March 31, 2020

Guilty pleasure: Having the streets of San Francisco all to myself

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 3:08 pm


I’m one of those people who prefer to see facts on the ground rather than get swept away by all the stuff that I’m told on TV. Hell, I didn’t even believe that Saddam Hussein had WMDs or that the war on Vietnam was justified — or that the current “war” on Syria is justified either. Call me crazy.

“Jane, you’re just one of those misinformed COVID deniers,” someone told me on FB today. “You’re just like all those ignorant climate-crisis deniers.” Yeah, right. Me and a Swiss doctor and a Stanford scientist and…. The list of experts goes on and on. So at least I’m not alone in my foolishness.

[Stanford doctor]


[Independent journalist]

[Swiss Doctor with daily updates]

[12 Experts on COVID]

But I digress.

My main point here is that when I went over to San Francisco today, all I could see from the windows of the #30 bus were miles and miles of small businesses shut down, sad people without jobs — and general despair.

At the famous Palace hotel, I did the math. “We used to have 300 to 500 people employed here,” said the last remaining lonely concierge. “Now we have only ten employees — and even fewer guests. Only two people checked in today.” And there before my very eyes was the beautiful and legendary Garden Court, totally empty, like some haunted ghost.

“We will be closing down the hotel in a couple of days,” said the sad-eyed concierge. Who knows when it will ever open again.

My bus driver was also in despair too. “Most of my friends are out of work right now. They have no idea how they’re going to pay their rent.” Even the historic City Lights bookstore in North Beach was closed. And Glide Memorial Church in the Tenderloin was closed too. And I also stood in the middle of Market Street to take a photo, totally unafraid of getting hit by a car. Chinatown? Same sad story. Sigh.

Thousands of people risk death from rising sea levels these days. Thousands more are killed by tsunamis and hurricanes and tornadoes. Millions die from having the USA invade their countries. Millions more die from the freaking flu. And yet somehow Americans have all suddenly become fixated on destroying our economy over a slightly stronger version of the common cold? Makes no sense to me. Call me crazy.

But as a result of this shut-down, millions more here in America will also die from bankruptcy, poverty, food riots, suicide and despair either before this poorly-thought-out COVID quarantine is over — or afterwards. For decades afterwards perhaps.

So. Am I crazy — or not? Only time will tell. In a few years we may look back on this COVID event with the same distanced humor that we look back on the famous Holland tulip mania of 1637. Or else that this fiasco was the greatest April Fool joke of all time!

But in the meantime, I totally enjoy having the entire City of San Francisco all to myself.

PS: What else can we do to resolve this dilemma? Have we destroyed the economy for nothing — or am I (and a whole bunch of medical geeks) on the wrong track? Easy-peasy to find out. Let’s demand transparency. Get everyone tested. Analyze the results. Either our lives are in grave danger — or they are not. It’s not rocket science, guys.

Power in numbers. If enough of us demand the facts? They can’t shut us all up! Or can they….





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