I am pissed. PISSED! It is mostly a survival mechanism because if I wasn’t pissed I’d likely be in the depths of depression. It is so fucking hard to not slip down the rabbit hole of doom these days. To say we’re in the midst of a dumpster fire is an unfair jab at dumpsters. And fire. Both of which are not only useful but “essential” in my world. And probably yours. No, dumpster fire is a gross understatement. I don’t care where you fall on the political spectrum or what your “danger level” is but I am DONE. I have “snoozed” or “unfollowed” quite a few of you over the past few days because I just can’t take the doom and gloom or any bullshit about not voting for Biden or the finger-wagging shaming or the fucking whining. (And yes, I realize that I am engaging in both doom and gloom and whining right now, but, hey, you’ve got a snooze button too, friend.) Woo-hoo! Kanye for president!
Today we enter Phase Three, which should have included indoor business for bars and restaurants. Instead, you are free to get a fucking fake tan. ‘Cause that shit is totally essential. I mean, who can’t live without a fucking spray on tan? Murika. Land of the free and fucking orange. At least the damn dog run is open again.
No, indoor business for bars and restaurants is out for the foreseeable future. And why? Not because of anything any NYC businesses have done. Nope, it’s because of rising numbers in states that have travel advisories in place so they don’t bring their idiocy and virus here, where we’ve worked so fucking hard to keep our numbers down. Where every bar and restaurant has pivoted. (Wow, doesn’t the world love that word right now? Aren’t you proud of your stiff-upper-lip resiliency and ability to pivot your business from whateverthehell you were doing, successfully, before this shit hit the fan, to something different and new and harder and, more than likely, less profitable? So proud! And who’s surprised that someone was injured while dining in the goddamn street?) Because of other states that opened too quickly. Never closed at all. Led with their wallets instead of their concern for the health of their citizens. Opened WRONG. Are doing it wrong. FUCKING. WRONG. Or, you know, their bars and restaurants have done it wrong. No mention of any other possibility. Nope. Must’ve been the bars that made everyone sick. That made the numbers go up. Alcohol is the devil. If that is actually true, then why are any bars open? Why are they allowing us to give you to-go booze? If we are the root of all illness, then let’s reinstate prohibition. No? Why not? Explain.
Sigh. I know. I’m not being very coherent. Where was I? Oh, that’s right. Because other states are screwing up. Because of the “optics” displayed by some asshole bar owner on the Jersey Shore who thought it was smart to let in 1000 customers and seat them inches from each other. Because our governor and our mayor are in a “whose dick is bigger” competition. We are suffering. Oh. And let’s add to the irritation the accompanying “graph.” Don’t get me started.
Actually. Do. Do get me started. Everyfuckingone from Anthony Fauci down to my close friends believes that the MOST DANGEROUS THING IN the WHOLE WORLD RIGHT NOW would be to have a drink in a bar. Hey, thanks! Thanks for calling US out as the most dangerous thing. ‘Cause, you know, our diabolic vice president at a church gathering jam packed full of people without masks, listening to a choir — you know, those singing religious people that are represented in one of the top three examples of “super spreader events” — of 100 spitting, spewing, projecting people singing….but no, having a pint of PBR in a bar is far more deadly. Don’t do it! Of course, what they mean is a drink inside a bar. Outside is totally fine. No middle ground for bars with good ventilation and great airflow. Nope. We’re all subterranean, super-spreading cesspools. I have now seen so many photos of businesses doing it wrong but instead of helping those owners course-correct, and maybe, oh, I dunno, encourage them to save a few lives, we all get painted with the same brush. It is so infuriating that I am having trouble forming coherent sentences.
LOOK AT THAT GRAPH! I mean, is opening the mail even at all dangerous? Why would you put that on there? Why are half the things on there even on there? There are no sports stadium events. You can’t go to a movie theater. Why include them? Are funerals really that dangerous? Or is it just that someone might hug you? How about a hugless funeral? Where everyone stands six feet apart and wears a mask? And it’s held outdoors? And where are the things people are actually doing? Like riding a train or a bus? Having a picnic with their friends? Amusement parks? Well, there are open amusement parks. And casinos. Seems like the world has decided they’d rather ride Magic Mountain or play a slot machine and, quite possibly, die as a result. Totes worth it. Any idea why that is? Do you think it is at all based in reality? Based in anything resembling safety? Oh HELL NO! It’s because Disney has more money than I do. It’s because the casinos have lobbyists. It has absolutely nothing to do with safety. Nothing. But wow. With their budgets, they sure do have a whole fuckton of reassuring signage and hand sanitizer to make you feel safe!
Hugging or shaking hands is at the top of “Level 7 Moderate-High Risk.” Really? I shake hands with you, or 100 of you, and that’s dangerous? Maybe. If you’ve all recently picked your collective noses, are sick or asymptomatic, and instead of washing my hands soon afterward I stick my filthy monkey paws right into my eyes. Maybe that would be dangerous. Friends, I’ll let you in on a secret: people who haven’t left the house for anything other than groceries that they still wash have gotten this virus. People who haven’t done anything on this damn graph at all have gotten it. There isn’t anything that’s actually safe.
What it will all come down to, as I have been repeating over and over since the beginning of this, is each of us making the determination of what we believe to be safe for ourselves. A friend just posted that her place of business is being so unsafe that she has decided not to go back into work. She got a doctor’s note and is staying safely at home. She is not alone in her fear. There are, apparently, many businesses — including but not at all limited to bars and restaurants — who are not taking precautions. Who are not taking this virus seriously. Who are not protecting their staffs or, for that matter, the public. So it is up to US. We walk up to or into a business, take one look and need to decide if we feel safe. Is the business enforcing mask wearing for their customers? No? Then HELL NO. Is the staff wearing masks? No? Okay, again, HELL NO. Is there enough space between shoppers or sippers or whatever people are doing? Or is the store packed with people, making social distancing impossible? I almost had a stroke at Key Food a few days ago because, mask wearing aside, it felt like a year ago, with no pandemic, because people were cheek-by-jowl, checking out and pushing their carts and crowding the damn aisles. It was crazy. But I forged on because, well, what the hell, right? My copy shop? Packed full of idiots, the guy behind the counter apparently believing more in his God than masks because, yup, his mask is around his chin. Let’s hope he’s already had it and believes himself to be immune. Bottom line: Your safety is in the hands of each individual business owner (and their staff). So you need to decide if you trust them.
Folks, it isn’t even worth whining about who’s wearing a mask and who isn’t these days. If you aren’t willing to roll the dice, then stay at home. From the looks of our national propensity for stupidity, you’ll be there for quite some time. And all our friends who work in theater or concert venues or nightlife will be out of work for an even longer time because humans are fucking dumb. But, by all means, let’s blame bars. Those of us who are being careful, who are taking precautions, who are worrying every goddamn second that we could be killing people merely by being in business, we are being punished. Our government has more or less abdicated responsibility. They need to do that completely. Admit that they have zero control. Since they are not, actually, keeping us safe, then let us take personal responsibility for ourselves. We might as well descend into the fucking wild west. Everyone for themselves. Because no one can look out for you but you. RANT OFF!