The end of faces?

I enjoy shooting photos, and I’m good at it, better than average. This is due in great part to working on newspapers for decades. You pick up things, skills.

My preferred subject matter is faces, but the Kung Flu hysteria over the past year has made that difficult. All the face masks. In spite of the pandemic’s drastic reduction recently — pandemics come and go — the folks in my mountaintop town cannot kick the habit. They are junkies. Face masks are everywhere. And gel.

But I still catch a nice shot on occasion though there’s a face mask in this one too. It’s resting there, like a toddler’s jockstrap, between two of the crosses. This woman sells artesanías on the sidewalk. The photo was taken downtown last Saturday just after a rainstorm. That’s a sheet of plastic behind her. Perhaps you can see the raindrops.

I hope we can put aside the mask fetish soon and return to normal. I have.

Hysteria drones on

When the Kung Flu pandemic started early last year, the government told us Mexicans to close our businesses, wear masks and stay home, following the lead of the U.S. news media, or mis-leadia as one wag calls them. The closure orders were enforced haphazardly, Mexicans being what we are.

Now, over a year into it, according to a government website that covers the plague in exquisite detail, the pandemic is winding down, but here is what I still see on the street: Most people wear masks, although many are dangling below their chins. I do not wear a mask except where it’s necessary to enter a store. I think masks do next to nothing.

It’s become pure theater.

If you collect numbers on any disease, or any way people die, on a national or global scale, those numbers will be sky-high. It will look scary. Thousands dead! Head for the hills! But let’s look at the numbers just from my mountaintop pueblo of about 98,000 people.

Up to this week, the percentage of our town’s residents who have sickened in any way from the Kung Flu is 1.54%. That’s it, ladies and gentlemen. After over a year of going bonkers, closing businesses, hiding in our homes, and so on. Well, you might say, that is exactly why the numbers are so low. Maybe. I doubt it.

The death toll from the plague, which I think is inflated almost everywhere, in our town is 136, which is 0.14 percent of the population, a stunningly low number.

I sit on the downtown plaza and watch the masked zombies pass by. Most of those with toddlers, and even larger kiddies, have them masked up. For a toddler, a year is a fat chunk of his life, so he thinks this is normal, not knowing that Mom and Dad are nutcases because the number of children who’ve sickened from the Kung Flu is mostly zero.

And then there is the fact that people’s reaction to the pandemic is fairly well split along political lines. Since when did viruses join a party?

The howl of the wolf

WHEN THE KUNG FLU hysteria began in Mexico around February, our president said it was no big deal. Other elements of the government, however, followed the lead of the United States and declared the sky was falling.

Stay home! Stay home! Sickness and death await you outside! That was the advice of many governors and mayors. Businesses were told to close. Face masks were declared obligatory. Many people did stay home. Many businesses did shut.

March and April found lots of folks hunkering down, ourselves included. A government website keeps track of Kung Flu cases in about every nook and cranny of Mexico. It looked scary in some spots, especially around the border and in Mexico City.

Time passed. People wearied of staying home. We were in that number. On May 10, a relatively arbitrary date I chose, we stopped self-quarantine and resumed life as usual with some easy, common sense precautions.

At least here on the mountaintop, life has mostly returned to normal, but here’s the funny thing. The Kung Flu count is worsening by the day. In the whole nation, the cases increase about 4,000-5,000 per day, but the daily recovery count is almost the same, so it’s a roller-coaster. People sicken, people recover.

wolfHere’s the wolf thing. They cried it when the situation was relatively calm, and people hunkered down. But the citizens wearied of home life, and we’ve mostly returned to the streets.

The government should have waited longer to cry wolf. Or maybe not have cried it at all.

If you drive our mountaintop streets now, it’s back to normal. Even the multiplex movie theater reopened a few days ago. Almost all businesses are open. However, City Hall still has our two downtown plazas roped off, for all the good that does.

And the governor says it’s still obligatory to wear masks in public, but most do not, and those who do often have it hanging below their chin, a form of virtue-signalling.

But is this whole thing overblown, as some suspect? On my mountaintop, our death toll of three (!) is 0.003 percent of our population. Our confirmed case count of 23 is 0.025 percent of the population. In the entire nation, the death toll of 16,000 is 0.012 percent of the population. And the confirmed case count of 134,000 is under 0.11 percent of the population.

Those are darn good odds.

However, some spots in Mexico are taking the Kung Flu threat very seriously. A small burg in the State of Oaxaca will toss you in the slammer for 24 hours if you’re seen in public without a face mask.

How far we’ve fallen

covid

THE MORE THIS Kung Flu hysteria drags on, the nuttier it shows itself to be.

But the lunacy has roots far from China.

Western Civilization started coming unraveled a few decades back. It began with the Hippie phenomenon in the 1960s, but it really kicked into gear with the birth of political correctness in the 1980s and its ensuing growth rate which looks a lot like pancreatic cancer’s.

I blame Karl Marx. And ignorance.

It’s difficult to see light between PC and leftism because they are so closely connected. It’s like trying to see light between Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen. Or between Michael Moore and a double-patty cheeseburger with curly fries.

Those of us of advanced age are fortunate. We’re probably going to check out before the entire shebang falls on our heads. And the Visigoths storm the gates. That is my hope.