It's both sad and unsurprising to see how the Left and Right, especially in the US, are politicizing the response of both citizens and governments to the COVID-19 pandemic.
I was struck today by two conflicting narratives, both idiotic, from each side:
On the right, Trump - who I assert is the worst US president at least in living memory - exhorted states and threatened governors to open churches and claims that they are an essential service. Churches are an ideal breeding ground for the disease -- they are enclosed spaces where people pack together and sing!. Those are ideal conditions for exchange of virus particles.
Moreover, in what alternate universe are they an essential service? Even if you accept that people need them (and I don't), surely their services can be easily delivered on-line? My religious friends regularly attend services via video conference, so the argument that physically gathering is a required pre-requisite to church services is nothing more than the crassest political pandering.
On the left (or at least what passes for left in the US), I watched a CNN piece criticizing beach goers on some island in Georgia. How dare these heathens go to the beach, where they are outdoors, more than 2 metres (6 feet for Americans) apart and gathered in groups that cohabitate! In a hot and breezy environment where even if some beach goer was infected, the virus load would almost immediately dissipate and individual virus particles break down from UV bombardment. Oh the horror! And without face masks!
Of course, infection risk is (a) much lower outdoors, (b) much reduced by breeze, (c) quickly eliminated by ultraviolet light and (d) compensated for by social distancing, all of which were on display in the video clip. Near zero risk. But these presumably right-leaning people are enjoying themselves! And the Republican governor didn't stop them! Oh no!
Perhaps this is a signal that we're back to business as usual. Shit disturbers on both the left and right are stirring up their political bases as usual, ignoring reality at every opportunity.