Let me get this out of the way first by saying that bars should remain open at limited capacity, especially if they have outdoor seating and strictly enforce mask wearing. Most of the bar owners I know and know of are responsible and are abiding by COVID restrictions. My old argument is that if you’re going to close bars, you also should close gyms and churches, and since gyms and churches were allowed to open several weeks before bars were allowed to in the great Republic of Texas, I’m ptting all three in the same little box for rhetorical purposes.

You would also like to think that Code Compliance, TABC agents, and cops know better than to crash Lola’s Trailer Park (open air) or Tarantula Tiki Lounge (capacity strictly limited, small patio) instead of some spots on West 7th that are packing bodies inside on the reg. We’ve all seen the pictures on Fakebook of the crowded rooms. There’s no way social distancing is being practiced, and it’s criminal. Tell me which cops do you have to pay off to have them look the other way while you’re throwing ragers in cramped quarters during a raging rager of a pandemic. Seriously, the whole world and the families of nearly 250,000 dead Americans want to know.

As much as I want bars to stay open — in the oh so eloquent words of actual Associate Supreme Court Justice Brett Michael Kavanaugh, “I still like beer” — I want people to remember to be safe. It’s sad I have to say that. I understand. We threw off the shackles in August and September, which makes reverting back to lockdown seem that much more cumbersome. You know what else is cumbersome? The weight of hundreds of pounds of soil falling over your head in the tomb. Mask up, keep the lockdown at bay. It’s simple, um, math.


Of course, this conversation would just be a fever dream in my head while lying awake in bed at night trying to effing sleep if the person we shall all soon giddily refer to as “disgraced and disgraceful former U.S. president Donald J. Trump” had shown any respect for science. Had we instituted a lockdown from March until about June, and had soon-to-be disgraced and disgraceful former U.S. president Donald J. Trump invoked the Defense Protection Act to pound out PPE and tests, and had Congress delivered a massive relief package to pay people and business owners to stay home, and had soon-to-be disgraced and disgraceful former U.S. president Donald J. Trump mandated masks and mass testing, we would not only not be in the sad, scary condition we are, but I guarantee you that soon-to-be disgraced and disgraceful former U.S. president Donald J. Trump would have won reelection easily. As glad as I am that he didn’t — his sins and offenses, chief among them plain dumbassery, are simply too myriad to comprehend or numerate — I wish he would have if only if that would have meant fewer dead Americans. I wouldn’t have voted for him regardless, but I wouldn’t be celebrating his loss as much as I am. Once again, like Brett “Blatz” Kavanaugh, “I still like beer,” and since Uncle Joe’s resounding victory, I’m still liking it almost every day at 5 o’clock.

And to think that more than 70 million people voted for soon-to-be disgraced and disgraceful former U.S. president Donald J. Trump. That’s a lot of people who hate science. I know memorizing all those nerdy facts and data was hard sophomore year (believe me, I know), but was the class so bad you have to actively despise it now as an adult?

More than 150,000 Americans come down with the COVID per day, and there are more than 1 million new cases per week. In Tarrant County, 802 deaths have been confirmed from the novel coronavirus. It’s time to pass the HEROES Act in the Senate. The large relief package modeled on the $3 trillion HEROES Act that passed in the House in May stalled in the Senate. Any claims of pork from the right are dubious, especially when soon-to-be disgraced and disgraceful former U.S. president Donald J. Trump and his Republican sycophants ran up the biggest deficits, the biggest national debt, and the most enormous budgets in the history of the United States of America. Holding Americans hostage until after the election appears to be the likely reason. And yet people still vote for these demons. Still. We’re left to wonder that if soon-to-be disgraced and disgraceful former U.S. president Donald J. Trump and the ReTrumplicans had spent half the time, money, and energy on COVID instead of combating nonexistent voter fraud, would we be on the road to recovery by now? My answer is yes.

In addition to the HEROES Act, Texas could follow the lead of some other states — Republican- and Democrat-led — and issue a binding mask mandate, meaning enforcement and fines for noncompliance. To throw a hissy fit over wearing a mask in public, man, your life has to be pretty, pretty cushy. Talk about privilege. It’s a piece of fabric that could save lives. Or are you afraid people won’t see your pretty face? In that case, may I introduce you to a little website you may have heard of called Instagram?

We shouldn’t have to wait until January 20 for us to tackle the pandemic. The sooner that the stonewalling Republicans in Congress begin to accept reality, and the sooner that soon-to-be disgraced and disgraceful former U.S. president Donald J. Trump can be dragged away from the golf course to concede, the sooner we can begin to move the eff on. — Anthony Mariani


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