Some Wonderful Things

Saturday, May 23, 2020
The word 'wonderful' has a variety of meanings, including amazing, astounding, and beneficial.  That word came to mind this week.

On Thursday a wonderful thing was all over the news -- a new official map showing Hamilton County Chinese plague case numbers by ZIP code.  The color code made it easy to see which parts of our county had been hardest hit, and which were relatively or even totally spared by the Covid-19 virus.  By Friday, though, I had to dig hard to find that wonderful map.  I wondered -- was it perhaps a mistake, did it maybe include incorrect information, or did it simply let the cat out of the bag, showing that we have been conned by the authorities?

Naturally I looked first at ZIP Code 37419 on the far southwest corner of the county, where I live, and discovered there have been ZERO (00.00) cases of the Chinese plague so far way out here in the boondocks, six miles from downtown Chattanooga!  No wonder I've never yet met anyone who even knows anyone who has had the virus.

It was really surprising, sort of wonderful in itself, especially since we just happen to have the only WalMart Super Center on the west side of Chattanooga.  Our big and busy and obviously essential WalMart is nearest to and most convenient for many folks from downtown Chattanooga, Alton Park, St.
Elmo, Elder Mountain, etc.  It's also very convenient for anyone who works in Chattanooga and lives west and south in rural places like Dade County, Georgia; Marion and Grundy Counties, Tennessee; and Jackson and DeKalb Counties, Alabama.  I've worked with good folks from all of those far-distant places, and believe me, there are lots of them who drive to Chattanooga every day to work.  Well, they used to, anyway, before the massive and monumental shutdowns of supposedly non-essential businesses.

And, of course, the Lookout Valley WalMart is very convenient and accessible to all travelers on Interstate 24, including those ignorant, selfish, and unconcerned northern spring-breakers of late March.

Things have been a bit different at WalMart lately.  There are formal, rigid crowd control fences and homemade shopping cart barricades all around the entrances, but trust me -- even though the hours have been reduced significantly, still the store has remained open to all comers and the parking lot is usually pretty well filled.

Yet somehow as a community/neighborhood/ZIP code we have managed (so far) to avoid having a single certifiable case of the Chinese terror, even in this latest surge of testing which seems to be finding infected people everywhere all over the city.  I praised the Lord for that knowledge, and then went back and took another look at the map -- there are several other blessed areas all around the county, too.  In fact, the ZIP codes with no cases are all on the outermost borders of the county -- even farther from downtown than my own 6 miles.

Then, perhaps most surprising -- look closely! -- there is tiny little ZIP 37403, right slap downtown, right there in Ground Zero, including the University, with no cases at all.

Now, just how those figures were obtained, and just who drew the map under whose instruction, of course I don't know anything about all of that.  But in this general day and this particular time of Al Gore-type 'science' and politically correct medicine, in a time when the most remote excuses have been used to declare almost any death a Covid-19 death, I dare to figure that if they have to say there are NO cases of the virus in these areas, no obvious incidents of the stuff, then most likely there just aren't any cases of the virus in these areas.

Notice, too, that the entire county, population approximately 368,000, has been disrupted by quarantines, closures, and other restrictions this way, that way, and every other which way for 10 weeks or so now, and the total reported problem involves (to date) only 487 individuals (as of the map's release) -- only one in every 750 of us, most of whom were not sick enough to be hospitalized.  But the hospitals have all been hamstrung, essentially quarantined themselves, for this period, too -- just in case, we've been told.

"You can't be too careful!" is the motto of many, particularly modern elected officials.  But I suspect there are many local citizens now unemployed, many whose jobs don't even exist any more and won't reappear any time soon, who wonder if perhaps we've been just a little bit too careful?!

Or, maybe, I shouldn't be critical; maybe we should all be singing the praises of our perpetually self-quarantined mayor and other elected higher officials, our medical experts of all shapes and stripes, our breathless news media, our self-appointed self-interested experts, even Al Gore, George W. Bush (he'd've certainly been blamed by some if things had gotten any worse!), and Barack Hussein Obama.

Whatever, however, whyever -- my immediate neighborhood has apparently remained almost miraculously clean this time around.  To that extent I am truly grateful, and I can live with that!

It really is pretty wonderful.  And it gives us all plenty to wonder about, too.
 
Larry Cloud
Lookout Valley

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