May 4th, 2020

Pointless Arrow

So That's Why They Weren't Running

Some of you may recall that the California Zephyr stopped running west of Denver for a while, with no alternative service provided. (Thus cutting off all service for stations from Colfax CA to Winter Park CO inclusive.) The service has since been restored, although from the look of the passing trains each morning and afternoon, they're nearly empty, which isn't a surprise. I learned this weekend while reading the latest issue of Trains the reason for the service suspension: a member of the CZ on-board service crew tested positive for COVID-19, meaning the entire crew had to go into isolation for two weeks and the equipment on which the crew member worked had to be extra-deep-cleaned. That meant that Amtrak didn't have enough crew or equipment to run the full Chicago-Emeryville (CA) service for a while.

Meanwhile, in my part of the country, it appears to me that we have a bunch of Tough Guys who are convinced that sheltering from a virus means they are Girly Men (which is A Fate Worse Than Death) and that they should dress up in lots of camo gear and body armor (I've been calling it "military cosplay"), carry lots of big guns, and assert their manliness. As if a virus can be intimidated by toting guns and claiming that "freedom" means "standing up to the virus." I suggest that such men should also consider going out with their large pieces of metal equipment during a thunderstorm and shooting their guns into the clouds to show how tough they are. It would be just as effective, and on the bright side, they'd only kill themselves rather than every other person they came into contact with after discovering that nature can't be intimidated by being macho.

Oh, and I think that if non-white people wore the same sort of gear these wannabe-heroes are wearing and toted the same sort of weapons while marching around chanting slogans, they'd probably end up getting shot by the police, and these same people who think you can intimidate a virus would be cheering for "terrorists getting what they deserved."