Merry Christmas!

Some of you reading this might not understand that an out-of-control train just passed you by and it could have destroyed everything that you know and love.  The Omicron variant of the Coronavirus is anywhere from five to seventy times as contagious as any of the other variants (the difference in contagion rates depend upon the nature of the statistical study).  However, it looks like it might be far less lethal than what we have seen thus far.  If true, this appears to be a very lucky turn of events for the human race and for me in particular.  It is likely my heart will give out before the virus kills me.  How fortunate I am.  I can feel my heart as I write.  It’s like a Mexican chicken slowly dying in a single wire cage packed with fifty other chickens on a Mexican truck traveling through the night.  

Oh well …  everyone has problems. 

If it had gone differently and Omicron had been fifty times as contagious and fifty times more lethal (totally possible) then we would not be worrying about supply chain issues or whether or not we could gather for Christmas with family and friends.  If it was fifty times more lethal, then we would be facing the reality of 75,000 daily deaths in the United States and about 175,000 deaths per day worldwide.  If that rate kept up for a year, we would have approximately 27,000,000 US deaths and 64,000,000 worldwide. Given the West’s abysmal track record on the equitable distribution of vaccines and other medicines and the vicious political split between rightwing idiots and scientific progress, it would seem that the double whammy of a highly lethal and highly contagious variant would rapidly outstrip most public health interventions.  So, the numbers I am estimating are not out of the question.  It only takes the right kind of variant to make it happen. Omicron might not be the one, but there will be others.

If it does happen, our old lives of working for a paycheck and then spending it on consumer items would be finished.  Working out at the gym, going to school, worrying about the Fed and interest rates, would all fall away. The developing world would explode in flames.  We might survive, but living for what?  In what form?  Would we still value loyalty, music, art, having kids … would we still say that love is the answer?  What of the gods?  Where the hell are the gods?  The final devil might appear.  Would he set off the use of nuclear weapons?  Maybe.  Things, as I’m sure you know, can always get worse. 

We, evidently, have dodged a bullet for now.  Let us hold our collective breath and see if our monumental stupidity and insanity will finally destroy everything.  I believe in probability.  It is my religion and as a card counter and rounder, this game doesn’t look so good to me.  Somebody is cheating and it’s not me. 

I have one other advantage.  I’ve seen people drop dead in the desert, and the shitty little towns, and high in the mountains.  Just drop dead in one instant.  Bacteria and viruses killed them. It has forever changed me and given me good reason to believe that all of this could happen.  We are so fragile.

Merry Christmas.  I mean that.  Merry Christmas.  I’ve always loved Christmas, even though I don’t believe in Jesus.  Remember, I believe in probability.  I believe in you.  Like I’ve said before, we all have to believe in something or else what’s the point?

Merry Christmas!


18 thoughts on “Merry Christmas!

  1. I’m not a cardholder in the game of probability. I do firmly believe statistics can shore up disparities between potentials and parameters, especially since I had to crunch and churn out a plethora of them during a very long tenure as a teacher. Stats are garments probabilities wear, some tailored by eccentrics, some by more conventional clothiers. Some confections inspire awe, the desire to invest and acquire; some inflict despair, a gut-churning rejection of radically outlandish apparel. No matter, they all promenade on life’s runway, strutting their stuff, seductively pirouetting, vying to pervade our beliefs and identities. Don some nihilism, or how about something more existential. I’ve appreciably reduced my wardrobe since my retirement, lot of conventional stuff I don’t need anymore, plenty to donate, chances are they could comfort some travelers waiting for a train…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. This reads like a poem. What could be better? Not much. So here we are Bila and I’m still hiding out, afraid to answer the door. From the chaos of ES to the deep uncertainty of Covid. We did what we could. I feel terrible for young people more than anything else. Oh well, it is cold here, but not as bad as what is coming there. Thank god for dogs. My house has become a spaceship. Good luck and merry Christmas. Your old pal, Don Duque

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for your greeting and believing. As a cardplayer, I have had a big question most of my life: if during a game you feel that you will lose this round, is there anything that you can still do to change the outcome? Is this where the feeling came from and why it came? Or is it merely to help you relax and accept the defeat because now you know that it’s coming? Wishing you and your heart well. It may be a chicken but at least it’s travelling on that truck. And singing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dealt one hand, doomed to lose. If existence were a game, this would suck. Fortunately, it’s not a game, but a journey. Long or short, blissful or miserable, all journeys come to and end. Regardless of destination, I suppose all we can do is hope that it was worth the trip.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. You can always cheat. Of course, the point is to win and not get caught. Only a few are good enough to do that. Our lives have changed and I’m afraid it will never be the same. People talk about living with Covid, I’m more interested in dying with Covid. Our new world. Everything is turning inward. Good luck to you and your family. We all need to knock on wood, all day and all night. Duke

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank the gods for third-world countries where the virus can seethe and permutate into variants that will eventually inoculate the world population without killing us all off. That is, if Omicron can deliver us from our own indifference. Else there are number of Greek letters still left…

    Reflecting back, I think my happiest times were those when I worked hard in communal fashion with numerous others: family and friends and villagers (workmates) in small communities to deliver a feast unto ourselves and all who might join. The loss of those enclaves however, is not enough to spur me to rediscover new ones. Much easier to dwell in relative isolation, the convenience of existence hand to me by a fellow inmate on a decorative paper plate.

    In a way, that’s what I believe the Apocalypse will deliver me out of — this apathy. Forced to venture back into the world to survive, I can see myself invigorated with a sense of purpose, to live and help others do the same. Without such a cataclysmic prompt I doubt I’ll ever enjoin such communal endeavors again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi A. Mole,

      Your first paragraph is very hopeful and maybe it will work out that way, except for all the Third Worlders that would need to die. Bummer, but they are used to it. Right? A. Mole, I still remember our first exchange about Covid about two years ago. Do you recall? From the beginning, I’ve been scared shitless of this thing. Now comes the potential final bad break. Will it happen? I wouldn’t bet against it. Well maybe with good money odds. It is strange to live the plots of all those science fiction movies and novels that were about the end of the world or a massive, negative change in the world. We are here in real life, real time, real consequences for our mistakes. Funny, huh? Also, I see some of your old writing, some of your thinking behind your characters/ideas in the last two paragraphs. I can see you in the woods somewhere, with a rifle and your family in a cabin as the rhythms of the new life play out around you. Security plans. What to do … if. Assuming I’m still alive when that happens, we can think about each other and how the fuck we got here and know that somebody way over there is up against the same goddamn thing. All so hilarious, so thought provoking. On the Beach with a smile. By the way, where is Joan Didion and Hunter S. Thompson when we need them? Motherfucker … just can’t win. Duke

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I hear every word of this, Duke. We seem to have dodged a bullet with Omicron, but will humanity learn a lesson from it all, or see this (apparent) stroke of good luck as yet another reason to remain willfully unvaxxed and ignorant? I hope and pray for the former, but fear the latter. In any case, perhaps Christmas will be better this year than last? I wish you and yours peace. Love, mary

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It is almost 5:00 a.m. here. Cold. Dogs in bed. Fire going. Old Mexico. Living the dream. I will respond to you later, after sun comes up. But, have you seen Station Eleven? Amazon Prime. I think you would like it. Good night. Duke

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Check out “Station Eleven”. It’s the one: artists rise to the top after pandemic! Hooked after Episode 1 on Amazon Prime. Duke


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