So You Think That Bars Being Open Is More Important Than Following CDC Guidelines

I’m thinking about Texas since I lived there for 17 years, but goes for any state with morons.  So, you know, everywhere…  I worked as an RN in Austin, a town in The Hill Country, and know people all over the state.  But the principles are the same.

Has all of this COVID-19 stuff been a big wet rag on life as you knew it?   Probably. Are you too young to know that when you’re actually grown, a year is nothing? Likely.  It’s one set of holidays and work weeks (if you’re not still living in your parents’ basement).  Are you old enough to know that this isn’t how you want life to be?  Yup. But here’s the thing… if you don’t follow the guidelines, the only thing in your future that people will think of is your funeral. And they’ll talk about how you wasted your life over a mask. A 50cent mask.  That’s the price you put on your own life. I’d have said at least a buck.

Do you know what happens when someone is sick in a hospital whose capacity has been exploded beyond what they can deal with like they normally would?  If you’re lucky, you get a new oxygen mask/cannula every week like normal- but with shortages, you may have the same snotty one for many weeks. Someone will pick the boogers out now and then with a needle.  If you end up on a ventilator (vent, from here on out), you will be knocked out. You won’t have a clue- until they run out of the medications used to make being on a vent tolerable (vents hurt, and the more pressure needed as your lungs stiffen up from damage caused by COVID-19,  the more it hurts- so you are knocked out for comfort reasons).  Then you’ll have a big clue- because you will be tied to the bed so you can’t remove the tube going down your throat  into your ratty, stiff lungs. You’ll know everything that’s going on, and each time the vent gives you a breath, you will want to scream.  But that can’t happen when there’s a tube between your vocal cords. You won’t have any family or friends around during this, unless they’re dying in the next bed- and they’re no good to you then.  The patients in this video are so quiet- because they don’t have the the ability to get a good enough breath to speak…

SO, are ya having fun yet?   Excruciating pain, tied to the bed, with a tube the size of your little finger ramming air every 3 seconds or so, into your restricted lungs ?  Sounds like a party to me!   You’ll have a catheter going into your bladder to drain urine (which, if you’re not familiar with catheters, is put in the same hole you’re used to urine coming out of), until your kidneys fail- and then dialysis until it quits working, after which you’ll die over a week or two max. It won’t be fast, but long enough to wish every second that you’d made different choices since they ran out of the good drugs a week before you started circling the drain. . You’ll also feel every time they have to stick a needle into your wrist, so they can see if you have enough oxygen in your blood- not just the little painless oxygen saturation monitor. You. Will. Hurt. Like. Hell.    But, go ahead, make plans to be in close proximity to those not wearing masks- and you could bring it home to your family.  Any one of those you’re eager to get rid of?  No guarantee the ones you like won’t get it instead.  And no guarantee the refrigerated truck will have enough juice to keep all of the bodies cool enough to get to the funeral home, who only has time to stick you in a box and put you in a public grave- to be sorted out later.  The bodies are piling up too fast for proper identification by family, and families aren’t allowed in the trucks.  SO, you end up in a mass grave. Until someone fishes your soggy boxed body out of the dirt in several months. Think this is too dramatic?  These guys got the only trucks they could find- unrefrigerated.  They did the best they could.  And you could end up in a truck like this… your body decomposing so that fluids drip out of the truck.

Maybe you could ask the state to let you hang out in one place to drink and party.  Those ICE Detention Centers should be empty soon. In theory, they could be used for people who don’t think the rules should apply to them.   Cages sound appropriate for you. Here’s the thing, though.  Nobody leaves until everybody tests negative, which doesn’t start until after the initial 14 day quarantine. If you get sick during the time nobody can leave, you get no care at  all (which is fair no matter where you are- why should the ones bucking the guidelines who get sick get the last vent over someone who has followed every CDC guideline, and was made sick by a jerk like you?).  If you get sick in the detention center, you might skate through with something that feels like a bad flu- or you could end up dying after days of gasping for air.  Your body will begin to decompose, and the smell of putrification will sting the nose of anybody still alert enough to notice.  It will be like a hot August afternoon on a Texas backroad where 3 adult deer were hit by a truck three days earlier. Times however many people have croaked at the center who are also rotting.

Maybe you’re one of those ‘spiritual’ sorts who gets wasted on Friday night, so the hangover is gone by Sunday morning and you can pass muster at church- which is also blowing off public health.  I’m a Christian; I grew up in a church I loved going to several times a week. If your faith isn’t strong enough to go without being in a particular building once a week (minimum), then the virus guidelines aren’t the biggest issue in your church career.  Church isn’t a building. It’s the people in it. You can come up with some creative ways to worship and still live. Is ‘fellowship’ important?  Yup. But would God give you a  brain to understand scientists who study the things He created?  I think He’d be mortified He gave you a brain at all.

What about what happens after you test negative?  Well, the full story isn’t really known since this isn’t a virus anybody has seen before all of this started.  Lung damage is likely from what is known. And more is coming out about brain damage. That could mean seizures (so medication and no booze for the rest of your life), or worse- as in staring off into space, wearing diapers that your friend from high school that you hated is changing, because she went to nursing school while you were boozing it up at the bar during a pandemic.  Sound fun?  Your petty dislike of that high school adversary changing your drawers, wiping crap off of your butt, and then putting moisture barrier cream on your nether regions , to prevent you from getting DIAPER RASH?  At age 21 ?    Your. Life. Will. Be. Over. As. You. Know. It.

Or, you could wear the mask for however long it takes to protect yourself, AND those around you, and live long enough to celebrate at the bar when the virus is less of a risk than falling off of the barstool.  If you’re still wanting to do what you want when you want (because you’re a selfish brat that acts like you’re still 3 years old), then you could speed things up and go sit in a low-water crossing during a gully-washer.  None of those who drown thought it would happen to them, either- and how many of you (in TX for sure) know someone, or know someone who knew someone who was swept away during a flash flood?   People will still talk about how stupid you were at your funeral (if they find your body), but at least there will be people you didn’t contaminate, still alive, to pay their respects.

Grow up – or become the poster child for birth control.

What happens to a body when the morgues and funeral homes are overrun? Search for “Farm of Rotting Bodies in Tennessee”.   Warning – it’s very graphic.

 

Why “Black Lives Matter” Is Important To ALL of Us

This was a  reply to another white poster on a FB page talking about ONLY expressing all love and peace to folks honoring the girl who took the video that gave ALL of us a window into the murder.  NO consideration for the justified anger and fear.
My reply:

    • We are white- we have no frame of reference for the generational oppression of African Americans... starting life behind the white kid born the same day, and having education, social, criminal justice, and employment systems all set out to keep black people in dependent roles or incarcerated. Do some get out of it? Yeah- but for the most part, from my understanding, that is extremely difficult.

      Watch “13th” and “When They See Us”. Watch “Selma”- whose primary issue is the RIGHT to vote for black Americans. Learn about ALEC- and look at the companies in it- it’s horrific. Laws are being made by people we don’t vote in, but by company executives and their Congressional buddies. Not what constituents want. If more people knew about ALEC and voted with their wallets, it would help.  Look up “Say Their Names”.

      Wouldn’t you be terrified if every time you left home, you knew you could get killed because you didn’t dim your bright car lights when you passed a cop car? Wouldn’t you be angry (and have it come out as hate) when WHITE people bought your ancestors like they bought and used a bag of flour? Those slave ships weren’t made by Carnival Cruises. The kidnapped slaves were chained together in horrible conditions, including having to endure the decomposition of those who died en route (who weren’t thrown overboard) with oozing bodily fluids and stench running against your legs? Can you even begin to understand that level of fear?  You and I don’t have the same generational history of being treated like we don’t matter. Ignorance has contributed to black oppression, and that can only be dealt with by whites,  whose ancestors thought owning humans was OK 400 years ago. The ignorance must stop.

      I’m adopted, and in looking up my biological family, I found out that I had ancestors who owned slaves. I bawled my eyes out, because the generations after them (and especially the last 2-3 generations) have been so pro-equality for all races. One of my great aunts refused to sit at “white” lunch counters. I’m so proud of her for standing up in the early 60s, and when I met her, she was very instrumental in opening my eyes. It hurts my heart to know that my ancestors thought it was OK to own people. All I can do is get educated, and stand on the side of what’s right- everybody deserves the same chance to succeed. And right now, we focus on Black Lives- as the majority of the police brutality is directed there. Black lives have been brutalized for centuries. That alone is enough for anger- but to be killed because the criminal justice system is rigged against black Americans?  How does this still happen?  WHY do we allow it to keep happening?  That’s on us.  Had it not been for Darnella Frazier’s video of the actual murder of George Floyd, the absolute ‘in your face’ mentality of the cop kneeling on Mr. Floyd’s neck, and the other two not stopping him wouldn’t have had the power it has had. We. Watched. A. Murder. Eight minutes and 46 seconds is plenty of time to change course- and nobody did. The bystanders tried, and were threatened.

      What if your spouse/ significant other POSSIBLY had a counterfeit $20 and your spouse/SO was killed because of it? Trying to breathe for almost 9 minutes?    ( I haven’t heard that the counterfeit bill was even confirmed. ANY of us could have one in our wallets – that’s why they use those pens to check paper money)   Mr. Floyd was begging for his Mama. We saw the life drain from him. What if that was something that the white community had happen? There would be all sorts of mayhem going on. And it wouldn’t be peaceful.   I know I’d have a period of time of intense rage that could very much seem like hate. And as much as I try not to hate, I’m sure I’d have periods of that, probably for the rest of my life. Why didn’t those cops just talk to Mr. Floyd? At best it was a misdemeanor that a white person would have been asked about, and sent home. Mr. Floyd was worth $20 to those cops. They could have let things chill, then go to the house, and have a chat.

      The protests in my community have been mixed groups, organized by some extremely smart young black folks. Black, white, Asian, Hispanic- all walking together. They have kept the police in the loop, who have tweeted their location so motorists can avoid the area to keep the protestors safe…. nobody hating anybody.  The police are protecting the protesters. When an intersection the protestors wanted to sit down in was too dangerous because it is a main road to the nearby hospital, the protestors found a different plan that worked out, and the police made sure they were safe.

      This latest round of black folks killed by white police is so fresh, and before we adjust to hearing another victim’s name, there’s another one, and another one.  And it feeds into the generational history of essentially being hunted down and killed, or owned. There are too many who have died senselessly for the anger to be soothed. Sweeping reforms in so many systems in the US must change to give everybody an equal footing from the start. The 400 years of being “owned” doesn’t lend itself well to trust just because we WISH things were different- we have to vote for politicians who will fight for equality that should have been taken care of with the Emancipation Proclamation, 13th Amendment, 14th Amendment, Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the 15th Amendment that was shown in Georgia THIS WEEK as being rigged towards whites. And again in Kentucky.  COVID-19, my ass… mail in ballots would make it fair for everyone.  Ever think what the real reason might be?  It’s another way to make it harder for persons of color to vote.

      We can pray for our lawmakers to do what is right. We can pray that the people who can make a difference for the longterm get it right. We can pray for our enemies- but we can also own our feelings. God gave them to us. We can show love- but to expect “love and peace” right now from African American citizens is pushing it imho. WE should all be outraged and fighting WITH them. We are in this together- but as whites, we have luxuries that blacks don’t have.  We don’t have to prove we’re innocent because we exist. We don’t get targeted for “suspicious behavior” (at least not without some blatant actions; a black guy just has to be there). It shouldn’t be harder for a black person to survive an encounter with police. White privilege isn’t about money or social standing. It’s about not being seen as guilty until proven innocent. It’s about being able to walk into a convenience store without the clerk looking to see where the gun is.  It’s about being given chances that we don’t earn, we just get them more easily.  That makes me ashamed.  I don’t want something that a black counterpart is ignored over.

      I’ve forgiven the guy who attacked me in 1987 (scrawny white guy), but I’m never going to be in the same room with him. I do parole protests every 3 years to get him to the 60 year sentence he changed his plea mid-trial to accept. But I’m not going to love him. I can forgive out of obedience to God. I can pray Numbnuts changes. I can pray he never hurts anyone else- but I certainly don’t trust him. I can wish him some sort of change that makes his life one that had purpose besides a lifetime of crime-literally from childhood, but that’s up to him. Imagine if ALL of my ancestors (who could be found) had been through the same thing. Would I trust scrawny white folks? The police were good to me (they found the guy in my bedroom, so not much guess work with blood on the walls and floor and table). But that’s not what is expected by the black community- they’ve seen too many of their own lying dead. That would make me fearful. And I just went through 6 hours of hell… imagine if it was an entire lifetime, with all who came before me on slave ships having had it exponentially worse? Just for being black. Just some  more melanin cells than white people. Those extra melanin cells are a protective mechanism that reduces the risk of skin cancer.  Melanin blocks UV light.  Some extra skin cells… that’s the ‘crime’.  It’s outrageously ridiculous to judge someone for how their skin is made. And yet that is the reality for black America.  

      Trust is going to be understandably difficult. The way we help with that is to vote and speak up for those who could be injured (or worse) for doing so. It’s also by listening and getting educated on the way slaves were treated, and the similarities to the treatment of people of color now. We learn about the REAL history of black America. Without them, America doesn’t exist. The financial infrastructure of early America was literally built off the backs of slaves. Without them, we’d never have made it to the Industrial Revolution.  Our white history books are a joke.  No more lip service.  We need to stand with our HUMAN brothers and sisters, and SHOW them we care. We can’t learn too much. Because too much is still not enough. Healing is going to take time. And it’s not up to white people to decide when enough is enough. We lost that right when the first slave was paid for.

      I haven’t heard one Black Lives Matter supporter say they want more than white Americans.  They just want the same chances. They want to be treated fairly. They want the same social, educational, employment, and criminal justice standards as their white counterparts.  They want to be seen as being valuable  and not guilty before any crime happens.  And if there is a crime committed and convicted, the same prison sentences as whites. Not a life sentence for mere marijuana possession – no distribution, no selling to kids… just having the stuff.

      Just mho. ❤️ I’m sorry it got so long- but this is a topic that demands our willingness to read and watch all we can to get SOME clue of the systemic racism that IS still a big problem in this country. We all belong. It’s way past time we treat people of color like they belong. I will never understand being black in America.  But I can have compassion, and do my best to hear what is said or understand what is written. And for the sake of all that is true, don’t say that the US isn’t plagued by systemic racism.

My White Experience With Police

I believe that most cops have integrity and restraint. I also believe there are some really, really bad folks who become cops.  And yes, I’m white. I’ve seen cops first hand, when I was raped (by a scrawny white guy with a big knife) and at least 10 police cars showed up, along with the press and a helicopter from the trauma center. Most of the officers stayed outside, guns drawn, aiming at my balcony. I was in the apartment directly under mine, with neighbors I’d met 2 days earlier, as I’d just moved in 10 days before the rape. The Sgt who ended up shooting the guy (I refer to him as Numbnuts- does he really need a human name?)  in my bedroom went through hell for the shooting- which was a good shooting. Another cop had cuffed one of Numbnuts  hands as he was dozing in my bed. Then Numbnuts sprang out of bed and beat up the first cop- a rookie, who then got tossed out of the apartment. The racket heard from my neighbors’ apartment was horrible- bodies hitting the ground, shelves knocked over, stuff breaking.

Now, there was a wounded COP, and myself as ‘victims’ when the Sgt who shot Numbnuts got there. He didn’t know I was already downstairs, so was on full “protect and serve” mode when he entered the apartment. He was trying to find me.

Numbnuts lunged at him with the cuffs swinging, and all that was visible to Sgt  was a blur of metal coming from the hand of the rapist. He shot him thinking he was going to be shot. Sgt  had to go through target practice and administrative leave (standard procedure) and got grief for not waiting for the SWAT team. He also got grief for not killing Numbnuts, but he was shooting a moving target. The bedroom wasn’t huge. but Numbnuts was all over the place. There was maybe 6 feet between Sgt  and Numbnuts. He did the right thing, even though Numbnuts didn’t have a gun. He’d already beat up another cop. There was no reason to expect him not to attack. He’d been going at me for six hours. And there was a blur of metal.

I was able to reconnect with that Sgt a few times. He sat with me in the hall during the trial- both of us smoking under a “No Smoking” sign (I figured I’d just say “I’m with him.” if anybody said anything. Nobody did.). He was my ‘guard’ as I waiting to testify, and he also was on the list to testify, but after I spent a couple of hours on the stand, Numbnuts changed his plea during the lunch break. Then I saw Sgt again when he was a patient where I worked, dealing with an injury from target practice (the target jerked his neck hard when the wind blew up strongly as he was carrying it back to wherever they keep cardboard bad guys). When I went into his room to say hello, I said “you might not remember me, but..” and before I could finish, he was on his feet hugging me, saying “I’ll never forget you.”, through tears.  And he didn’t. He told me that he was often awake at night thinking about that day.

I ended up working with one of Sgt’s relative’s wife, and sent him a note through her husband to thank him. He was my hero in Jan 1987. When I moved back to my home state, I was able to find him again online, and he e-mailed me how that day was from his side. He didn’t take that shooting lightly. He didn’t know where I was, or if I was hurt/dying in the apartment. He shot when he saw blurred metal coming up towards him. Nothing but a seconds, if that, to make a decision. He told me that people seem to think that police don’t think much about shooting someone, but that wasn’t accurate. The cops who  are good at their jobs live with those decisions for the rest of their lives-from a different perspective that isn’t talked about.  And those are the “good” shootings.  Not the ones that make the news because of racial bias.

He had PTSD-like symptoms from that shooting, and initially was not treated that well by some of his co-workers, for not waiting for SWAT. He made a judgement call to find me. Things got better before he retired. He died last year after years of dealing with a brain tumor and other medical issues. We e-mailed on and off- and I always knew I could e-mail him, as we were the only two who knew what went on during all of that morning.

As soon as I knew Numbnuts was shot, I just spaced out, and was focused on what was going to go on at the hospital with the rape exam/test kit, as well as figuring out where to stay. I could have stayed with my aunt and uncle, no question. But I wanted to be closer to my apartment, since I had to leave with nothing but the robe and slippers my 5-foot nothing, 90 pound neighbor put over the towel I had when I escaped barefoot. I needed to be able to get to my apartment quickly, with the police, to get belongings the next day, after the crime scene people were done. I was able to stay with a co-worker about a mile from my apartment, and she went with me to the police station to finish the statement (7 typed pages over 2 days of giving the police information about what happened), and to the apartment where we met the police (who had to unseal the crime scene tape from the door- and they had my keys).  I found fingerprint dust, a lot of blood in the bedroom, smudged bloody handprints on the walls, my blood in various places, and the blown out sliding glass door in the bedroom (that the apartment complex wanted me to pay for; I was told to tell them that their insurance should cover it- and that I wasn’t in the apartment when the damage happened). I was still ‘shocky’, but was able to get my purse, car, and some clothes to get me through the week, so I could sort out where I was going to live- I couldn’t go back to that apartment.

 

I know that there are way too many documented stories about ‘bad cops’.  Every one of the police I dealt with that day, from the first guys on the scene to the detectives who worked Sex Crimes treated me well.  I had a lot of things that worked in my favor- like the guy being in my bed when the first cop got there. Everything that I told the police was backed up by blood stains (mine) in the apartment, as well as the bruises that showed up on my face and jaw, the hole in my lip where my teeth went through it, and the injuries noted during the rape exam. As a nurse, I’ve talked with police when they needed to talk to  patients. I couldn’t tell them anything other than “yes, it’s OK to knock and see if they want to talk”. And yes, I’m white. This all happened in 1987, when we didn’t have 24/7 news, so many things weren’t known by anybody outside of a specific area. Now we know a lot more.

For those who have had negative associations of police, I’m so sorry that it turned out that way in your situation.  I’m sorry if you’ve lost a family member or friend because of a cop that wasn’t following procedure and caused injury (physical or emotional) or death. I’m sorry if you’ve been targeted because of your race. I don’t know how you feel– but I have seen footage, and am incredibly sad and angry about what I’ve seen.  I’m angry about the kids left behind without a parent or other family member. I’m horrified that we’re not further along in seeing all  people in our country as worthy of our compassion, especially after so many years of oppression (yes, I believe this country is racist). It’s been 401 years since the first slave ship came to the US ( 1619, landing in Point Comfort, in what would become Virginia; the 20 slaves had been kidnapped by the Portuguese and transported by them).  I have found various “first slave ship” info – so if someone wants to comment about others, please feel free to do so.   The Emancipation Proclamation was signed on January 1, 1863… 157 years since slavery was abolished and we need to do so much better.  White folks in general need to listen, not assume. We need to address the disparity in the criminal justice system.  We need to look out for each other. We need to do a lot of things.  And we need to remember that people need to have police that respect them as human beings. Many do.  But we need to do better.

But I CAN understand why many don’t see it that way.