Today’s collection of pandemic musings...
• You know how kids for generations have lamented the necessity of high-end math classes in school. A lot of it comes down to the way your brain operates. Either complex formulas and equations click somewhere in your gray matter, or they don’t. When they don’t, often the almost automatic response from young people is to wonder why in the heck they have to learn “all this stuff” because they’re never going to need it during the rest of their lives.
Then you look at what’s transpiring in factories big and small across the United States during the pandemic. Plants filled with giant robots and staffed by people that are designed, programmed and trained to assemble vehicles or any number of widgets or other things are being transformed so they instead make ventilators, respirators, masks, personal protective equipment, and whatever else is desperately needed as the pandemic explodes in our country. In Minnesota, distilleries and breweries aren’t making liquor or beer, they’re making hand sanitizer.
This transformation simply doesn’t occur with a quick modification of a computer code…changing a couple of zeros to ones or and “x” to a “0” or something. This takes serious brain power.
So, thank you math people!
• Speaking of skills, how about all these American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters getting all this camera time during the pandemic, as they’re positioned near podiums and tables and on stages near mayors and governors and signing like crazy so that the hearing-impaired can understand the latest messages being delivered by elected leaders and various experts during the pandemic.
Have you seen some of these people? They’re really getting into it. They’re not just standing there like stationary robots and simply moving their hands and arms as they sign, they’re giving their message some serious pizzazz as they gesture and articulate their bodies and contort their faces. It’s almost like an interpretive dance.
But, if closed captioning isn’t readily available, it’s information that the hearing-impaired need to know as much as everyone else, so good job ASL interpreters!
• Is anyone out there getting their sports addiction fix during this live sports vacuum by watching all of this “classic” sports on television?
Not seeing a lot of raised hands out there…
Understandably, the networks and cable channels that make mountains of money by airing live sports are scrambling like they never have before, and they have to do something to fill all that air time. Leaning on unforgettable games and moments from yesteryear is certainly understandable and predicable, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Unless it’s your favorite team or athlete or a championship moment, who wants to invest a bunch of time watching a game and you already know what’s going to happen?
• On a far more serious note, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, when he announced last week his stay-at-home executive order, mentioned something that really makes you wonder just how aimless and incompetent the Trump Administration and our federal government are in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Walz said the federal government is buying up wide swaths of needed medical supplies and personal protective equipment and who knows what else, and then state governors, if they want in on any of it, have to compete against each other to see who gets what they need first.
That method of delivery is not only inadequate and misguided, it’s dangerous. We can and should be doing so much better.
• Still more on our fearless leader, President Trump, who reportedly wants to sign every relief check distributed by the government to eligible Americans during the pandemic: He wants us on Election Day this November to remember who gave us the money so we show our boundless gratitude by electing him to a second term.
Let’s make it backfire. Instead, let’s remember the crumbs the common-folk are getting, while massive corporations who have lived large for a decade and padded their execs’ salaries and bonuses instead of saving any cash for rainy days and are now claiming to be on the financial brink after a few short tough weeks, get $500 billion.
Yes, let’s remember that instead on Nov. 3, 2020.