Thursday, April 30, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 45: Rich Man, Poor Man: Trying to Jumpstart an Economy at the Risk of Worker's Lives

Reintroducing a new Gilded Age Under Trump and Cronies

Dear Diary,

Trump and the CEO's of America have conspired to make workers go back to work during a pandemic that is still raging across the country. Even though it won't be safe (workers too close for comfort) - despite claims that companies will protect them.

If that were true then why has Trump signed an executive order to absolve those same meat companies from any liability that may come with more worker deaths and sickness?

The corrupt and wealthy in this country have decided to sacrifice the hoi polloi to get cash flowing back into their coffers. Trump's goal goes beyond money, however.

He wants re-elected and he sees the economy as his key to four more years.

To that end, Trump has ordered all meat packing plants to reopen immediately. Including the ones that have already had deadly outbreaks where workers died.

As of yesterday, the Governor of Iowa declared that when she opens up the state that all workers who were laid-off due to COVID-19 MUST go back to work. Again, even if the workers don't feel safe.

The CARES Act did put a provision that people should still get unemployment benefits (up to 13 weeks) if they're concerned about returning to unsafe conditions. I predict the powers-that-be will do everything they can to run an end-run play regarding that provision.

America today, during this pandemic, is a story of Rich Man versus Poor Man with a predictable storyline; the poor suffer to make the rich thrive.
On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
**I've been speculating for weeks about what Oregon has been doing about testing and reporting coronavirus cases. Thus far, I've been giving good grades to what little I've personally seen being done in my community.

But an article I saw in The Oregonian yesterday (by Andrew Theen) gave me pause. It seems Oregonians have died at a rate well above the national average since mid-March. The tie to COVID-19 is also unclear according to state data.

Basically, the stats leave a lot of unanswered questions about what has been killing Oregonians recently. There is some good news however.

The stay-at-home policy has been paying dividends. While some states have seen dramatic upticks in deaths and devastating levels of COVID-19 fatalities. Oregon is one of the nation's lowest per capita COVID-19 rates.

**Pet and Animal news- The first dog to be diagnosed for COVID-19 in the U.S. is a pug named Winston. Our pug, Molly was horrified to hear about it. Thankfully, Winston only had a mild case is now doing well.

Healthcare officials have also found two housecats, seven tigers, and one lion with COVID-19. In all the cases experts say the humans spread the virus to the animals.

**On PTSD - this is the worst time of the year for me (pic left) - it's an anniversary date of something that happened in Cambodia while I was serving as an Army grunt.

When I read about a nurse who committed suicide after weeks of seeing daily causalities, it broke my heart. 

Watching those frontline workers in hospitals hanging in there during the human devastation they're witnessing reminds me of another war that I still haven't come home from.

Quote for the day; "No man can tell whether he is rich or poor by turning to his ledger. It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich or poor according to what he is, not according to what he has." -Henry Ward Beecher

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