Wednesday, December 15, 2021

An Entire Indianapolis

      The total is just a little less, but it's catching up fast: the coronavirus pandemic has killed almost as many Americans as live in Indianapolis.  Over 800,000 people.

      If you'd like another way to look at it, the average U.S. county has a population of 100,000.  That's eight counties, wiped out.

      If a foreign country had done that, we'd pretty much all be ready to stomp 'em.  If homegrown malefactors had done such thing, no stone would go unturned in hunting them down and bringing them to justice, harsh, swift and complete.

      But we're up against a virus, a blind, remorseless biological robot too small to see, and we have fallen into petty bickering over the ways it might be slowed or stopped, suspicious of our government and of one another, as likely to share rumor as fact.  Because the blamed thing doesn't go clanking down the street on tank treads, flattening houses, or have a garishly-flagged embassy full of spies in Washington D.C., we focus on less sensible threats that are visible to the naked eye, most of them comprising some subset of our fellow citizens.

      Tornado-torn Kentucky has a vaccination rate of about 54%; people there are, like many of us, not especially diligent about wearing masks for indoors public interactions.  Now many are homeless in winter, without electricity any running water. The corner pharmacy and the big-box store on the edge of town are as struggling as the rest of the affected region.  It's a recipe for even more trouble, in a few weeks or a month.  Lots of people are pitching in to help, and you don't need to have an opinion one way or another about the pandemic to donate money, food or supplies to help alleviate the immediate need.

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