Dateline Rock Springs, Wyoming
I don’t know what was wrong with me yesterday, but ending my driving early, going to bed and sleeping for ten hours was the right decision as I felt pretty much back to normal today and had no difficulty with today’s long drive of over 600 miles. My initial thought was to cut back down to Denver and cross through the Rockies on I-70, but then I checked the weather report which announced a significant winter storm in central Colorado with up to foot of snow so I decided that might not be the best of ideas so I stayed on I-80 through Nebraska and in to Wyoming. It started to snow as I passed through Cheyenne and continued to do so through the mountains surrounding Laramie but it wasn’t more than a dusting so it didn’t cause too many problems other than a little bit of issues with visibility – the entire world being reduced to shades of gray and white between snow, cloud, and mountains. It was all over, by the time I hit the Continental Divide and I coasted on in to the exciting town of Rock Springs Wyoming without incident.
I can’t say a whole lot about today’s drive as it wasn’t terribly exciting. Western Nebraska was flat and the highway seems to continuously cross various branches of the Platte River (so named after the French word for flat). It’s a steady incline in elevation over the miles, barely noticeable, and then, you’re in the mountains of Wyoming and going over passes at 8,500 feet. On the other side of the mountains comes miles and miles of high plains scrub land full of sagebrush and sweeping skies and only needing Clint Eastwood to complete the picture. I have two days of driving left to Seattle. I’m not sure which route yet. I’m going to check out weather maps and such tonight before making a final decision.
The news from Covid land today was not good. The CDC experts are despairing of the US population achieving anything like herd immunity due to the political unpopularity of vaccines in certain quarters. What does this mean? It means Covid is likely to be with us for years, decades, permanently. I don’t think we need to panic about this as individuals. Those with a belief in science and a couple of hundred years of epidemiological understanding will be OK. Amongst those who don’t, or who belong to less privileged communities that are more difficult to reach with vaccine and the like, the disease will continue to spread and pop up in epidemic fashion and we’ll continue to see serious illness and death, but not in the numbers of the last year. It didn’t have to be this way, but that’s the political reality we have to live with.
I’m starting to get a little worried about the next couple of election cycles. The speed with which the Republican party is trying to whitewash the Capitol Insurrection and various other criminal enterprises combined with a complacency amongst the Democrats now that vaccines are distributed makes me think that maintaining congressional majorities is going to be difficult. And, if there is a shift in power at the midterms, all of the social trends that have led to an anti-science/anti-knowledge/anti-enlightenment approach to governance will come roaring back emboldened and who knows what sort of national problem they will intersect with to cause some other sort of disaster. Rant over.
Time for some bad TV and sleep.