By Morf Morford
Tacoma Daily Index
If July was the month we thought we could move past COVID, August was the month we discovered that we didn’t.
August is usually a slow news month, but not August of 2021.
Among other things, Pierce County reported the highest COVID numbers ever in August.
The new Delta strain and opposition to basic health protocols contribute to the continuing surge.
In other COVID news
Inspired by July COVID numbers, people across the age and political spectrum decided to offer and participate in their own version of superspreader events.
From Lollapalooza in Chicago (with an estimated 100,000 attendees each day) “the largest music festival anywhere on the globe this year” the mayor of Chicago crowed, to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, largest motorcycle rally in the world, with an expected attendance of 700,000 (the town of Sturgis has a year-round population of about 7,000) we can expected yet another surge – just in time for the new school year.
Attendance at Sturgis was thought to be the highest in many years – maybe ever.
Being willing, if not eager to spread COVID, for many, has become a sign of faith and/or patriotism.
Not for the branches of the military however. The Pentagon will require all military personnel to get the COVID-19 vaccine by September 15 – if not before.
A wide range of vaccinations has been routinely required for military service for decades.
In a sane world, having our troops inoculated against a full range of diseases they might encounter in global deployments would be a common sense preventative universal, non-negotiable requirement.
I’ll leave it to you do discern how close we are to a sane world with a preference for common sense solutions.
Many states, including Washington, had COVID surges matching or exceeding, the highest numbers from 2020.
The European Union (EU) is planning to recommend that its member nations reinstate restrictions on travelers from the U.S. due to the rising level of COVID-19 infections.
The criteria for allowing residents to travel into the EU for nonessential travel requires no more than 75 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 over the past two weeks.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the total number of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. has been more than 11,000 per 100,000 for most of August.
Talking about the weather
With the heat dome and essentially no precipitation in July, August in the Pacific Northwest took a turn for the cooler with temperatures for most of the month several degrees lower than average.
In other parts of the country, record-breaking hurricanes, floods and droughts have become standard summer weather.
California experienced its two largest wildfires in the state’s history. (Caldor and Dixie).
On a global scale, the IPCC released a 3,500 page analysis of the increasingly dire – and undeniable – consequences of human initiated climate change
Meanwhile in New York
New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul succeeded Gov. Andrew Cuomo after his resignation after numerous accusations of sexual assault and harassment.
Hochul, 62, is the first woman to lead New York. She will serve for the rest of Cuomo’s term until 2023 – when she plans to run for office again.
Beware the Ides of August
The middle weekend of August will be remembered, if not commemorated for years, if not decades.
A large earthquake (7.2) hit Haiti and killed almost two thousand, injured many more and caused many millions of dollars in damage.
This earthquake was far more powerful than the 2010 tremor that paralyzed the nation for years.
But that was not the major news story of the weekend.
The far bigger story, with far more decades of repercussions, was the Taliban takeover of the entire nation and government of Afghanistan.
Needless to say, excuses and blame filled the airwaves and social media.
We all knew that this day was inevitable, and we also know that Afghanistan will almost certainly not be a functional state for a generation or more.
Billed as the largest air lift of refugees in world history, chaos centered around the Kabul airport, with Taliban, ISIS and US military sifting the teeming and desperate crowds eager to leave Afghanistan.
Prominent deaths in August
Don Everly, half of one of rock and roll’s pioneering groups, The Everly Brothers, died in August. He was 84. The Everly Brothers, renowned for their harmonies, influenced many bands from Simon & Garfunkel to The Beatles. The Everly Brothers were among the first class of inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. Phil Everly died in 2014.
Ed Asner, the seven-time Emmy winner who was funny on ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’, serious on his own newspaper drama, and then delighted a new generation of movie audiences with “Up,” passed away at age 91.
And on drums
The drummer of a band is often considered its heartbeat. And we lost two in August.
Gary “Chicken” Hirsh, who played drums with the Berkeley, California-based Country Joe and the Fish between 1967-69, died Aug. 17, 2021.
We also lost Charlie Watts, drummer of The Rolling Stones at age 80.
Ida arrived on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which caused more than 1,800 deaths and an estimated $125B in damage.
Ida was smaller but more powerful and Climate knocked out power for 100% of New Orleans. It was expected to take six weeks to get back on line.
Are we not cows?
File this under “How stupid can people be?”
In a story that defies common sense, will baffle future generations and, yet somehow defines our era, some people, from some states, COVID skeptics and opponents of masks and vaccines, decided that the best defense against a disease they did not believe in would be a de-wormimg medicine for horses, sheep and cows.
To no one’s surprise, 70% of ER calls in Mississippi are related to the ingestion of Ivermectin.
The logic goes something like this; if you don’t believe that COVID is real, and you do believe that the vaccine is really a liquid form of DNA transforming tracking devices leading to government control of our every move, taking a veterinary medicine intended for large animals without medical supervision seems reasonable.
Mississippi has the second lowest vaccination rate in the entire country (only Alabama has a lower rate), and even before the Ivermectin craze, had an extreme shortage of ICU beds and was requesting hundreds of out of state temporary doctors, nurses and EMTs. And ventilators. And an emergency medical U.S. Navy ship.
You can see NIH Ivermectin guidelines here – https://www.covid19treatmentguidelines.nih.gov/therapies/antiviral-therapy/ivermectin/. In short, don’t use it, or any animal medication, without professional medical supervision. (YouTube does not count.)