatest act of fear, did we really have to let our loved ones die alone?

A month may not seem like much for a person like Patton Oswald, who has his health, his video games and is having his food delivered.  I remember like it was yesterday, that a week between our son, Gus’ cancer diagnosis and his first treatment felt like a year, that eight years between his first diagnosis and his relapse seemed like only a few short months and that in twenty-four hours Gus went from being in remission to losing his life.  Which is to say that a lot can happen in a month. Yes, this virus is deadly and we sadly do not know enough about it to fully protect ourselves, but this month we’ve given up much more than the well-being we were after.  Existing in a perpetual state of fear and inaction is worse than death, it is a selfish squandering of the very breath denied to those that died.  Lifting the lockdown is not just about the economy, it is about acceptance.  Life is not guaranteed but needs to be lived to have meaning.  As my brilliant husband said yesterday, we can either take a risk and live, or do nothing out of fear and die anyway.  I choose life.

Questions Questions Questions


It is now 30 plus days since the COVID-19 lockdown began and our moron mayor, Eric Garcetti, has no real plan to open the economy. Instead, he has outlined five (ridiculous) strategies the city will (allegedly) follow in order to lift the lockdown. The stated strategies are widespread virus and blood testing, real-time disease surveillance, rapid aggressive response, increase hospital capacity, and ongoing research and development.  WTH?  I don’t know why journalists don’t do their job.  Um excuse me moron mayor, what does widespread testing mean – 25% of the population? 50%?  How do you plan to surveil anyone if some COVID carriers are asymptomatic?  Who is going to make up this “rapid aggressive response team”? Are you just going to drag people off the street and turn then into emergency personnel? As far as we know, the hospitals were never at capacity so why do we have to increase it?  What gives you the right to demand treatments that are “based on actual clinical trials” instead of the “theoretical” treatments prescribed by our doctor? I mourn the death of all COVID victims to date and in the future just I like I mourn every death, BUT we seem to be ignoring a truth that is right in front of our face. Either the mortality rate is not as bad as we assumed, the virus is not really as contagious as we imagined or it’s been here longer and we’ve developed some immunity because we are nowhere near the number of cases and deaths that had been predicted despite the delayed action by our leaders.

As of today, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, IHME (founded by Bill Gates – just in case you wondered why anyone was interviewing him), apparently the only organization that had government sanctioned calculators, projects that by August 4 the COVID death toll will rise to a hair raising 1,483 in the entire state of California. (COVI-19 California ) What happened to the thousands if not millions of infected and projected dead?  Who the hell forgot to carry the 2?  Nevertheless, Garcetti and that gray-haired crazy looking lady by his side continue to tell us that the “peak” originally projected for mid-April, then at the end of April is probably closer to the middle of May!!! (According to the IHME it’s tomorrow). While real (not theoretical) millions suffer in a closed economy, Garcetti and his minions stall, play fast and loose with the facts and threaten us into doing what we are told with the various clubs of government – tickets, fines, and even cutting off our utilities.  

I seem to be completely alone in asking rational questions. Like, if the virus had been out since December how was “social distancing” really going to help in mid-MARCH?  Wouldn’t the virus have had more than enough time to infect us by then?  Isn’t it supposed to be super contagious?  Didn’t leaving all grocery stores, hardware stores, nurseries, and dry cleaners (really?) open simply direct the limits of our interaction to very specific areas?  Can we not extrapolate anything from the fact that such interactions did NOT result in a concentrated explosion of the virus?

Unless I missed the story (not possible in the 24/7 news cycle), I do not know of any outbreaks of the virus in grocery stores.  Shouldn’t there be especially when some carriers are asymptomatic, touched everything and didn’t have to wear masks until last Friday? I am aware that some (let’s say many) clerks have tested positive and I am certain some have even died, but shouldn’t at least one grocery store have become an epicenter of disease?  Even those hospitals that were actually overwhelmed with a large number of COVID patients have not reported that a vast majority of their workers were infected and died.  SO WHY THE CONTINUED LOCKDOWN? (Yes, I am screaming).

I have no problem wearing a mask if it makes the truly frail and the hysterical feel better (I am generous that way). I will stand more than six feet away from everyone if I must (I am not much a hugger anyway) but I am begging my fellow Angelenos, citizens of this state and this great nation, to please wake up, ask questions, fight back!  Our economy depends on it.