Perspective

Yep. The people wanting people to go back to work? They just love money more than life. They just want to get hair cuts and eat hamburgers. They want to kill grandma so the stock market will go up. It certainly can’t be a risk/cost analysis. Nope. They just hate science. Even the scientists among them hate science.

But don’t worry, if millions of poor people starve in the third world now, the same smug fucks who’ve been yelling at us to shut down everything for the last couple of months will take zero blame for that. I’m willing to bet that when/if this happens, they’ll still be out there, signalling their virtue from their comfy homes, because They Care So Hard.

Check out the article below from the ultra right wing New York Times, quoting the ultra right wing UN, so you can just proclaim it is biased conspiracy theory and can be safely dismissed. Now share some more memes about how everybody who disagrees with you is too stupid to wash their hands. That never gets old.

My only hope is that the UN’s math is as wrong for this as it is for everything else, but even if they’re off by an order of magnitude, the cure would still be worse than the disease. This is potentially a perfect storm of a lot of really poor people getting hit really hard. Food production down. Food costs up. Their exports down. No tourism. Less income. Which means more deaths from all the regular diseases, and of course, the resulting unrest. One big nasty spiral.

But that’s okay. You guys with the spicy memes, and your work from home jobs, and savings in the bank, just keep on pretending that everything is simple. Right/wrong, good/evil, black/white, your shit don’t stink, and anybody who disagrees with your hot take, well it can only be because they’re a fool. That guy who lost his job, business, and is worried about losing his house, or how he’s gonna feed his kids? He’s dumb. You’re the real champion.

Because you listen to the experts. Just not *those* experts. You listen to the *right* experts. The ones who agree with what you are already doing.

In reality, deep down, you probably know that everything is complicated. And it’s calculating risk vs. cost. There’s no easy answer. No matter what you do, somebody gets hurt. Actions have consequences. There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. But that’s scary to admit, and it means that you aren’t that virtuous after all, and you certainly aren’t any better than those you’ve been smugly mocking because their risk/cost analysis came back with different results than yours.

Because that would mean that they’re just people, just like you.

Nope. Can’t have that. This is the internet, where we say fuck your nuance.

GoFundMe for Uncle Hugo's Bookstore, destroyed by rioters last night
I started an Instagram page.

82 thoughts on “Perspective”

  1. Amen. Economies can’t stay in lockdown forever, and I’m one of those people who still has his full-time job. The lockdown was designed to build up lots of hospital supplies/space, not keep everybody from getting the virus. We may not have reached the point where we have destroyed the village trying to save it, but significant damage is being done.

  2. There’s a fight brewing. The harder they push back to keep us locked down, the nastier the fight will be.

    We are NOT all in this together, not at all.

    We are two tribes in one nation, and we’re getting ready to go to war.

    1. I admit, this sounds really nice. Sometimes, I too dream of crushing all the evil people under my boot, purging them from the land, and getting society back to the way it was supposed to be all along.

      But then I wake up and realize that the “evil people” constitute about 50% of the population. Even if you could bloodlessly Thanos-snap them all away, doing so will probably destroy economy; and there are no Infinity Stones in the real world, so you’re in for a bloody and destructive fight.

      So, as much as it’s fun to dream about a bright future where all wrong-thinkers have been purged, in practice it would be better to learn to live together, somehow.

      1. I try to avoid condoning the brutal silencing or termination of any swathe of the populace. Because that sounds all too much like too many statists and demagogues who demanded that wrong thinkers and people different from them were to blame for all their nation’s troubles, and they should be removed from society and put in camps.

        It sounds entirely too much like too many people do today. Fun game. Replace the terms “Conservative” or “Liberal” in someone’s bloviating angry speech with “Jew” or “Jap” or “Indian” or what have you, and see which historical figure they sound most like.

      2. Nonsense.

        Peace is only possible with a mixture of individuals whose values permit it.

        Leftism is functionally a religion, and one whose fundamental qualities are lacking in the capacity for peace, internally or externally.

        Historically, a fair number of American leftists have retained enough influence from things like the older form of American culture that they could manage to participate in some of the ceasefires that make up America.

        If the left has really managed to raise up the next generation of leftists free of any other influence, then there are two choices remaining a) put the rabid dogs down and enjoy peace b) accept the cost in being murdered by leftists.

        There really are situations where there is a practical choice between killing the SOB, and accepting being treated roughly. There is always at least a small amount of people who will never provide economic value in trade for what they cost you in random purposeless cruelty. There are other people who might be persuaded to restrain themselves if they know that felony will be punished, and potentially will be a net economic profit from your perspective.

      3. Except that the other side would willingly, gleefully, destroy us utterly. This is not a metaphor. That’s what they openly brag about working towards.

        Good =/= nice
        Good =/= stupid
        Good =/= weak

        1. Well, yes, “they want to utterly destroy us so we have to get them first” is what both sides have always been saying, throughout history, and today is no exception. I actually agree with you up to a point: a bloody civil war, with neighbours fighting neighbours, is totally winnable — on paper. In reality, I don’t want to end up living in a world where either side wins, and IMO neither do you. As I said above, it’s easy (and fun !) to imagine all the bad people just disappearing forever one day; it’s less pleasant to imagine your sister getting blown up by an IED that was set up by your neighbour from the next block.

          1. If people seriously think gun control is plausible, have overlooked the utility of explosives for massacres, and haven’t looked at the question of access to the intellectual tool chain, they aren’t all of sudden going to turn into master bomb makers.

            Peace between two parties requires both parties. If group G is losing the ability to support peace, than other groups have the choice of 1) eating the cost of continual fighting 2) exterminating G 3) dying trying to exterminate G.

            If violence starts, it is not going to end anywhere pleasant. It is not certain there is still a choice to avoid violence. Dying is better than living in a world where the left has had an uncontested victory.

          2. Actually, I really do want to live in a world where our side wins the coming civil war. The war is coming, will we or nill we. Unless we proactively surrender, and march ourselves onto the cattle cars and into the flames.

            If we win, we survive. If we lose, we don’t, and our country, our culture, our nation, our people will be gone forever.

          3. The problem is that when the switch is thrown, and hostilities commence, the reasons disappear. The look of the winning post-war government has absolutely nothing to do with the why, and everything to do with who the winning leader is.
            Sadly, Cincinnatus & Washingtons are rare, while Augustus & Napoleons are too common.
            If it comes to that, it is very likely that if “our side’ wins, they will still throw us into the Gulags. After all, the first act of a Revolution is often the shooting of the revolutionaries. They did it once, they could do it again.

      4. Allow me to give you a bit of advice in the hopes it will one day sink in, despite your tedious argumentative patterns:

        Respond to the things that were actually said, rather than what your galaxy brain conjured up.

    1. I was in favor of shuting down.
      Disease can be extremely nasty, the information we had was known to be borderline worthless, and the available anecdotes were serious.
      We now have a pretty solid handle on what we’re dealing with.
      And I cannot see how a general shutdown can be considered worth the opportunity costs any longer.
      Every minute this drags on is destroying lives. Every data point we’re documenting revises the infectiousness and deadliness of the disease downwards.

      Enough already.
      Urban population concentrations have a higher risk level, and it might be useful to keep them locked down longer. (Starting with shutting down Mass Transit! Seriously, how clueless are these idiots “in charge”?)
      Nearly everyone else?
      Roll up your sleeves. We’ve got work to do.

      1. I’m dealing with people who are having serious mental health problems because of being isolated, even though they are with their families and have virtual access to things. We need to open, to get the economy rolling, and let people start mingling and getting their mental pins back in order.

        I wonder, if we have another call for something like this in the next few years, how many are going to say, “No, I’d rather die” because of the anxiety, depression, and strain this round caused them or their family?

        1. I’d say it’s certainly a non-zero number. Maybe double digits? But I’m just a pleb, and that’s just a SWAG.

        2. > I’m dealing with people who are having serious mental health problems because of being isolated

          Weaklings

        3. I honestly am afraid to even try to imagine what it is like for people who are trapped with their abusive families, or partners, or in bad situations. Or what it is like for folks who were on the verge of leaving a bad place for a better one, and that opportunity is now gone thanks to this too long extended quarantine.

          Like those whose lifeline of escape was a job offer.

      2. Exactly all of what you said above, Luke. This is getting to be worse than the disease itself, and many of the ‘smart’ people don’t care about what you mentioned, so long as they don’t get sick with Covid-19. These people love this, because it confirms their pro-environmental, zero growth (and zero spending [c.f. Adbusters]) viewpoint that they want to see completely happen in North American and European society. Who gives a flying frak if businesses (mostly the independent ones that they love over chain businesses) go under? Who cares if people get sick and tired of being cooped up for months on end, with this effecting their mental health? The virus must be stamped out, or people will die!

        As an example of how bad this is more than the virus itself, check out this news item:

        https://www.blogto.com/eat_drink/2020/04/toronto-bar-evicted-by-landlord/

  3. China has been lying about the R naught and the mortality rates from the beginning. Shutting down air travel would have been a good thing – if it was all air travel worldwide, but how do you tell that one industry to take a break for three months?

    I understand why the progression occurred as it did. There were nowhere near enough masks. So they declared masks weren’t necessary, just wash your hands, no worse than the flu, the flu kills more people. Panic avoided. Then it became obvious that it is, in fact, far more lethal than the flu, it is airborne and can be carried in aerosol format. Most of the government had masks by then so masks were ok and suddenly mandatory in a lot of places.

    But now that there are masks and people understand that it is a serious illness and they really need to wear the masks and be careful, how necessary is it that a free people should remain on mandatory home detention? The market has been massively and unevenly destabilized. Some get to work and get paid, 26+ million are out of work. Some are now getting more from unemployment, many a lot less. This isn’t necessarily government’s fault. There is no one-size-fits-all solution but they only have time, focus and capital to pass sweeping acts which are very much one-size-fits-all. The consequences of that will not be seen or experienced for a while yet but they will also be severe.

    So let me wind up this with a really important question: what do you think other nations with wrecked economies, angry citizens, an army that has been paid for this month but might not get paid next month going to do?

  4. It’s funny- some the same people who are preaching SCIENCE! are thinking that bleach baths remove harmful radiation.

    They keep using that word. I don’t think it means what they think it means.

    1. Yeah, I agree, it’s some kind of an endemic problem that kind of drives me up the wall. We’ve got people trying to fight a highly infectious virus with measures such as:

      * Drinking bleach (or bathing in it, apparently ?)
      * Drinking colloidal silver (or some other alchemical concoction)
      * Setting fire to 5G towers
      * Mass prayer vigils in confined spaces
      * Eating tons of garlic (I do enjoy garlic, so I guess maybe this one isn’t so bad, but still)

      There are always going to be some idiots, sure, but the sheer number of them kind of makes me depressed.

      1. There is a problem with the promotion of eating garlic as some kind of prophylaxis or treatment for the Wuhan coronavirus.

        If people who normally don’t eat garlic start doing so in vast amounts, there will be less garlic available for those of us who like it! 😉

        Semi-off-topic: Hmm. Looking back at our host’s story in Jonathan Maberry’s “V War” series, perhaps garlic does indeed provide some immunity to the I1V1 virus for those of East European ancestry….

  5. Unfortunately, it looks like there’s no right answer here. In one extreme, we could open up the economy, have everything go back to normal, and just accept the massive death toll. In the other, we could stay locked down for at least two more years (*), and accept the death toll from starvation. Speaking as a fat old guy with high blood pressure who likes to eat food, I’m not too thrilled with either option.

    The truth isn’t always in the middle, but in this case, it just seems like the middle ground is the least bad option. We need food production and delivery services, but we could probably do without movie theaters and mass prayer vigils.

    Ultimately, I think that our society will be permanently transformed by the pandemic — at least, for a decade or more, until the combination of herd immunity (if any) and vaccination (ditto) do their work. I don’t think it’s realistic to imagine everything going back to just the way it was before, and any politician who runs on that platform is either an idiot or a callous liar (I mean, more so than usual).

    (*) Which is the minimum amount of time it would take to develop a vaccine, assuming it’s even possible.

    1. Do remember that keeping people locked down does decrease their resistance to the virus, and makes it far more likely they will have a more serious case. Being fat, out of shape, and depressed/ bored/afraid does not bode well for one’s general health.

      And while a lockdown can temporarily slow the spread, it does not stop it. People still need to get food, ect.

      Remember that people’s patience is not unlimited. Too much petty tyranny ala Michigan absolutely will result in more civil unrest, and any draconian measures to crack down absolutely will lead to even worse consequences. Too many of America’s civil servants have the mistaken idea that they are our Lords and Masters.

      1. Also fresh air and sunshine help against the virus.

        Me, I’m glad that I live in a townhouse. No worries about going out.

          1. “Next week: getting fresh air and sunlight is punishable by fines.”

            That’s already been done.

            Did you see how New Zealand was using helicopters to spot people camping by themselves out in the wilderness, so they could order them back to town so they could properly socially isolate?

      2. I am getting depressed and bored, and also getting even fatter, so I can see where you’re coming from… but… My chances of dying from boredom are significantly lower than my chances of dying from the virus, should I catch it. Additionally, both of my elderly parents are still alive, and I’d like them to remain so as long as reasonably possible.

        Maybe the answer is that old people and Morloks like myself should remain quarantined, while the young and healthy Eloi get to go outside — I don’t know. All I know is that going out and playing in the sunlight and fresh air will not drop my chances of dying significantly enough for me to risk it right now.

        It’s even worse for me, actually, because the hospitals in my area are completely overloaded. So, if some other medical problem happens to me that’s completely unrelated to the virus, and I can’t get a hospital bed, I’m still screwed.

        Overall, I do agree with you that “lock down everyone forever” is not a viable solution (and I said as much in my post) but the situation is more complicated (and much worse) than you make it sound.

    2. I’ve said this elsewhere, but I worry about the effect that this whole thing will have on people’s mental health. Prolonged isolation is not good for people, and if you tell people to just stay home and watch Netflix indefinitely, that could do some pretty lasting damage to our collective morale. But I get that if we just reopen everything now, we could be leaving ourselves vulnerable to a second wave. And don’t even get me started on the people who say, “I’m young and healthy! I’m sure I’ll survive it!”

      For me, the thing I’m really missing is going to concerts. I had tickets for shows in April, May, and June, and they all got cancelled. I mean, I know it’s not the worst thing that can happen to someone. But I’m still bummed out.

  6. In the United States, the quarantine, when and where it’s lifted, will probably be lifted in stages, cautiously at first. Some people are going to stay at home for their own safety.

    I would infer, however, that this is about the quarantine measures in underdeveloped Third World countries. I have to infer because I can’t just “check out” the NYT article, as you’re suggesting, without creating an account and giving one more person my email address to send me spam with.

    From what I’m seeing, the best strategy seems to be to hunker down, sit tight, and hang in there. I’d like to see the current measures continued until we’re sure they’ve worked, and then have them lifted.

    I might be biased, though. For relevant context, I was somewhat introverted before this quarantine, and I’m still employed (thank you, Lord, for that blessing) under conditions somewhat more pleasant than before (although I’m missing one coworker who’s taking a break for her own safety).

    1. Thing is, this is *not* a “quarantine,” this is essentially a “house arrest” situation.

      You “quarantine” people who are *already* sick (or who live with said sick person,) not the healthy people.

      Our state gov has announced today that the lockdown is being extended to 15-May, but some of the restrictions are getting lifted (yay, we can buy *PAINT* again!) but frankly I think it’s way to little, too late. Our state economy is going to tailspin hard, the federal economy is going to crater, and the world economy is going to be a hellscape.

      Or at least that’s what I’m expecting but hoping very hard that I’m wrong.

      1. I mentioned being somewhat introverted under “I might be biased” and “relevant context” precisely because a quarantine feels less like “house arrest” to me than life as normal. (Closer to normal instead of like normal, though. I miss going to church.)

    2. You can ‘check out’ the article by doing a Google-search for the article using its title, then right-clicking and selecting a certain mode that will let you see it and read it without having to worry about the paywall.

  7. Ah, and this is why I read this blog. A spade is called a spade, without hesitation. If it has a long handle, a shovel blade, and is used to move earth, it is a spade. This is the most straight down the middle commentary I have read in a long time. There is no perfect answer, it is complicated, and people, and everyone is real people, are trying to get it right. We are in the unenviable position of not knowing what we don’t know – almost all the data is suspect. I think the baseline population numbers are decent, but infected, tested, died of, all those are wobbly. Making sound decisions on bad data doesn’t work. A moment of thought and compassion when speaking to our fellow man can have exponential effects right now. As a simple thought experiment – if 50% of America has been infected, what is your answer? If 5 % of America has been infected, what is your answer? If they are not different, please rethink it.

  8. When the first lock-downs came, it made sense. Shut the schools. Shut down Mardi Grad (Oh. Wait). Send as many people home as you can and quarantine the old and weak. Because not only was the info contaminated, and the real risk of getting the Wuhan Gurgling Death unknown, but all our major hospitals had eschewed the blah and boring stock-piling of PPE for just-in-time logistics and Writers In Residence*.

    We were going to be slammed. So lock nearly everything down until Easter so we can get the FDA and CDC to get their head out of their collective fundaments, ramp up equipment and supplies, and basic research, and then re-open in stages.

    But that was all a lie. Kabuki Quarantine. Gestapo governors and Mayors. And scientific models from the same people who says confidently predicted that the glaciers would all be gone this year.

    I apologize to everyone who said I was an idiot for letting my fears subsidize the scientifically-illiterate run pot dictators. You were right, and I was wrong.

    *NEJM link on request.

  9. I am not a scientist, nor am I going to pretend to be one. And I have been lucky because:
    1. I live in New Hampshire where there has been relatively few cases
    2. I work as an engineer for manufacturer that produces for defense and law enforcement so my job has not been impacted. Well, we have cut down on meetings, so I am going to consider that a win. 🙂

    But I know there are people far worse off than me in this crisis. And I can’t help but wonder if Sweden’s approach would have been far better than the one we have taken. But again, I’m no scientist.

  10. We have to get over the impression so many people have that they will live forever. We need to understand, in a very fundamental way, that not everybody will survive. We will all get our chance to catch the Kung Flu over the next three years or so. Most will live, some will die. The survivors will carry on. But only if the government doesn’t destroy the country in the name of “safety”.

    Doctors can help, to a degree, in some instances. Proper sanitation and cleanliness makes a huge difference. But politicians generally make everything worse.

    1. I don’t mean to sound callous or heartless, because I’m not, but you are absolutely correct. Not everybody will survive the Wuhan Rona.

      Then again, not everybody will survive the next “pandemic” (which should be coming in about two years or so, based on recent history with H1N1 “swine flu”, and zika virus, and ebola (again), and measles, and the normal seasonal flu, and now Wuhan Rona).

      But not everybody will survive the annual seasonal flu. Not everybody will survive their morning commute, either, for God’s sake! And there’s no vaccine for traffic accidents.

      But we didn’t shut down the economy for those — not the decidedly-more-lethal-than-Wuhan pathogens, and certainly not traffic deaths. The latter is just an objective (“callous, heartless”) cost of living and working in America, that we all consider acceptable even though it kills far more people every year than any virus.

      So absolutely wash your hands frequently and cough/sneeze into your elbow; those are scientifically proven to help limit the spread. Wear a mask and gloves if it makes you feel better (but understand if you do it wrong, it won’t help you or anyone else and you WILL be ridiculed). But get the bureaucrats and politicians (especially Moonbat Pelosi) out of the way and — for the love of all that is healthy and holy — let the people get back to work!

      1. As I’ve told some of my Facebook friends, my diabetes will kill me just as much as Covid could (I didn’t go out that much before the damn thing started, and my patterns aren’t going to change); I’m still going to live my life, and am not going to let the Covid outbreak get me (mentally and emotionally) like it’s now doing to a lot of people.

    2. Not to sound callous, but “no one lives forever” is an easy thing to say when you yourself aren’t under a great amount of risk. It’s always easier to sacrifice other people than yourself.

      I personally would absolutely risk the CCP Virus if I knew that there’d be a hospital bed and a respirator waiting for me should my symptoms become life-threatening; but, right now an in my area, there are no free beds. And that’s just me; the odds for my parents are looking much worse right now, should they catch the virus.

      Should we Americans sacrifice people like me and my parents ? We might have to, because starvation can be deadly as well; but I want to make sure people make such choices in an informed and quantitative way, rather than just waving our hands and saying “YOLO lol”.

      1. Not to sound callous, but “no one lives forever” is an easy thing to say when you yourself aren’t under a great amount of risk.

        I am a high risk individual and I believe (I may be wrong) that you go to the hospital to die. And die alone of the Wuhan Gurgling Death.

        I fully support Archer and McChuck on this one, so man up. I know it’s scary, and I sympathize, because I was you a couple weeks ago. But one of my dear friends is over a month delay in a biopsy because of cowards like us.

        We can be better. We should.

      2. Try this on for an informed and quantitative decision making process.

        Republican voters have screwed up the locations they live in less where the hazards of this are concerned.

        Democrat voters are a more acceptable loss.

        So we can opt for an end to the lock down with the reasoning in each area being adjusted quantitatively between ‘probably safe enough’ and ‘they kinda have it coming to them’.

        Quantitative decision making only makes sense with a sufficiently small error bar on the measurements involved.

        Informed likewise has issues. There’s a flavor of information warfare expertise that sorts this by ‘too much simultaneity in US media for lack of coordination, and it lines up with what the PRC is saying on some points. How could the PRC be benefiting?’ Very much generally ‘who bells the cat’ and ‘why should I think you would know informed if it punched you in the face?’

      3. You are free to stay at home and starve. Until you miss too many rent/mortgage payments, and get thrown out on the street.

        Don’t expect all the rest of us to go down with you, just because you are afraid or frail. Don’t forget to keep a copy of the Constitution for when the toilet paper runs out.

        Yes, yes, I already know I’m unpleasantly realistic.

  11. I’ll believe TPTB on this whole thing when the .gov start laying off people. What the hell are all those (fed/state/local) gov employees in all those agencies workers doing when nobody outside gov is allowed to do anything.
    I suspect this whole pile of crap would come tumbling down if trump would issue an ex.ord. that all he SES employees were being furloughed at 1/4 pay, 50% of all FSP employees above FSP-12 the same and those below were on 1/2 pay.
    OH YEAH and congress and their staffs don’t get anything until everybody else out in the world is made whole.
    I worked in foggy-bottom for ten years; I know just how useless most people there are.

  12. But don’t think the virtue signaling from their homes will be worthless – I for one am looking forward to the first totally online streamed Live Aid concert to help those poor starving people being killed by capitalism.

  13. The article seemed to miss the current issue with extremely large locust outbreaks devastating agriculture in Africa, another element of this current perfect storm. Interestingly, I was thinking of another epidemic that happened awhile ago that involved a disease that was much more deadly at the time but had a very controllable contagion vector (blood born), oh the screeching and protests over closing down “bath houses”, laws pasted to prevent discrimination against a disease. Maybe if we make this disease part of an oppressed class we can get back to business.

  14. 20 years from now, Gen Alpha is going to be laughing about this, just like Gen Z laughs about Y2K.

    Well, minus all the war, famine and misery.

  15. I’m seeing some studies out of France, Italy, Iceland and NYC saying that antibody testing shows between 20-25% of those tested are positive for COVID-19 antibodies. They had it and didn’t even know.

    The NYC one was interesting, in that NYC rate was ~20%, Westchester NY was around 14%, and rural NY north of the city was around 3%.

    Showing that A) NYC shutdown didn’t do much to flatten the curve and B) we dodged a huge bullet here.

    Also shows that keeping rural areas shut down is idiotic. Gloves and masks for everybody, open the stores etc. for business, maybe hold off on large events for a while.

    1. What NYC shutdown? They delayed for weeks on this.

      That having been said, NYC is an epidemiologist’s nightmare, so taking them as what EVERYWHERE would have been like minus the lockdowns would be foolish.

      1. …taking them as what EVERYWHERE would have been like minus the lockdowns would be foolish.

        Agreed. Looking at NYC as the worst-case scenario for everywhere else only makes sense if that hypothetical “everywhere else” is just like NYC, given that NYC: A. completely failed to socially distance themselves, B. contained a packed subway system that the population continued (and continues to this day) to use, C. is run by feckless and clueless “leaders” who gave the absolute worst possible advice, and D. counted on other areas (“everywhere else”, heh!) to come to their rescue with supplies and manpower.

        The fact is, NYC is a unique case from the outset. Its public transportation, its jam-packed housing situation, its population density … all make it effectively impossible to socially distance like you can in other places. And that’s before Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio totally botched the COVID-19 response and expected the fed.gov, upstate NY, and even other states to pick up the slack. And the fact that other states were able to help (my own state sent several hundred ventilators to NY after we didn’t end up needing them) just further demonstrates that “everywhere else” is not NYC. The comparison is invalid.

      2. There’s a quickie study out there from 2011 that indicated the NYC subway system and public transit generally was a huge vector in the Wuhan plague.

        https://thefederalist.com/2020/04/22/how-public-transit-makes-the-nation-more-vulnerable-to-disasters-like-covid-19/

        Which is blisteringly obvious, really. So two weeks before total lockdown, you’ve got the mayor telling NYC to show up for Chinese New Years because racism, then lockdown has the buses and subways still running and still full.

        I also saw something saying that if you take out NYC the rest of the USA is the best in the world for beating COVID-19.

        At some point the assholes who “nationalize” numbers will be reviled as the charlatans they are. If Westchester County tests at 14% COVID-19 positive but NYC tests at 20%, that’s a significant difference in environment showing up in the numbers. All anyone has to do is Google Streetview to see why. Westchester is all detached suburban housing. NYC is the home of Spiderman, and Streetview will show you why. Look up 177A Bleecker Street NYC for a laugh.

        1. Phantom: I also saw something saying that if you take out NYC the rest of the USA is the best in the world for beating COVID-19.

          And if you remove NYC, Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Louisville, St. Louis, New Orleans, and Washington DC from the “gun homicide” numbers, the U.S. suddenly becomes one of the safest countries in the world, in addition to being the most well-armed.

          The outliers always skew the numbers; that’s why statisticians will exclude them if there’s a relevant and justifiable reason to do so (as there is with NYC; for all practical purposes, it may as well be a different country). Focusing on the few hotspots may be “newsworthy” — according to the MSM — but it completely disregards how astonishingly well the rest of the country is doing with their response.

  16. The media and politicians are trying to drag this thing out until the last corona virus dies of old age. They’ve got power over us, and they don’t want to let go.

    Admitting they were wrong would make them look stupid, so they’d rather watch the entire country burn to the ground.

  17. Thanks for remembering where you came from man. The only reason i still have access to the net is through a free government phone. The only reason I have power still is because they pledged not to turn it off. I am scraping by on white rice and one a day vitamins.My job let me go, the IRS has yet to send me anything when I gave them direct deposit info on the 12th. I am one of the lucky ones though I at least have the rice. I am sure there are people worse off than me after all at least I have the roof over my head. For now anyway, I do owe 2k come may first. MY landlord is a nice churchgoing man so I pray he will continue to work with me and let me resign the lease that is up June 1st. These freaking rich liberals who assume everyone is well off as them and that they have the money to sit at home sipping wine and preaching the good news of brother Marx. Not to mention the fascist governors that are practically pleasuring themselves on live TV as they get more and more control over their state.

    In short: I am poorer than ever, Mad at the coctial liberals and scared of all the power that we have all just handed away.

  18. Not commenting about politics or corona virus. Just want to say that during the quarantine I watched the movie Code 8 & it seems to me they ripped off your Grimnoir Chronicles trilogy!?

  19. I’m one of those who want people to go back to work. But mostly I just want my coworkers to go back to work. I’m still at my job, working in a warehouse, shipping out packages for those of you sitting home shopping online. I’d love to get some of my coworkers who are sheltering at home back in because I’m tired and would love for them to share the workload.

    1. @Brian: Well put.

      I’m blessed to have an “essential” job that I can do from home, and we’re introverted home-bodies anyway, so life is mostly going on more-or-less normally here, except that I’m saving on gas from not having to commute every day.

      But an enormous number of our friends and family can’t work from home or weren’t deemed “essential” enough. We have a LOT of service workers and construction contractors who’ve been furloughed, laid off, or had jobs postponed or cancelled due to the Wuhan Virus, and they are feeling the hurt (especially the contractors; most are self-employed and don’t qualify for unemployment). One neighbor is in your boat; she drives a delivery truck and has been pulling 12+ hour days and had her vacations cancelled indefinitely.

      We’re helping out and keeping spirits up as we are able, but what will really fix this is for everything to open back up so everyone can get back to work — and our neighbor can have a break!

  20. I’m not sure what to address here, since a lot of it seems to be addressed to social media randoms that are on the side of taking this virus more seriously than the author would like, and who may or may not be making sound arguments to that effect. I suppose I’ll respond with a ramble of my own.

    For starters, it’s probably not a good idea to ad hom others as “smug fucks” for their supposed lifestyle, when the author described his own precisely (works from home, financially astute, prepped with food and supplies). As far as the stock market goes, Fed money printer go BRRRR, so your boomerealestate and muh 401k should be sitting pretty for the time being regardless of actual economic conditions.

    I feel obliged to use this space to drag my… fellow?… conservatives, since they’re mostly the ones telling us it’s “just the flu” and that we need to open everything back up (just as cases are peaking and makeshift cloth masks are the best the more responsibly inclined bulk of the population can get their hands on). I saw these same people in February citing Chinese fake numbers to downplay things, saying anyone buying food and PPE was nuts, and that this would blow over in a few weeks (it clearly hasn’t). Now I see some of them going to open carry boog protests. Believe me, I’d love to break out my Hawaiian shirt and show off my latest AR build… just not with people who refuse to cover their snot-hole during a respiratory pandemic because it’s a NWO conspiracy to make people buy masks that cost the same as a roll of paper towels (or at least they would, if this country hadn’t reduced most domestic manufacturing to effectively 3rd world capability by outsourcing to its #1 strategic enemy cuz screw labor unions in the 80’s or something). These are people who consider themselves preppers, refuse to go anywhere they can’t CCW, etc. What a disgrace.

    The role of conservatives is to maintain order, deal with threats, to be more responsible than the other half. They’ve turned their back on that here, insisting on freedom without responsibility, which maybe why they’ve failed to conserve anything in particular for decades. A medieval pre-germ theory concept of infectious disease doesn’t help either.

    Conservatives are demonstrating that they are likely to be a liability in future more severe pandemics, and who knows what else. I’m sure rivals are also taking notice that this country is too divided to deal with any external threat, and that bioweapons (whether this is one by design or by opportunity) have amazing strategic potential going forward.

    Workers at essential businesses, distribution centers, meat packers, are hearing about dead coworkers, have no little to no protective equipment, and are saying screw this. Soon they can’t man a shift. That isn’t the big bad government’s fault. You’re going to see more lockdowns and disruption the longer people refuse to take this seriously. I’m sure the flu bro’s will keep blaming everyone that does for any and all knock on effects from this down the road though.

    Quarantines are ancient. They’re how you deal with a plague. They are also not cheap. They’re going to be implemented in hamfisted ways by incompetent officials who had never heard of such a thing a few months ago. Is this plague worth quarantining over? Most governments on the planet seem to think so, starting with one of the greediest economically-obcessed countries to ever exist (China). They just shut down another city of ~11 million this week. What do they know about this that we don’t?

    Nationwide quarantines were on the table here a month ago, but Trump wisely decided to let state governors take the heat. They should probably be as localized as possible going forward, even statewide quarantines probably don’t make sense given urban vs. rural, etc.

    In any case, Americans aren’t disciplined enough to comply with a quarantine. Not yet anyway. They need to see bodies stacking up in their own social circles to shake enough of them out of their neurotic denial and pre-germ theory understanding of infectious disease. No alternative now other than to let this burn through the population a bit. This gives time for more cost effective measures like sanitation/distancing, testing, and PPE to catch up, which are probably the best we can do until there are more effective treatments (it’s gonna be a while). Anyone that has a problem with those measures at this point, and still insists this is “just the flu”, is the problem.

    1. H said : “I’m not sure what to address here…”

      Maybe you should address your purpose in making this comment. You’re here from the flopping camel blog, echoing his talking points.

      Let me answer all of what you just said with this tidbit right here:

      https://phantomsoapbox.blogspot.com/2020/04/jews-threatened-by-nyc-mayor.html

      I want you to consider that thing right there in its full medical, social and historical context, particularly with the understanding the the NYC subway is still running and NYC had an airshow yesterday put on by the US military, attended by thousands. See the attached pictures from the Twitter feed for documentary evidence.

      Then having considered all that, tell me again about how Conservatives are the problem here.

    2. GFYS. You enjoy many personal freedoms but don’t understand liberty one bit. Some chutzpah calling out ad homs and decrying how divided we are then puking that hot take all over everyone.

      Go hide in your hole, we’ll let you know when it’s safe outside. Promise.

    3. H, one minor point. Until the Wuhan Fever, quarantines were for the sick and those thought to be at high risk of bringing in disease (travelers, merchants). The healthy were not required to undergo quarantine along with the ill or potentially ill. Once disease was present, certain possible transmission sites might be closed (Snow’s famous pump in London being example number one, literally), but again, the entire population was not placed in quarantine.

  21. Maybe off topic, but always topical:

    The September 2020 Baen Bundle leads off with Destroyer Of Worlds. 1/2 available June 15, complete book available September 1.

    Now that we know how long to wait for that book, are there any hints on the next Monster Hunter or Hard Magic book?
    ———————————
    They say I can’t be a nonconformist because I’m not like the other nonconformists.

  22. The following is an observation, and not necessarily aimed at anyone here (unless you think the shoe fits). I agree with Larry. But I’m so disgusted by hypocrites at other sites making unwarranted accusations that it fits in with Larry’s post, albeit from a slightly different angle, that I need to vent.

    Interestingly, as the lock-down that we now know to be mostly needless continues, I see the rise of the right/libertarian leaning New Antifa as well. They want to condone assault on, NOT the leadership, but the schlubs trying to balance the (often stupid) dicta of duly-elected leaders. Even when those schlubs are simply talking, not detaining, arresting, ticketing, etc.

    My own state is led by a prize idiot. But the thing is, the population of this state, overall, elected that prima donna idiot (to our shame, but that’s another story). And our STATE Constitution grants that idiot certain powers. But somehow, some of the same people who seemed to embrace Federalism when it was their own ox being gored by the el jefes in DC now want to turn around and cry “unconsitutional” and forget the 10th amendment they previously embraced. I don’t have that level of hypocrisy.

    You want to impeach your governor (I so would like to do so to my own), that’s fine. But the idiot’s dicta, however colossally stupid, are covered by my state’s constitution in terms of the emergency powers. Do not tell me that a police officer comply with those stupid dicta is being a jack-booted thug. My state’s constitution clearly requires such, including (to my surprise) county sheriffs.

    When people who are notionally right or libertarian throw around the Nazi label (and I just witnessed that today) or compare it to rounding up the Jews, I say a pox on both their houses, Antifa and the New Antifa.

  23. There’s an element of conspicuous consumption/ luxury belief among the lockdown advocates, of the Wealthy who can afford to stay home and work flexing on the poors who can’t.

    But, Caring So Hard, Leftist Virtue Signaling- pretty much all of it is Privilege Speaking Power To Truth.

    1. There’s partly that, partly the usual doomsaying from the left – from what I’ve seen, liberals love nothing more so than a global catastrophe, because it allows them to engage in all kinds of dictatorial fantasies. Whether it concerns global warming, overpopulation, or evidently a flu outbreak, the matter is never regarded in practical terms. In this case, any talk of a cure – particularly whether some current drugs are already effective – is preemptively shushed down, lest it cut in on the doomspeak fun. Same goes for the apparently numerous ways that makeshift ventilators can be devised in order to supplement the available stock in hospitals. No, the spiel is invariably “the world is ending, do as I say!”, followed by copious self-patting on the back when the situation visibly winds down.

      As for the wealthier bits of the left, I’d say that, as a good chunk of them belong in mainstream media, particularly the currently paralyzed cinema industry, the present situation is a veritable wake up call with regard to their delusions of relevance. As the whole “Imagine” fiasco proved, most people are sick and tired of celebrities using every crisis to boost their moral stock, and are now also realizing that going to big budget films and concerts isn’t indispensable for their lives either.

      And when you add Hollywood’s heretofore dependence on China for most of its revenue – a feeder that’s about to be severely restricted given the rather… tarnished image of the CCP right now – the upper crust of the left is likely to suffer a blow it won’t recover from anytime soon. The world might just be ending indeed… for them.

      1. And when you add Hollywood’s heretofore dependence on China for most of its revenue – a feeder that’s about to be severely restricted given the rather… tarnished image of the CCP right now – the upper crust of the left is likely to suffer a blow it won’t recover from anytime soon. The world might just be ending indeed… for them.

        Hatred for the CCP notwithstanding/aside (and yes, I hate the CCP myself for letting this pandemic happen), if you seriously believe that China’s the only place from where to get movie grosses, you’re severely deluded. Also, your implying that many actors of a liberal bent love the CCP is similarly deluded; dealing with the CCP and the PRC is (unfortunately) a nesscary evil/making the best of a bad situation, not just for the movie industry, but for most of the other (North) American industries as well. (Oh yeah, one other thing about the PRC/CCP-what goes on in the PRC -and what went on in the USSR-isn’t socialism, but state capitalism, in which the state controls companies that make things Iike automobiles, home appliances, cosmetics, food products, etc.; YouTube-search ‘Soviet commercials’ as I did one night while surfing the Internet, and you’ll discover that fact soon enough-it wasn’t just an episode of SCTV.)

        In addition, your wishing death on current Hollywood and current actors/actresses is counter-productive (especially if you’re the kind that wouldn’t watch foreign or domestic independent American movies); why blast a whole industry because many people are of a different political bent than you? I don’t see people giving the country music industry a pass because of the neocon beliefs of many of its performers: you don’t need to do the same (and trust me, while watching old movies and TV shows might be good at first, it’ll get boring eventually.)

        1. I agree that dealing with the CCP is indeed considered a necessary evil, based on profit rather than political allegiance; and that some major film companies are likely to find replacements quite quickly. However, it cannot be understated that the influence and political requirements of the CCP have negatively affected the sheer stylistic quality of any film hoping to be screened in China – something far less likely to happen outside socialist dictatorships. (And yeah, I’ll call it socialism, since that’s what my country called it when we practiced it.)

          More importantly though, the major error in perspective here is the idea that the film industry can only consist of either million dollar blockbusters or shoestring budget indie productions and “artsy” foreign schlock. Nowadays, both HBO and increasingly the various online streaming services can afford production values on par with anything film companies can come up with. And all without having to tailor their content to any nation’s morality police.

          Finally, unlike country music, Hollywood has been actively hostile to anyone with differing political views – including a list of actors too long to name – long before the Oscars were turned into unwatchable polemic circle-jerks. Its demise – or downgrade, at the very least – will not be the death of actual artists and creators. It will be their release. And one long coming, I imagine.

    2. Apparently the Hollywood Wokerati want us to NEVER go back to normal, and that there be an ‘end to consumerism.’

      Along with other people who belong to groups which tend to be wealthy or tenured.

      Rich people telling poor people how they should change their lives, for… environmental reasons.

      Fuck that noise to the SUN.

  24. If a few recent articles are correct, then NYC was the actual epicenter of the disease and fleeing NY’ers spread it faster than anything else.

    Next time, blow the bridges and send in Batman to keep the peace. If Bruce Wayne is busy, put Jim Comey in a cape and let him test the theory that a smug attitude makes you bulletproof.

  25. It is not all Doom & Gloom out there. Today (5/11), my Julie and Mr Trashbags shirt came in. Looks great (instant classic). Nice touches with the dart gun, “happy-face” shirt and those shoes that Bill loves to draw.

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