“A few storms may be severe.” How often do we hear that refrain?
May in Oklahoma. ‘Tis the season to duck and cover. Twice recently, here near the center of Duncan, I have watched the TV weatherfolk track violent weather my way, one with a tornado threat and both with large hail.
As it happens, Duncan sits on U.S. 81, running north/south atop the old Chisholm Trail. So, when we hear that storms are heading south from Rush Springs into Marlow, we know that we are in the line of fire.
But, we know, too, that most storms don’t hold true courses. They veer a bit, and most coming from due north veer eastward.
This sets up a moral dilemma of topical relevance.
Knowing where the storms have come from and where they are, we hope that they will veer just enough to the east and spare us a direct hit. This means, of course, that we’re “wishin’ and hopin’ and prayin’” that somebody else receives the heavier blow. Not the most charitable of reactions.
Which brings us to Oklahoma “re-opening” for business as if we have weathered the first wave of coronavirus infections.
Comparing the massive numbers of cases from both coasts plants (likely under-reported at that because of shortages of equipment and the short-sightedness of many GOP leaders) and in isolated outbreaks at meat-packing with the few cases documented statewide, one can only conclude that we’ve been lucky.
That does not mean that the coronavirus has passed on by or that Oklahomans are somehow as immune to it as they are to Republican class war strategies.
In effect, we are “re-opening” before we have experienced the overload of cases, the deaths and the terror that have befallen others.
And, at the heart of this policy, of course, is money.
Greed’s Own Party values profits over people. Our Republican failureship has decided to roll the (aptly named) die. Maybe COVID-19 will strike somebody else. Maybe the Marketplace Martyrs will be expendable old people or those whose health problems make them unproductive.
After denying the threat, doing nothing about it and then deterring states from taking life-saving actions, the president has his re-opening of America, his desire to save the capital invested in the stock market and not the people whose work creates that capital.
Friday on The View, Whoopi Goldberg skunked Chris Christie, another economy first GOPer, in a quick game of Stump the Blowhard by demanding that he tell her just who in his family he considered expendable for economic reasons. Hem-hawing and humbug was all he could stammer.
I remember a documentary where a D-Day survivor recalled being told by a commander that many of the soldiers in the landing vessels would not make it to the beach. He said that his first thought was “those poor bastards.”
He did realize the speciousness of his logic. Nevertheless that is the illogic being followed by a president who gets tested daily and who insists upon tests and masks for anyone visiting him while demanding others get back to dangerous jobs. Republican governors are lock-step with him.
Severe weather in Tornado Alley is inevitable. Exposure to the coronavirus is not. Stay safe neighbors.
(Gary Edmondson is chair of the Stephens County Democratic Party: scdpok.us or facebook.com/SCDPOK/.