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Hola Pandemic Pals,
I went for a walk on the beach this morning before work.
Everyone has a story about what they would do in 2020 if COVID-19 hadn’t shown up. At the end of January, when things got sour, the year was young and full of potential.
We moved to a bungalow right on the beach at the end of February. For a few short weeks, the entire Pacific was our front yard. It was wonderful.
(The view from directly in front of my house. The beach was completely closed until last month. We have access from 6 am to 10 am from Monday to Friday.)
But then the quarantine hit Mexico and we had to go inside. We no longer lived our best life – we started our days with our feet in the sand and took long, romantic, moonlit walks on the beach after watching the sunset – to stay indoors. Don’t get me wrong, if you need to be quarantined, it’s not a bad deal to have a nice view and always perfect weather.
I left early enough today to find some isolation. It was just me, a couple of people catching their breakfast, and some very happy beach dogs. Usually the beaches here are full of tourists, sellers, horses and surfers. But today it was like my own private paradise. And that made me very, very sad.
Because every day the government will completely close the beaches again.
Nobody talks about Mexico, but we do report the third highest increase in COVID-19 deaths after the U.S. and Brazil. The general feeling here is that the government is likely to count the number of cases and deaths. All this despite the fact that Mexico became active earlier than the United States.
I don’t know what will happen to my little beach community. If the beaches are not open for the rest of summer, families and workers, whose income depends on tourism, are unlikely to survive the winter. And if spring break doesn’t happen in 2021, I’m afraid that hundreds of people in my neighborhood are starving, losing their homes, or getting worse.
I think about these things when I walk alone on the beach. But I think even more of her when I buy water and see people without a mask in public or when I pick up groceries and see people shaking hands and hugging each other in greeting.
Most of us abide by the rules and try to protect each other. But some are not. I wonder why these people hate my neighborhood and the wonderful people in it. I wonder why they want the beaches to be closed, the elderly to be at risk and every sick person living here to be at risk.
By the numbers
|Last week we compared COVID-19 to Breitbart.
Let’s forget about the corona virus this week and focus on the remains of 2020. Source: (Google Calendar and I counted on my fingers)
We have data indicating that there are medium or long-term cardiac outcomes for even asymptomatic people, and yet we have decided to open schools personally.
That we didn’t put together the tools – testing and contact tracking – to protect them, their schools, and their families. 6
– Andy Slavitt @ 🏡 (@ASlavitt) August 4, 2020
What to read
When we were young, the future was so bright
The old neighborhood was so lively
“The kids are out of order” by The Offspring
¯_ (ツ) _ / ¯
|In this small section, we want to talk about the technology that is taking us through the pandemic. This week I want to talk about a technology that doesn’t make us do it.
Virtual reality. If there was ever a disaster that VR should get us through, that’s a pandemic, isn’t it? The idea seems reasonable. You are stuck inside. So why not put on a headset and travel to far away places or visit fantasy worlds? Seriously, why aren’t we all watching sports and concerts in VR right now?
That’s because VR is an isolating experience. We are already stuck in our houses. When you put on a headset, it becomes even more lonely. VR doesn’t make me feel connected, on the contrary. When I need a break from the chaos of life and a moment to really get lost, I turn on my Oculus or HTC headset.
But what I need right now – which I think most of us need – is a human connection. And you can do that much better with a zoom call than when you can try to increase your Beat Saber high score.
Maybe someone has developed a killer app for VR that we all feel we can gather together without risking infection, but until then I would rather see your smile than your avatar.
Don’t believe everything you read on social media. Stay healthy and take care of each other,
Phew, hey you!
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