Saturday, March 21, 2020

Florida Ignores Pandemic, Parties On

Editors' Note:  Longtime Spy readers will recognize the name Shill Shamelessly, the Spy's ace baseball columnist who has covered every Spring Training since 1946 from his perch high above the sandwich buffet in the Red Sox press room.  With Spring Training on hold indefinitely, and the Red Sox already out for the season (thanks to baseball genius John Henry), Shill offered to put down the corned beef and take up a freelance gig as Special Florida Correspondent for the Spy.  And what a story he has.  Also, Shill, thanks for the 843 pictures from spring break.  We used as many as we could.

By Shill Shamelessly
Special Florida Correspondent for the Spy

Our Special Correspondent got plenty
of Spring Break pix
With the nation facing the prospect of an indefinite lockdown to slow the spread of Coronavirus, attention has focused on a self-indulgent generation that apparently is failing to heed the warnings about the dangers of the virus, thereby placing all of us at greater risk.

For example, at just one Florida hot spot, The Villages, hordes of old white people are still gathering – and worse – in defiance of warnings of public health experts.  “I'm still supporting our great, powerful, wise, handsome, large-handed President who says we have nothing to worry about, ” said Mrs. Kathleen Burke, formerly of Mineola, N.Y. as she gathered with dozens of friends for her daily Tucker Carlson listening party.

Her boyfriend, Jimmy O'Reilly, a retired Boston fireman whose supposed disability had not kept from him lifting two Franzia boxes in each hand, agreed, “You can't trust the fake news media.  We can only believe what Sean Hannity and our all-knowing President are telling us.”

[He knew the story was about old people right?
– Photo Ed.]
Even as the Boomer generation continues to engage in destructive anti-social behavior, such as congregating together in large groups to mock real scientists and experts, they are facing criticism from Millennials, who can't believe that their grandparents are so ignorant.  “You'd think that having read those newspaper things for years they would know something about how diseases are spread, but it's like they're too busy having fun in the sun to protect the rest of us,” complained 20-year old Alyssa Lister of Mamaroneck, who had chosen to visit her grandparents over her spring break and finds herself trapped in a public health nightmare.

Her college roommate, now facing time [Surely, Facetiming? – Ed.] while living with her parents back in Katonah, Sierra Sabin, agreed:  “They've lived their lives, so if they want to congregate and die from Coronavirus that's their business.  But why can't they think about the rest of us who have our whole lives in front of us?”

Experts say that the continuing refusal of old white people in Florida and other Republican bastions to heed science-based warnings is part of a disturbing trend.  They note that the President's resort/castle, Mar-a-Lago, had remained open for partying and influence-peddling until this week, and that his other pisspoor hotels and golf resorts are still open for business and infectious disease transmission.

Others point out that this is hardly the first time that old white Republicans have ignored grave threats to public health and the national interest, noting that decades of climate change denialism have left the United States unprepared to cope with the human and financial costs of sea level rise and global warming.

[You understand we need clicks, right? – Ed.]
In response, Louise Kerrigan, 78, formerly of Dorchester, Mass., laughed off the imminent prospect of rising sea levels that have led to recent emergencies in Miami not to mention the destruction of lower Manhattan from Superstorm Sandy in 2012.   “I don't give a rat's ass if all those bean-eaters in Miami drown. Anyway, if sea levels rise, we'll finally have oceanfront property right here in The Villages,” she said.

Ms. Kerrigan then greeted a young woman who was delivering the Chinese take out she had ordered for poolside delivery.  “Hey Kung-Flu, drop it there!  And don't get too close, if you catch my drift,”

The young woman, Jamie Wu, 24, who was helping her parents try to keep their local restaurant open while her law school held all classes remotely, just grimaced.  She told the Spy, “This is the first time in years that I've been getting bigoted remarks to my face.  What are these people thinking?  Don't they know that the Coronavirus is a global pandemic?  It's like they'd rather vent their bigotry and anger than do something constructive to protect themselves and those they love.”

[My bad – Photo Ed.]
But Ms. Kerrigan, chomping on a fried chicken wing, was unapologetic: “I'm just stating the facts like my President told us.”

Experts remain at a loss to explain why the older generation of white people continues to engage in such dangerous, self-destructive behavior.  Some point out they were raised in an era when their President said that government was the problem and tax cuts for the rich would solve everything.  Others blame decades of drug and alcohol abuse dating back to the 1960's that may have led to decreased cognitive abilities.

Said one senior government public health official who wished to be referred to only as “Tony:”  “We know that decades of drug abuse including methamphetamines and related stimulants can lead to dementia and incoherence.  Sadly there is no treatment other than keeping these sad crippled individuals away from any position of authority in government or otherwise.”

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