Friday evening. There was a fatal shooting on xgf’s street, just two blocks away from her home. The shooter had been waiting for his victim, shot him, and jumped into a getaway vehicle. This is far, far different from the mass shootings that plague the US (and which were part of the reason I left that country), but that’s still mighty unsettling. Xgf is feeling fine – 2020 has greatly reduced her capacity to feel anxious.

The world is… not well, to put it mildly. There are reports of hospitals in the hotspot states (Florida, Arizona, Texas) running out of ICU beds. They’re all going through what New York had experienced back in April, and it’ll get very ugly before it gets better. Meanwhile, Florida’s governor decided to blame migrant farm workers for the spread of covid in his state. (Without taking any responsibility himself, of course.) Marginalizing a powerless minority group and blaming them for the world’s problems… There are some ugly historical precedents here.

Meanwhile, in Colombia, President Iván Duque Márquez decided to jumpstart the economy by eliminating the 19% sales tax for three days, essentially creating a Black Friday sale in June. The first day was today. Everyone who cares about public health is sounding the alarm, but they’re being ignored. I don’t think this impulse to put economy over people’s lives is deliberately malicious: I think there’s a distinct lack of understanding of basic science.

I’m just a 30-something guy, but I’ve had plenty of experience in running away from malicious governments, toxic managers, cities that didn’t feel welcoming… (One of my personal heroes is Rincewind from Terry Pratchett’s novels.) Part of me feels sorry for the people stuck under those petty imbecilic tyrants who don’t give a damn about the raging pandemic. Part of me is just glad that I’m very far away.

Today is the Juneteenth. Credit where credit is due: at work, all the meetings and calls got cancelled, and the entire company was encouraged to watch multiple roundtable discussions and speakers who described the systemic racism issues in the United States and beyond. It was educational and eye-opening. Let’s see if those words are followed by actions… Tomorrow, Trump will have his first rally in months – in Tulsa, the site of the infamous Tulsa massacre that happened 99 years ago. There’ll be room for 19,000 people: they all have to sign a waiver stating they accept the risk of catching covid at the rally. Tulsa’s government, as well as Trump’s own people, haven’t encouraged the attendees to wear a mask. That may end up being a super-cluster.

…time for more TV show binge-watching to keep my mind off this insanity.