If there is one thing that I do truly miss since our world was overrun with Covid, is live music and entertainment. Of course, it was hoped, that after sixteen months, and the hopes of a vaccine, that our world would finally get back to some semblance of normal. Musicians and comics and other forms of entertainment were ready to go, rescheduling tour dates, working on safety protocols, all while caring for themselves, while they wait for the curtain to be pulled back up again.
Throughout the Summer, it looked like it was going to happen. The US had finally gotten its daily caseload down under 10,000 new cases a day, something not seen in over a year and a half. All the mitigation efforts and strategies were paying off, in spite of resistance from so many.
Then, people got careless.
REO Speedwagon (with lead singer Kevin Cronin tested positive), Bush, Stone Temple Pilots, Florida Georgia Line, Garth Brooks, Stevie Nicks, countless music festivals, and brace yourself, even BTS have made the decision to cancel their tours once again. And if you are like me, having hoped to catch “geezer rock” band Kiss one final time, the chances just got diminished after guitarist Paul Stanley tested positive, followed by the demon himself, Gene Simmons tested positive. Other bands are continuing on, likely just a matter of time until they face the same fate at the rate our country is accepting what Covid does and decides a certain minority finally decides that it needs to step up.
Comedians have also experienced the same situation, though their venues are much more intimate and compact, making things even riskier.
Recently, some have decided to become vocal about all the precautions that are being put in place as we continue to struggle getting through Covid19. It is understandable, entertainers are losing tons of money, because that is what they do. And while I have always made it clear, that I am 100% for the freedom of speech, I must admit, I am disappointed in the approach some have taken. Musicians and comedians have never lacked the ability to communicate their politics and opinions. And I can take them or leave them. Like most, I don’t go to a concert to hear politics. I am there to hear the entire new album played live. If I expect a speech coming, perhaps I will make the decision, not worth the paycheck I spend on tickets.
But something unfortunate is happening right now, and it should not be that difficult. It is for the better of mankind and of human health necessity. Venues are placing “requirements” for events to take place. It makes sense. When we found out that second hand smoke caused cancer in non-smokers, the non-smokers were protected, while still allowing the smokers to enjoy their cancer sticks, just not indoors where non-smokers would be trapped. Both smokers and non-smokers were able to enjoy meals wherever they wanted, even in the same establishment, just not have smokers blowing smoke, causing harm to others.
The same argument applies to Covid19 mitigation efforts. It is a false claim that “freedom” is being taken away because you are asked to wear a mask somewhere, have a negative test, and/or have received a vaccine. Depending on the venue’s requirements, everyone is still able to attend and enjoy. There is no freedom lost. You have the freedom not to partake if you do not wish to follow the recommendations, or in some places, now mandates. But what you do not have the right to do, is infect anyone. And since some who are positive for Covid may be asymptomatic, that means not showing symptoms, those positives are carriers spreading the virus, infecting others who may not be as fortunate. This is no different than the second hand smoke argument. Exposing others to Covid19 through intention or ignorance is just as dangerous and deadly.
What I do not understand, is that the United States, and every state within it, has the legal tool it needs to not only shut Covid19 down, but to deal with anyone who intentionally causes harm by knowingly infecting someone else with a deadly disease. I am going to post the link so you can see just how simple it would be, to include Covid19 on the same level as how HIV was dealt with. Yes, it is illegal in most states to knowingly infect someone with AIDS. It should be no different if you recklessly expose someone to Covid19. The criminal aspects are left up to the states, while other regulations are left up to the federal government.
And before I move on, before people start posting stuff how the government cannot mandate vaccines, yes, it can. And the Supreme Court has upheld that mandate in the past. Again, keeping it simple, the year is 1905, the case is Jacobsen vs Massachusetts, about the small pox vaccine. The Supreme Court ruled for the safety and health of the population. Small pox killed hundreds of millions of people from the year 1900 until vaccines put the status as “eradicated” in 1977 (in other words, no longer). Who knows how long small pox was actually around, but a vaccine became available at the turn of the 19th century (that’s the 1800’s). In the case of Jacobsen, the smallpox vaccine was mandated in 1901. In spite of his opposition, the Supreme Court ruled it was in the nation’s populations health and safety, to rule against Jacobsen.
The same will happen with Covid19. While smallpox killed hundreds of millions world wide, that is over hundreds of years. In Jacobsen’s case, around 300 people died from the outbreak in Boston in 1901 (compare that to the dead from Covid19 in 2020/2021, there is no comparison). World wide, in less than two years, there have been nearly 300,000,000 million cases, 42 million in the US alone. 4.5 million are dead around the world, 677,000 dead in the US (not including Florida since they do not report their information accurately.
Yes, the case can be, and will be made for mandating the Covid19 vaccines, which are safe.
But what set me off this morning, was a comedian. There are some comedians who have been protesting mitigation efforts, and I get it, because for them it has never been about their act. It has always been about their political platform, and that is their right and their ability. Honestly, they are not that funny anyway. But the comic I heard this morning, threw me for a loop, because, while I do think he is funny, and I do get annoyed with him injecting his personal politics into his act (I have no objection to hammering both political parties), he crossed a line.
Beyond “Goatboy,” he really is a funny comic. He has also made it clear, that he does not take Covid19 seriously enough to be concerned for others. And while many conspiracy kooks and anti-vaxxers are just way off the charts, what he said this morning was horrifying. On a Facebook live post he claimed “God is good”, he was going to fight segregation (a conspiracy term used the anti-vaxx movement), and then explained his defense. I want to be clear, I get the whole “distrust of government,” and as far as Covid19 is concerned, that started with the former president, the way the health agencies had to tapdance around his ego, and the current administration and how they are trying to deal with the long term opposition of common sense. I get that. Trust is a hard thing to restore when you blow it.
But Bruer went too far, encouraging his viewers on the post, to even stop believing their doctors. I could not believe my ears. Of all the things I heard, this was the most fucked up! Bruer’s claims is that our doctors are all in together with the government and this “scam.” Bruer then goes on to say, he would “rather go bankrupt” than to give in, in other words, to hell with any of his fans and any concerns of health.
Admittedly, I do not know if Bruer has had any personal experience with Covid19, or knows anyone who had been so sick or even died from Covid19. If he did, then he is a complete sellout just for his schtick. And if he has not, then he ought to just shut the fuck up and consider himself lucky, because people have died from Covid19, and are continuing to die at a ridiculous rate, when we have the means to prevent it, but assholes like Bruer doing all they can to oppose it for their own financial gain.
And that is just baaaaaaaaaad for all of us.