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A real mess 

I don't know about you guys, but it's really starting to feel as if 2021 might be worse than 2020.

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On Jan. 6, SLO County reported 290 new cases of COVID-19. And we all know that those numbers are likely from tests taken a week ago. We had 53 cases in the hospital and 14 in ICU beds. And just the day before, we had 310 new cases while our SLO County Board of Supervisors was considering whether to sue Gov. Gavin Newsom for daring to include SLO County in the regional stay-at-home orders for ICU capacity.

The three musketeers—our conservative supervisor favorites—would like to join a San Bernardino County lawsuit against the governor. You know, because we're neighbors in this fight! Not.

I can already see the future. Just the two of us—SLO and San Bernardino—far away from one another but close in our hearts. Separated from the poor peasants who are stuck in the Southern California region, with low to no ICU capacity and high COVID-19 case counts.

With San Bernardino's daily case counts in the thousands and SLO County's in the hundreds, we will be unstoppable!

I guess the ol' Tri-County split effort lost some of its luster as Ventura County and Santa Barbara County are currently more focused on the public health crisis confronting them than splitting from the Southern California region. Meanwhile, SLO County is still in denial that it's even in a public health crisis!

"If you look at the numbers and you look at the counties around us, we've done well," 1st District Supervisor John Peschong said.

Yep, John, we did do well. I miss those days!

Because guess what? The numbers are catching up to us. As more people get infected, more people will get infected. Especially in North County, where folks are still refusing to wear masks in public. If the 600 positive cases on Jan. 5 and 6 are any indication of what's to come, we will need six ICU beds in two weeks, as 1 percent of positive cases end up in the ICU. And that's just from those two days and just for COVID-19 patients. We currently have 13 available, according to the state. But San Bernardino currently has 53 beds available, so we're good right?!

Not to be a negative Nancy about the future, but who knows what it will look like in a couple of weeks?

If the numbers continue as they are, we will need an additional two to three ICU beds per day. And COVID-19 patients typically stay in the hospital for eight to 10 days or more. If our daily case counts increase, we will need even more.

But why focus on trying to avert a public health crisis? Let's join a lawsuit. It's way easier!

Meanwhile, COVIDiots and Trumpidiots got together in Washington, D.C., and had a real field day trying to stop the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives from certifying the Electoral College votes as a Joe Biden win. They broke into the Capitol building; a woman got shot and later died. Protesters and Capitol Police shot pepper spray at one another, and while law enforcement swung clubs, protesters apparently swung flag poles. And the very same people who chastised the Black Lives Matter movement for being anti-police were calling law enforcement officers murderers. So there's some irony for you.

They think it's a rehash of 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was issued and the American colonies broke from Great Britain. Except it's not, because they are residents of the United States of America, which just held a free and fair democratic election for president (not king), and their side lost. Cult Leader-in-Chief Donald Trump just can't stand it, so he's making a mockery of everything the country was built on while his minions spread chaos through the streets in the last gasps of a gigantic months-long, extremely unpatriotic temper tantrum.

And all he can do is tweet about it. Because he doesn't know what it means to be an adult, make a coherent speech, quell violence, bring the country together. You know, all the normal things that presidents have been doing since George Washington first took office in 1789.

It's painful to watch unfold, and yet hard to tear your eyes away from. What is happening? Where are we now? Why are we here? Is it still 2020?

No, it's 2021, and all of the same problems we left on the doorstep of Dec. 31 are still here on Jan. 6. The chaos and trepidation of the last 10 months haven't gone away. We can't run from ourselves. We are here. And so are the issues we've failed to address as we push blame on opposing parties and seek to assign problems to the "other" rather than take on the responsibility of fixing our mess together.

We are a mess, America. We are a mess, California. We are a mess, San Luis Obispo County. And suing the governor, storming the Capitol, aren't going to change that. It might make you feel better, but it's not going to change the facts: COVID-19 isn't going anywhere, and Joe Biden is our next president. Better get used to it. Δ

The Shredder is a always a mess. Send comments to shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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