By Steve OttoThe Coronavirus has now reach an epic 500,000 people dead. It is hard to wrap ones head against such a statistic. All of the major news outlets have posted what I am posting now. So I don't have a lot to say about it t hat is new.
It is hard to live in a day and age where simply going to a local bar for a little company and entertainment is a lethal gamble. Many of us just sit at home and wait for this whole thing to end—and now some say the end my come as late as next year. Still other experts are saying things may get to normal as early as this Summer.
My wife has just died, so sitting at home alone is not much fun. Then again, I have not yet been hit by that virus. If I do get it, I could be the end of me. I would not like to be among those statistics. For those among the half million there will be no next year—no going back out and finding a new normal. For those folks it is game over.
Again there is little more to say about that. About 100 years ago we had the Spanish Flue. I wasn't born yet. So this is my first major epidemic and my fist taste of a major human die off. I have read about the Black Death and I know that was worse. However, for those who lost their lives in this pandemic, it doesn't really matter if earlier epidemics were worse. For them this epidemic was as bad as it can get.
This week President Biden is asking Americans to mark the 500,000 deaths with a moment of silence at sunset Monday. He's also ordered flags on all federal buildings lowered to half-staff for five days.
The disease has killed at least 100,000 people in the past five weeks and was the leading cause of death in the country in January, ahead of heart disease, cancer and other ailments, by the Kaiser Family Foundation....
....... "The massive number and the loss of those people from our society has not been acknowledged," says , an epidemiologist and past president of the . "We cannot think these people are disposable and dispensable and that we can just get along very well without them. It's those kinds of blinders that sap the strength of the whole society."
"There's much that could be learned, much that would be added if we were to honor people's lives and to invest in people's lives,' she adds."
Since President Joe Biden has come to office, we don't have the drama and non-sense we got from Former President Donald Trump. Biden has taken aim at the Coronavirus pandemic and his actions have been straight forward.
So far Biden has been pre-occupied with the pandemic and the insurrection by right-wingers (many who are both far-right wing nuts and Trump fans).
And yet, not everything is getting fixed, especially when it comes to foreign affairs. According to ABC News:
"The Biden administration will continue recognizing Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the legitimate president of the country and won’t negotiate anytime soon with President Nicolás Maduro, keeping a policy approach for now similar to former president Donald Trump's, which had the support of many Venezuelans in the United States."
So no changes there. And that position is ridiculous, supporting a man who never won an election—none, not any kind of election. But there will be a few changes, according to Foreign Affairs:
"These maladies predated Trump, of course. President
Barack Obama’s administration had to design international agreements such as
Then there are the maybes. According to the BBC:
"affirmed the importance" the
Biden made the call after reading a forthcoming
The report is expected to implicate the king's son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He denies involvement.
Biden's predecessor, Donald Trump, pursued closer ties with
So he has shown concern, but no real action yet. Will he wimp out to the Saudis as all the presidents before him. If I were a betting man, I would put my money on yes. But I'm willing to see what happens.
As for that virus, I have avoided death so far. I hope to get vaccinated and I hope things get back to normal by next Summer. I have confidence in Biden when it comes to the virus and him doing the right thing.
On foreign affairs and other issues I have very little confidence that Biden will do the right things. But if he gets anything right it will be a step in the right direction—even if it is just a little step.