Three Rants About Our Present Situation

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I was having trouble coming up with a video this week and eventually I realized that after two months of watching the complete clusterfuck that is the US response to COVID-19, I just have all these mostly unconnected rage thoughts about it. And I know my rage isn’t unique — I try to only make videos that I think offer my own particular take on a particular topic but tons of way smarter people have already pointed all these things out. But still, I can’t move on until I just say them, for the record. And I apologize but I don’t even think I can say them in a particularly intelligent or clever way. Like, I literally sat down and started writing a script that reads “As Trinculo says in the Tempest, “misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows,” which is why we are suddenly seeing conservatives displaying some very liberal tendencies” and I read that back and was just like, no. Shut up, Rebecca. Just shut up. No one cares what Trinculo said in the Tempest right now. So fuck it, here are a few things I just need to get off my chest, said probably in the dumbest way possible.

Thing one: suddenly conservatives care about bodily autonomy! Fuck those fucking hypocritical pieces of shit. The government, they argue, has no right to tell them what to do with their bodies, even if their choices lead directly to the death of another human being, or 253,000 human beings as of this recording, 70,000 of whom were in the US. Which is funny, because up until now these same people have vehemently argued for the outlawing of abortion. In fact, they’re still doing that: Texas governor Greg Abbott has used COVID-19 as an excuse to shut down abortion access in the state at the same time that he’s insisting on reopening businesses without requiring masks while the pandemic is still in full swing, which will surely lead to more human lives lost. What they’re saying is that a clump of cells usurps MY bodily autonomy but their bodily autonomy is more important than a living, breathing person’s life. I should be forced to use my body as an incubator for NINE FUCKING MONTHS, risking diabetes, preeclampsia, high blood pressure, and DEATH just to TURN A FUCKING EGG INTO A LIVING HUMAN BEING but you shouldn’t be forced to tie a piece of fabric around your stupid fucking face when you go to the grocery store to save literally tens of thousands of existing human lives. Got it. Great. Perfect sense. Love it. God bless America. Freedom. Etc.

Okay, thing two: we will never get the loudmouths to admit they’re wrong. Never. And it’s so obvious they’re wrong! They just keep moving the goalposts, broadcasting from the safety of their basements about how social distancing doesn’t work when we now have overwhelming data that shows otherwise. We know for a fact that literally 70,000 Americans are now dead because of this pandemic and because of the irresponsible shits at Fox News and in our government. More by the time I finish editing this and post it. And they’re still arguing that we can just reopen businesses and everything will be fine. And the most frustrating thing is that people will die and they STILL WON’T ADMIT THEY’RE WRONG. I remember at the beginning of all this thinking that the most annoying thing that was going to happen was that the experts would institute mass testing and quarantining, deaths would be limited, and conservatives would argue that we overreacted because not that many people died. I was wrong! It’s far, far more frustrating to see tens of thousands of people needlessly dying and STILL seeing conservatives saying we’re overreacting. THIS IS THE BAD PLACE.

Thing three: this one is gonna be a little controversial but fuck it: stop getting angry at people you think aren’t doing the right things during this pandemic. I’m not talking about the idiots protesting quarantine or the spring breakers ignoring authorities because YOLO — absolutely get annoyed at them all you want. I’m talking about individuals, like the guy I saw the other day while I was walking my dog. He was also walking his dog but he was standing in the middle of the sidewalk talking on his phone with no mask on and he didn’t bother to move as we approached, so I had to take my dog into the street to avoid him. I was so annoyed, and my instinct was to say something mean to him. But then I thought, why? I don’t know that guy’s life! You don’t have to wear a mask to take your dog out for a quick pee, and maybe he just got a phone call saying he’d lost his job or his mom is in the hospital, so he was too distracted to notice that we were there. It doesn’t matter! We were able to avoid him and get on with our day. It’s not a big deal, and the only thing that me getting annoyed would do is to stress me out more.

This is a stupid, stupid time and aside from the Fox News crowd, everybody is just trying to get through in one piece. That runner who isn’t wearing a mask? Maybe he’s avoiding getting near anybody! Maybe running in a mask makes it really fucking hard to breathe! Maybe if he can’t run he feels like he wants to kill himself in isolation!

That group of guys you see hanging out in the park? Maybe they’re roommates who quarantine together already! Maybe they just want some fresh air and are avoiding anyone from outside their home!

Those crowds at the beach you saw in a photo? Maybe that photo was taken with a telephoto lens, which condenses space and makes people and objects look closer together than they are! Maybe those people were adhering to the 6-foot rule!

I’m just saying, unless you are a government official or law enforcement officer, it may be helpful for you to calm the fuck down about what the majority of other people are doing. Ultimately you can’t control them — you can only control your own behavior and your reaction to others. 

And yes, I get that I’m trying to control your behavior by telling you you can’t control other people’s behavior. Whatever, thank you for letting me get all of this off my chest so that I can actually move on to talking about anything else.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor. Twitter @rebeccawatson Mastodon mstdn.social/@rebeccawatson Instagram @actuallyrebeccawatson TikTok @actuallyrebeccawatson YouTube @rebeccawatson BlueSky @rebeccawatson.bsky.social

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One Comment

  1. Heck yes on numbers 1 and 2.

    On number, 3, I have so been guilty of this and am torn between “AH PUBLIC SAFETY” and “STFU ME IT’S NOT MY BUSINESS.”

    Anyway, I’ve stopped being annoyed at the new neighbor throwing small outdoor parties in his backyard. Cuz maybe we’re all just going a little bug nut crazy and need to sit in a somewhat socially distanced circle bullshitting, rapping along to Notorious B.I.G., and smoking weed.

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