Coronavirus Diary Day WTFK: November 22, 2021

Austria Locks Down, Germany Locks Down, and My Crystal Ball Says…

You guys, Austria is locked the fuck down. I am not kidding. Their powers-that-be announced on Friday that both vaccinated and unvaccinated citizens had three days to prepare their abodes, because by Monday, every living human would be homebound for 20 days. Germany just put severe restrictions into place, as well, including a full lockdown for the unvaccinated. Both of these countries are roughly 67% vaccinated, so I guess that’s a problem.

Here in America, we’re living the good life. Some cities (like my hometown Philadelphia) still require indoor masking. Many venues require proof of vaccination and/or negative test results within the last few days. But, by and large, we can get around without a ton of restrictions. I split my time between the Philly suburbs and our mountain house in Upstate New York. I haven’t worn a mask since I donated blood three Fridays ago. Come to think of it, this is probably the longest I’ve gone maskless since the mask mandates started. I see plenty of people wearing masks in a variety of situations, but personally, I haven’t felt the need.

Oh wait. I almost forgot. The Hubs and I traveled to Florida last weekend for a quick getaway. That meant we needed to wear masks in the airports and on the planes, of course. What I found most interesting were the 6-feet social distancing signs found everywhere throughout the airports, which absolutely no one adhered to. I mean, come on. We’re about to jam onto planes, which are once again completely full, by the way. Folks, let’s remove all that 6-feet signage, eh? It’s annoying AF.

(By the way, being in Florida is like being on a wholly different planet. I enjoy that. It makes me sort of an alien, I think. Floridians are fascinated by my otherworldly culture. “Do you still work remote?” they ask. “Do your kids go to school?” they ask. “Are the ICUs full?” they ask. I answer, “I don’t work, my kids are grown, and I haven’t been in the ICU.”)

America is 60% double vaccinated. Those numbers are not any better than countries like Austria and Germany. So, do we think we are safer? Maybe we don’t care. But something about this whole situation feels eerily familiar. Remember when I first started documenting the pandemic back in March 2020? I accurately predicted that Europe was about 2-3 weeks ahead of us in all the things, which included infections, hospitalizations, deaths, lockdowns, mask mandates, and eventually, protests. Later, Europe was also about 2-3 weeks ahead of us in vaccine mandates and the resulting public outcry regarding that. If the theory still holds, we’re looking at future lockdowns right here in the Good ‘Ol.

But, I dunno. America is the land of the free, remember?

Next week is Thanksgiving. Last year on this day, we spent a quiet time at home without any visitors. This year, we will entertain family, and we’ll enjoy all the traditions. Christmas? I plan to fully partake, but will we be allowed?

The Hubs and I are both scheduled for our boosters the week after next, and our youngest son has finally (just last week!) been double jabbed. I feel safe from Covid. Is that ignorant? It might be, but regardless, I feel safe.

For posterity sake, here are some numbers:

Worldwide Confirmed COVID-19 Cases / Deaths

258,105,908 / 5,171,656

USA Cases / Deaths

48,593,642 / 793,659

India Cases / Deaths

34,518,901 / 465,911

Brazil Cases / Deaths

22,017,276 / 612,722

UK Cases / Deaths

9,889,926 / 143,972

Russia Cases / Deaths

9,366,839 / 265,336

Turkey Cases / Deaths

8,571,554 / 75,042

France Cases / Deaths

7,414,971 / 118,461

Iran Cases / Deaths

6,082,865 / 129,053

Worth noting, China (the most populous country in the world with more than 1.4 billion people) is still reporting only 98,505 cases and 4,636 deaths. Hmm. Impressive, China.


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