Déjà Vu All Over Again

For some reason, the way too many people are acting during this pandemic reminds me of some of Yogi Berra’s sayings. Yogi Berra – the Hall of Fame catcher for the N.Y. Yankees and later a major league manager – NOT the cartoon character Yogi Bear (who appeared in 1958, more than a decade after Berra began his baseball career and whose name was suspiciously like Berra, although Hanna-Barbera claimed the similarity was “coincidental”).

The saying of the real Yogi that struck me when I heard the news this morning was: “It’s like déjà vu all over again.” That’s because too many Americans are denying the deadliness of Covid-19 and are being stupid all over again. The highest amount of air travel in a year this past weekend? At a time when Los Angeles has issued a directive to ration oxygen to patients and for EMTs not to bring terminally ill patients to hospitals because there aren’t any beds.

Or as Yogi also said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” Exactly! This pandemic isn’t going to be over until mask-wearing, social distancing, and vaccination are actually implemented by most Americans… and if they aren’t, we well might see a million deaths before it’s truly over, if it ever is.

Why is it so bad? As Yogi also said, “We made too many wrong mistakes.” Like having unrelated individuals to parties that shouldn’t have been held. Like going to church and compounding the mistake by not wearing a mask. Like holding crowded political rallies that never really mentioned Covid-19. Or saying that the virus would be gone by last April (when it won’t even be gone by this coming April).

But people don’t seem to listen or take in what’s going on around them. As Yogi also said, “You can observe a lot by just watching.”

One other thing he said that’s also applicable to the U.S. Covid-19 mess. “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.” And, in that light, way too many Americans haven’t been careful at all.

Which is why, as the sage of baseball and life also said, “The future ain’t what it used to be.”

3 thoughts on “Déjà Vu All Over Again”

  1. Lourain says:

    I think that for some people it’s a sense of entitlement. “You can’t tell me what to do! I have rights!”

    For others its the idea that if something goes wrong, someone will fix the problem–doctors, God, whatever. “I’m a good Christian, so God will protect me! I have health insurance!”

    Then some people are fatalists. “If God intends for me to catch Covid-19, I will, no matter what I do, so I will go about my daily life.”

    Then there are the rest of us, who figured out that the universe doesn’t do us special favors, God gave us intelligence to figure that out, so we play the odds, and protect ourselves as best we can (and, yes, I wear a seat belt/shoulder harness when I drive, and slow down on icy roads).

    1. Kevin says:

      These are some very good points. For most thinking beings, at a personal level:

      Intent -> Decision -> Action -> Expected Outcome -> Expected Consequences

      The more Direct, Certain, and Immediate the Expected Consequence to the decider will be, the more it will impact a decision.

      Inversely – indirect, uncertain, or distant expected consequences with lessen the impact.

      Catching Covid-19 has an uncertain and variable outcome – for most people the direct impact of catching it isn’t very negative. It is fatal or extremely serious to some, but of so low a probability that most people would not expect a profoundly negative consequence, so it isn’t impacting choices.

      The purpose of moral’s is to allow us to make decisions that transcend considerations solely of self. They don’t seem to be having much of an impact, as demonstrated by Mr. Modesitt’s observations.

      1. Alan says:

        I think you really hit on it with your remarked about the outcomes of catching Covid, Kevin. Despite this being a pandemic with definitive outcomes, the majority of the country do not face it as a foregone conclusion that getting Covid is the end of their world or that it will severely impact them.

        And to a great extent they are right. The virus is dangerous and it will impact many people (especially those who are personally connected to some one who dies or is severely hurt by the virus) but the numbers really do support their outlook that it’s not very negative. 330M people in the US, 23M cases, with 400k deaths. That’s less than 10% of people infected and less than a 1% death rate for those who have had it. Those numbers don’t really scare people.

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