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Day 145: Wash, Pray & Whip It Good

A city truck fetched Lisa today. I’m sure it was because the LES DIY prodded someone. The dispatcher asked for me when she called the Irishman. Thank you, Evelyn! (By the way, who are you?)

The authorities now admit that flu has popped up just about everywhere. Maybe idiots will stop going on about illegal immigrants (I’m sorry to say some self-described libertarians are spreading dumb rhetoric, too) and start focusing on how we can all survive this thing.

The Feds coughed up a speech from the character who runs the Department of Homeland Security. Not a very good speaker. The result seemed at once liberal and paranoid, fussy and grandiose. Are they trying to reassure us or arouse us?

FLAGELLANTS IN A 15TH CENTURY WOODCUTIf I remember correctly, albeit painfully: “Wash and pray, and support those who want to help, not hurt, our nation through this historic challenge.” Yawn. “The American Family Comes First!” No comment. Words fail me, too. I smell dreams of a presidential run.

Help, of course, is on the way. That new Restore America’s Independent Spirit & Enterprise is already doing something or other (besides wearing out my fingertips). Vaccine coming … Testing, testing … patience … Americans special ... determination ... resolve ... solution ... be patient ... God bless.

I’m trying! I’ve been unable to ship packages of personal protection gear. UPS vows every day that they will visit. First guy I see in a brown uniform gets a free mask! Unless it’s a stormtrooper.

I reckon UPS will reach me before the vaccine does. As the whole country becomes like New York, things here will actually improve. Get ready for your part of that adjustment.

You might soon spot an odd group of medievalists flogging one another bloody on the steps of your parish church (St. Patrick’s Cathedral, in our case). They come in crimson robes, bare their chests for penitential abuse. A few strip down to loincloths. The Catholic Church is neither amused nor heartened by their devotions, which makes sense when you consider that they claim the Church invited contagion with “pedophiliac iniquities.”

The police want to vacate the cathedral steps, but the brass is evidently stymied by the thought that the NYPD’s customary thrashing would only reward the fanatics, who were known as flagellants in the Middle Ages.

I wonder if we deserve this. Is nature whacking us before we can finish wrecking the planet? While holed up here, I’ve looked into deforestation, extinctions, hydrocarbons, and waste. My mirror shows me an animal that no longer knows itself.

The Natural Storm Man Cooked Up

Around me, I see a swirling mass of ever-more lethal strains of diseases that we extracted from our favorite creatures. As Dr. Greger explains in his book, epidemic diseases are harbored by animals that cluster together in dense flocks (like us), or are forced to do so (like the protein sources we cultivate—pigs, chickens, cows, and ducks).

The tuberculosis that now infects a third of us likely sprang from our domestication of goats. Cows seem to have given us some tuberculosis, along with measles, and probably smallpox. Farming pigs gave us whooping cough; raising chickens brought us typhoid fever; taming water buffalo induced leprosy; and breeding horses (or cattle) introduced the common cold. Milking sheep is thought to have circulated the bacteria that trigger ulcers, even cancers.

You’re welcome to believe that God must have countenanced this catastrophe. My humble mission is to help you flout His will.

Here we are, stocking little arks of real estate with our families and threatened pets and food stocks, then defending them with masks, gloves, goggles, bleach, bootleg pharmaceuticals, semi-automatics.

But we are the beasts that caused this storm by corrupting chickens into filthy, dysfunctional critters so we could eat cheaply and blow the difference on video games. Or porn. Or hey, drive-in churches where they preach delirious consumption.

So how fair can the culling of mankind be if some of us can stave off retribution? Banks, government agencies, and insurance companies have prognosticated for years that Western countries will emerge from a pandemic in far better shape than poorer nations. We own the vaccine makers. We have doctors, satellites, the latest weapons of mass—or minute—destruction. We even have a few ventilators for people with clout.

Boy, do we have medical technology. The British lab that brought us Dolly, the cloned sheep, aims to start mass-producing medicinal protein for humans … in chickens.

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