Transcript of Episode 14
LaMondre Pough: Welcome to 3DVU one conversation, three different perspectives. I’m LaMondre Pough.
David Pérez: I am David Perez
Richard Streitz: And I’m Richard Streitz. Thank you for joining us.
LaMondre Pough: With the recent increase of COVID-19. We’ve been warned about a resurgence of it. And now we’re facing it. Numbers are through the roof. There are more people now that are, are testing positive than have done so in quite some time. And this is what we’ve been told about. We heard that this surge was coming. Some people have called it the second, or some people have called it the third wave and we’re hearing talks of shutdowns again. So what we’re going to talk about today are, what are the contributing factors to this resurgence of COVID-19?
How do we deal with COVID fatigue? And more importantly, what can we do to slow it down? So gentlemen, the holiday season is upon us. As a matter of fact, you know, people are talking about it in the U S what are they going to do for Thanksgiving? Where are we going to do for Christmas? And Lord knows New Year’s is coming up.
So, man, where are we going with this COVID-19 thing? What are your thoughts?
Richard Streitz: Well, you know, I, I think certainly we, we are moving in toward a, a, a third wave, um, as we’ve seen, um, large spikes here in the States. And, and I think some of the contributing factors of that is that we’re seeing what happens right as a result of the election process and what that has done, um, I think the, our numbers were coming down. Some States we’re seeing spikes. Um, but I think as an overall country, we were starting to come down. Um, but I think because of the election process and people, um, people gathering together, um, and the distraction of people not paying attention to the fact that we still are in the middle of a pandemic and they weren’t necessarily as vigilant about wearing their masks.
Um, and, and that. Uh, has given us pause and, and, and, and allowed some people to forget, to pay attention to the fact that we are in the midst, still in the middle of a very dangerous pandemic. And that is contributed to now, here we are, you know, a week after the election, you know, um, and, uh, 10 days after the election and we’re starting to see dramatic increases.
Now hospitals are filling up, um, uh, nationwide. And, uh, and we’re heading, you know, as you said, rightly into, into the holidays where people are going to want to, um, get together more and, and so forth, families, um, and people are gonna want to drive and move around. Maybe not necessarily flying, but driving around and, and that’s, uh, You know, I think it’s important that everyone just remember that it hasn’t gone away.
Um, and, and more importantly, I think we’re at a real, the pandemic, um, has really put us in a 9/11 moment where there everyone remembers the sort of pre 9/11, um, and post 9/11 and the overall attitudes about, uh, lots of different things, uh, regarding travel and so forth. And there is no going back to that pre 9/11, that that was an era that, that was a defining moment that, you know, we’re, we’re just in a very different place now as a country.
And I think, um, the pandemic has created that for us here in the States and then to compound that with the election and, and, you know, a new, uh, a new administration coming in and everything that goes along with that, that we really are a country looking at a sorta different era. Of of what the new normal is, how people are working.
People are more working at home, you know, are we, I don’t think we’re going to see a large mass exodus of people not working at home and going back to an office. I don’t think that’s going to happen. There may be some of that, but all of that wraps in my mind anyway, um, that we are at this generation sort of 9/11 moment, where there is no going back to a pre COVID.
We’re only looking at a post COVID, um, new reality.
David Pérez: Yeah, that’s, it’s a mess. It’s a whole mess because we’ve been warned from the beginning that this wasn’t going to be over soon, that this was not going to be an easy transition, that there was no going back to normal. But for some reason, I think it’s my case.
I don’t know if it’s everyone’s case, but I’ve seen a lot of people and talk to a lot of people that have experienced the same thing like that sort of hidden hope of going back to normal that we all have, and that sense that it might happen with the vaccine. Things might start going back to normal one way or another.
So everyone is paying so much attention to everything that has to do with vaccines right now that we’re all becoming experts of the vaccination process and how to develop vaccines in general. So COVID has been with us for plenty months right now. I don’t know exactly how, how many months actually, but we’ve been with it for awhile now.
And it has been becoming part of her lives and it has brought good things as Richard was saying, like working from home and all of those things, but it has also created a lot of stress in people’s minds. In general. I think what happened with the U S election was that everyone had bigger things to worry about.
So everyone decided to not think about COVID for a couple of weeks. And that of course created a big spike in numbers in the U S but it’s, the U S is not alone in big spikes of numbers. Things are spiking all around the world and that’s because people are getting tired of being home or being tied up to their little bubble of people that they can actually get together with. So people are starting to get together with bigger groups, start, started doing bigger things. Some companies have decided that let’s get back to the office because they were not able to handle the transition to completely virtual workspaces.
And that of course is creating, it’s creating more problems because we are creating a bigger, bigger chance where COVID can spread. And that spread of course creates what we call a second or third wave, depending on where you are, that can, again, overwhelm the healthcare systems. And if we overwhelm them, then we start seeing anan increase in deaths related to COVID.
And of course, that, again, the only way to stop that if we don’t take care of ourselves is lockdowns and the economy is going to take another dive and we know that people don’t want to get there. So it’s a very complicated thing. And it’s something that we need to start talking about because we need to prepare for the end of the year where people are going to be thinking that things are going to change magically, that we’re going to be in a 2021 world where we will be back to the before COVID.
Which is, as we know, as we have been told, and as we have said in past episodes, never going to happen, there’s only going to be a, a new normal, and we have to define what it’s going to be. So we have opportunities to create a better normal, but it’s still, it’s still something that we need to analyze very deeply and try to understand where we go from here, because I know that I myself have that sort of hope that everything will go back to normal at some point that I will be able to have those big reunions that I had with my friends and family.
And, well, I don’t see it happening anytime soon.
LaMondre Pough: Yeah. You know, I agree with both of you guys in, in thinking that normal tomorrow will be something that we’ve never seen before. So in other words, going back to what was, I don’t think we ever will go back to once, what once was just like in the U S we never went back to what it was prior to 9/11, as Richard was saying um, earlier. But I think that, and this is something that I want us to talk a little bit more about, the whole COVID 19 fatigue. Yes. I think the elections in the US was a great distraction in terms of, in terms of people’s vigilance, uh, that passions, uh, at war caution. Um, but honestly, if we’re talking about the U S election.
Passion, always outwore caution for one side. It was always like that. Um, from, for, for, for one side, uh, of, of. Uh, of the situation here, but the reality is Covid was still there and Covid was still taking lives. COVID was still making people sick. Covid was still wreaking havoc in people’s lives. But here’s the thing during the time of between May, June, July, August, September, we noticed that the trend, it was trending down.
That things were lightening up. But then once we hit this season, this October, and now November within the past two months, this is when we started seeing things really spike. And I mean, you know, throughout the, throughout the entire world, things have started spiking again, and I’ve heard people talk about the COVID-19 fatigue and believe me, I’m experiencing it as well.
Uh, when I so desperately want to connect with people in the flesh, seeing them face to face and being able to touch people and communicate with people. I miss concerts. I miss those kinds of things. And I’ve noticed though that a lot of people not only have they missed it, they’re recreating it. How many parties have we seen since college has been back in, uh, how many religious organizations are holding convocations, where thousands of people come from miles around to participate and, and openly say we are defying any orders to keep assembly small.
And when we first heard these kinds of things, it was shocking and outrage. We were like, how dare they do this? Don’t they know that their lives depend on this. Now it’s like, Hmm. Well, some of us are even saying, I’m going, saying, I’m going to be there. So. But the thing is when we do that, we know that we’re increasing the risk factors and we know that the positivity rates are increasing a lot more.
Um, and those ICU beds are filling up hospitals, a lot of hospitals are running at capacity or near capacity, and this is after it’s been expanded. So how do we bring those things back into view? Is it going to take a incredible loss of life again? Is it going to take where the governments actually step in and shut things down for us to reverse the way that we’re thinking so we can get control of it?
What is it going to take? Fo us to get this right again?
Richard Streitz: You know, I think, you know, certainly the, the fatigue, the COVID fatigue is definitely a real thing. I, you know, I’ve seen it around, um, just in church actually this past weekend, uh, I noticed that, you know, churches were closed, then they decided to open up and I’m in the state of Virginia.
Um, not all States have churches open yet, but, uh, they did open up churches. And when they first opened up, you know, everyone was, you know, 15, 20 feet apart from each other. And, and, and, and few people actually came physically to, to, uh, to the church. Um, and this past weekend, it was like a regular Sunday. Um, and half the people weren’t, weren’t wearing masks.
Um, but they’re all standing beside each other. Um, they had every other row. Um, marked off, but they were still standing right beside each other and they’re singing and, and, and, you know, and, and my wife and I, we were standing in the back of the church and I’m looking, I’m going well, you know, this is problematic.
This is, um, and, and of course, no one. I think it goes back to exactly your point about the COVID fatigue that they’re not thinking about it because everyone has just become accustomed saying, well, I have my mask in my purse well I’m probably good. I had it walking from the car into the church, but now I’m singing, so I’m going to take it off, but I’m probably still good.
And, and so, you know, I think we coax ourselves because of this fatigue that, well, you know, ‘I’m okay. I, you know, it’s, it’s not as bad’. And, and the problem is, is that of course of the virus doesn’t look at it that way. The virus looks at every single opportunity individually and uniquely as a potential for spread.
And that’s where we have to be vigilant. So what can we do? You know, I think that we, as a population, um, aside from any sort of government interaction or, or appeal is we’ve got to, um, be vigilant and just remember to wear a mask, even just something as basic and simple as wearing a mask can make such, such a huge difference.
And we need to do that. Limit our contact with people as best we can. Um, and, uh, and just remember that and not get tired of, of, of wearing the mask all the time, you know, and I think, you know, the next layer up, I think, uh, a continuous awareness from a government, uh, agency, not as a mandate, but just as a PSA just as a, as a, uh, uh, public awareness, um, programs and, and, and, um, commercials and so forth, just reminding people to stay vigilant and wear your masks, just so that it’s a constant reminder.
David Pérez: Yeah, it it’s, it’s going to take a lot of effort because I think people are just no longer paying attention because they really don’t want to pay attention to, to any more bad news. There, there’s even people that, saying that you’re being negative. If you think that you’re going to get it when you go somewhere.
So it it’s of course it’s the same scenario. We’re in the same place covid wise as we were, when we started. Right. We just know a little bit more about how it works, but we still don’t know really how to not get infected. We know that masks help, but we don’t know what else we can do or how to detect it in the early stages so that we don’t go ahead and, and.
Make someone sick while we were asymptomatic. There’s so many unknowns, but people are just so tired of hearing the same things. I’m going to tell you a story. When we started here in Costa Rica with the COVID 19 whole thing, it became a daily press conference from the government. That lasted two months of daily press conferences, day, updating everyone on everything that was going on, everything that needed to be done. The why we were quarantining and at home education and what we were doing with the kids in schools that were now at home what we were doing with businesses, what we were going to do to prevent people from getting sick, what the hospitals were doing, where we were getting the PPP, everything. Everything was about COVID to complete months of daily press conferences, everyone checking the numbers, everyone doing the things. And those two months in Costa Rica, we were having about 100 cases a day or 10 at some point 50. Now we are at 1300 cases a day. For those who don’t know, Costa Rica is a very small country.
We have 5 million people, but that’s like, let’s say three, four times what we were getting at the beginning of the pandemic, and now people are already deciding to not be worried about it anymore. So people are going back to church, people are going back to work. People are going to the supermarket. People are going everywhere.
Everyone’s wearing masks because it’s sort of recommended by the government. And most businesses request you to wear masks to serve you. But. People are just not caring anymore. And it becomes a very complicated thing, right? Because we are invited to do things. So it becomes a very personal choice if you really want to do things or not, but then you have social pressure of, ‘you’re really not coming?. It’s not that big of a deal. We’ve all been taken care of ourselves’, it takes one person. It takes one person that was sick in Richard’s church for everyone to be sick. Yep. In the next couple of weeks, it takes one person in, in my, my birthday party for everyone to get sick. And the problem is we, we get that pressure of feeling completely alone or separated from people feeling like we need to get together with someone right now and start doing something.
And that I think is only going to get worse as Thanksgiving and Christmas come closer to us because we are accustomed to getting together. Uh, we were watching a movie yesterday, my wife and I about Christmas. And it was all about getting together with family. So you start reminiscing about all the years you’ve been together with your family and thinking about how are we going to do this? Are we not going to see them? Are we going to do a zoom meeting? Are we, are we going to quarantine beforehand and try to go? What can you do? What plans can you, can you put in place to prevent anyone from getting sick?
And of course prevent the most vulnerable from getting sick, which is, which is what we’re not taking into consideration at many points, because we’re doing things even, even ourselves, even the people that are aware of the problem, we’re still doing things and going out and not being as careful as we were before, just because we’re getting so tired of, of being at home of not seeing people. So yeah, I, I know it’s going to be complicated it’s it has been complicated in Europe. It has been complicated in Latin America and it’s going to be complicated in the U S there’s no way around it.
LaMondre Pough: Yeah. And I think, you know, we have to remember that by nature we are social beings. So this separation, it goes against. It goes against our very nature. It goes against who and what we are. And we’re also creatures of habit. This is the time of year that you get together. This is the time of year that, you know, you get together, you argue with the, the, the loony aunts and uncles, and the family fights come up.
But we’re all together, we’re all together right there, you know? And so, but in order to maintain health and in order to have healthy tomorrows. We’re being asked to at this most, at this, this time of year, when it seems like that that urge, that desire is greater than ever before. We’re asked to do something that we’ve been doing for the, since January.
Well, since Feb, since March, since March, because that’s when we really saw it kind of hit here really hard. And it was like, wait a minute, we really do have to do something. We’ve been doing that since March. And now you’re asking me to do it now. And you know what? I’m still here. You know, I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m still kicking.
And so chances are, it’s not going to happen to me, but then we seem to forget, you know, that people have lost their lives. You know, I’ve had family members to pass away. I’ve had friends, uh, to pass away with this and you know, and people are still getting sick, but we’re still asking, we’re still fighting that internal thing that desire to get together.
And somehow, somehow, as you said, David, we believe that, you know, 2021 will bring a whole new beginning with this as if somehow on January the first, the clock resets and the reality of everything around us resets as well. And we know in the real world, it doesn’t quite work that way. It doesn’t work that way.
So we’re fighting against this desire. We’re fighting against, against these urges, but we’re trying to remain positive. We’re trying to remain, trying to remain in this space where no, we will and can overcome this, but I get the feeling and, you know, I’m an optimistic person and I promise you, I will end on an optimistic note, but it’s going to get worse before it gets better.
Because what we’re about to do is we’re about to push everybody together. We’re about to have these, uh, gatherings we’re about to have these events. And we know that that means that people are going to get sick because of it. We know that there are going to be people who die because of it. And we’re going to have a situation where we’re probably going to have to significantly reduce um, business activity, we’re going to have to significantly, we may have to shut things down again in order for it to get right. So the very people that argued about, ‘well, we have to keep the economy open because there’s some things more important than living’. Yeah. That’s, someone actually said that there’s something more important than living.
Um, but because we have those kinds of attitudes, but now we’re going to have to shut it all down again. So my, my, you know, my thinking is. What could have happened if we were vigilant about this from the beginning and did the, the, the, the, the proper shut down where we really shut things down for real, for real, and wrote it up, because I remember back in April, May when they were saying, okay, well it is really going to take us a real shutdown, or the duration needs to be this in order for that to happen?
We did some of that. We did some of those things. And then we started opening back up again, college kids going back on campus, having these super spreader events, um, you know, here in the U S the elections of super spreader events, you know, all of these kinds of things happened, but business was back open. You know, we, we, we, we had, a day where the stock market just went through the roof because, ‘voila’.
You know, here we are with this. But when you think about it, if we’ve got to go back around and shut it all down again, it’s almost like we’re prolonging it. Could we have possibly gotten this down and kept it down to manageable levels? And when I say manageable, I mean, to where our ICU beds are not overflowing, you know, to where, to where.
You know, at the very, at the very least, maybe by February, we really could re-open and do some things. But at this point, I don’t know when that’s going to happen, because it seems like we refuse to do what it takes to really shut us down. And yes, it hurts. Yes. It’s inconvenient. Yes. It’s the kind of thing, we’ve even heard rhetoric where people say, well only the vulnerable really should be worried about this.
Well, a friend of mine who also has spinal muscular atrophy, she wrote. Yeah. But you’re ‘only’ is my ‘everything’.
It really is mind boggling. And I just wonder, what is it, what are the next few months going to look like? Because we did not heed the warning of the scientists and, and the doctors who said, no, we really need to shut this down down in order for us to move forward.
Richard Streitz: Yeah. You know, um, One of the things I think that is certainly going to, um, continually exasperate.
This is, is the fact that, uh, the schools have some colleges have opened up and, and, and, uh, people moving on campus, students, um, and now they’re going to be coming home. Um, and, and, uh, you know, and then they’re going to be going back after the holidays. And so this level of, you know, uh, that’s just a giant, huge perpetual spreading machine.
Um, For, for, uh, for at least the foregoing future and, and, uh, and, uh, you know, I don’t think we as a society are in a place or are disciplined enough as a society to be able to, um, to curb that quickly. Um, and that, you know, and that’s really just unfortunate. Um, For all the reasons that we’ve already talked about, uh, you know, we’re just, we, we’re hardwired to not be isolationists.
We’re, you know, we’re a social herd animal and, and that’s how we’re hardwired to be. Uh, and so, um, which is why pandemics or a virus and infestations are, are so deadly to us as a species is specifically because of that reason. So, um, you know, we have, we have a lot to, we have a lot to learn and I would think that, you know, like you said, it’s, it’s going to get a little, it’s going to get, it’s going to get worse before it gets better. But I think in the, in the, in the darkest moments of that, uh, of that period, um, many people are going to realize, um, what really needs to get done in order to pull us out of it. And it’s almost like we need to get to that extreme before enough people realize the seriousness of it and, and, um, and what we need to do to correct it.
Uh, which is a horrible thing to say. Uh, I hate to have to even say that or to think that, but I think that that’s probably how this is going to play out unfortunately.
David Pérez: The thing is human beings are not able to take care of themselves in many cases, because we can’t think of consequences when we’re doing things. And there’s, there’s a funny comedian, his stage name is Fluffy. He says no one’s ever sad eating a burger. Right. You have never seen someone sad when biting a burger, you might see them sad before or after, but biting a burger is such a primal thing to do that you’re, you’re happy. You’re enjoying it, completely.
LaMondre Pough: Especially me. I am a burger nut.
David Pérez: And I get that. But the thing is, you know, it’s bad for you, you know, it’s not a healthy meal in any way. But we do it anyways and we drink alcohol and we smoke cigarettes and we do all those things that we know are slowly killing us, but we do them anyway because they are fun. Interesting. Maybe they, they were enjoyable at the time.
Richard Streitz: Provide some lives escapism.
David Pérez: Yeah. They give us some level of escapism, but we are not good at doing the, at doing things, thinking of the future. If we were, we wouldn’t need pension plans, everyone would be able to take care of them, of their own retirement.
Right. The problem is this pandemic is stretching for longer than people can prevent themselves from going back to that, those primal needs of getting together of going out of doing the things that they normally do. So people are just starting to not think about the consequences, and that not thinking about the consequences can hurt people very close to you.
But, a very general feeling here in Costa Rica. I don’t know if it’s the same in the States. It’s that COVID seems to be like a lottery. If you get it, you might not feel it at all, but if you get it and for some reason you were, you had something. You might die. And young people have died.
Old people have died. Vulnerable people have died. It’s not a matter of if you had the right conditions, you, you die. I know of 90 year olds that have survived it. And it happened through, to go through them without a hitch, but it’s, it’s, it’s sort of a lottery. If you get it, you might, it might be you, it’s not necessarily your parents or your friend or your, or someone, you know, it might be you, that goes, goes out.
And, and I told this to my, my dad because he, he is high risk. He has all the, all the signs of high risk person. I told him. Wouldn’t it be sad to die a month before we get a vaccine and we can start actually going out just because we were not able to not get together, to stay in the house for a little longer.
And even with those things and telling them, well, we want you to see your grandchildren. That’s why we’re not going to the house and being with them. I know they’re going out. I know they’re doing things outside of the house and I know they’re not protecting themselves as I wish they would. But of course I can’t blame, blame them because they, they they’re alone in the house.
LaMondre Pough: Right.
David Pérez: They’re not seeing people. There’s no way to, to ask someone to isolate completely from the world for months, while they are able to see that others are not doing so. Because we are not doing it, that their children we’re getting together as my brothers and me and their wives we’re getting together from time to time to drink coffee and see each other, but they are not.
So how can you expect them to stay home when you’re not, not even you are doing the right things. So as LaMondre said, it is going to get worse before it gets better, because we. Well, humans are like that. We need the diagnosis telling us that we have the worst case of diabetes before we start changing our diet.
Richard Streitz: Yeah.
LaMondre Pough: Yeah. But you know what, man, the thing that I hear though is going to get worse before it gets better, but it will get better. And I think that that is what’s important and I think. The perspective that I take is I need to do my part on making it get better. I need to do what I can do to make sure that better comes quicker, um, or faster or sooner than later.
And I think that, you know, I, like you just said, you can’t villainize, you know, your parents, uh, for, for, for that desire, you know? Cause Lord knows loneliness during this time and depression during this time has also killed a lot of people. It has also taken a lot of people out. It has also made a lot of people sick, and I’m not trying to equivocate them in any way, shape or form.
But what I am saying is the situation is tough. The situation is hard and, we need to try and understand it and figure out what we can do to make it better, rather than having a ‘them against us’ attitude or villainizing people for being who and what they are. Now granted, I think the burger scenario, the burger example is a great, uh, example.
The thing that we have to realize though, especially with this, is that you’re going out and doing things. It may be enjoyable for you, but it can also kill someone else. And that’s the scary part, um, about it. It’s cool if you want to take the risk on your own, that’s you, that’s you, I’d hate to see you go.
I hate for it to be the situation, but the issue is, you know, you could potentially be hurting someone else, but it’s gonna get better. It absolutely is. I think the biggest thing is for us to do what we can to make certain that better come sooner than later. And, um, I have faith in us. I do, I, I, I keep going back to this.
I do, I have incredible faith in us, and I believe that we will pull out of this and I believe that, um, I believe that we will have a better tomorrow. And I think that the opportunity that this has provided really has changed all of us, I think, has changed the world in a very profound way. So I think that we’re going to see some very positive things, uh, when better comes, I think we’ll have a greater grasp on what to do when a global pandemic happens again.
I think that we’ll have more creative ways of connecting with people. Um, which I know for people with disabilities like myself. That’s a very welcome thing that that is something that, that, wait a minute, I can connect with people. I can work now, I can do more things because of this period of time that kind of showed the rest of the world.
Um, what’s possible and what’s out there. So while we are struggling while we are going through some tough times. And while we were seeing some horrible things happen, I believe there is a brighter tomorrow, and I believe we will experience it and enjoy it, but let’s stay safe, take care of yourself, take care of it each other, and do what you can, do what you can as an individual to make sure better comes sooner than later.
That’s it. So that’s about all the time we have for 3DVU. We do appreciate you for checking us out today and we encourage you to drop us a line, check out our website, get connected with us on Facebook or whatever social media platform you check us out on. We want to hear from you. So thank you for tuning into 3DVU today, have a great one.
David Pérez: Thanks for joining us this week on 3DVU, make sure to visit our website ruhglobal.com/3DVU. That’s ruhglobal.com/3DVU where you can subscribe to the show wherever you listen to podcasts or join our YouTube channel so you will never miss a show. While you’re at it, if you find value in the show, we appreciate it if you would leave a like or comment or simply tell a friend about the show that would really help us a lot too. If you would like to join our conversations you can join our Facebook community 3DVU, three perspectives, one conversation. .