OK, I am going to try and be short (or shorter) tonight. Had a very healthy dinner of Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia so I’m going to try and bang this out while I’m on my sugar high. Yes, I know, ice cream for dinner is not a healthy choice but sometimes I like being a rebel!
Unfortunately 30 more deaths today and that puts us over the 8,000 mark making us the state with the 3rd highest death toll behind New Jersey and New York (states whose residents we aren’t quarantining fyi). But from a per capita rate we are 4th with Connecticut having a slightly greater rate based on population. Massachusetts is at 119 deaths per 100,000 residents which to put into context: New Hampshire has 28 deaths per 100,000 and Texas is at 10 deaths per 100,000 residents. Still don’t see how we are the shining light of success, but I digress.
In a move that I can only classify as curious - Governor Baker has decided to roll out a testing initiative in 8 cities in the Commonwealth for the next 5 weeks where anyone - sick or not - can get tested for free. The 8 cities are the ones that have shown the most cases of covid and have continued to have significant case count despite the rest of the state continuing to decline.
Now the altruistic and trusting side of me feels that this is a smart move to hopefully identify what aspects of these communities are failing and determine a course of action to prevent further spread. The cynical side of me (this has been earned by the government manipulating the data and changing the rules repeatedly) feels that this is a trick to inflate the numbers so the government can create new restrictions and further delay things from opening. They tried this for 2 days after the protests and it didn’t produce the results they wanted so this time they are going into the actual communities for a 5 week push. If I know our government they will be giving away lottery tickets to try and entice people in to get tested. And if you think I’m joking - that’s what they actually did at the failed Kraft line to try and artificially inflate ride numbers to make their pilot program appear to be working (even free lottery tickets couldn’t bring anyone in btw). This is what happens when we no longer trust government - we automatically think the worst. Well, hopefully it is the former.
In a bit of horrifying news - the unemployment office today released that they have discovered over 58,000 fraudulently filed unemployment claims during this crisis. Think about that for a minute. That translates into hundreds of millions of our tax dollars stolen from those who really need it - not to mention that money isn’t available to help fund our schools, roads, etc. This is frustrating and I am sad that there are this many people scamming the system out there as well as angry that we didn’t have better protection and plans in place to prevent such a thing. They state that they recovered/prevented 158 million in bogus claims - but I can’t imagine how much more just disappeared in the blink of an eye.
Well, on that cherry note - I’m starting to crash. Up early tomorrow and we have session to work on the DCF bill. Might even get some EEE funding on the table since 2 cases have already been reported. So, wear a mask, wash your hands, drink plenty of water, apply sunscreen, and don’t forget a liberal spritz of bug spray!
Keep up the good fight!