Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

REALITY VS SPIN

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The main reason I find the Covid-19 outbreak so compelling is that it transcends spin. What do I mean by that? A bit of background. The mainstream media in the US is infotainment, a product designed for a targeted demographic. Fox News blazed the trail, but all the rest have followed suit. So now when people watch the mainstream news, congruence with reality is a coincidence. Yes, it’s more nuanced than that, and there’s a whole spectrum of incongruity with reality, but for the most part what people see on Fox or MSNBC can be safely believed without any risk of their daily reality contradicting it. Covid-19 is rapidly going past that, people will notice empty store shelves and dead friends and relatives. Reality bats last. Could get interesting in other words. And not the good kind of interesting.

Hell, it already is. I’m ready. I ordered an electron microscope on Amazon. That way if a virus with my name on it shows up, I have a chance of spotting it. Does that qualify as a dad joke? Does it even qualify as a joke? I’m going to depend on morbid humour to get through this. That, and a pile of soap and alcohol. Rubbing alcohol, for sterilizing surfaces. Just in case that needed clarification. In any event, some random weird reactions followed by a summary of sorts. The Covid-19 files:

In expected news, from high to low special interests are trying to cash in on this.  A banking industry group has called for the markets to be deregulated in order to fight the Covid-19 epidemic. How exactly is giving the banks what they want to turn Wall Street into an even more wild west fixed gambling casino for the rich isn’t really explained. Jeremy Krass of the University of Michigan School of Business condemned  the recommendations as incoherent and “transparently opportunistic.”  Ain’t unfettered capitalism grand? Unfettered by even a shred of human decency and ethics in this case.

It gets worse. Rick Santelli suggested maybe we should just get it over with and give everyone in the country Covid-19 to spare the economy. He’s the guy who started the Tea Party movement, a movement in search of a mission. He later apologized and said his remarks were insensitive and inappropriate. They were also shockingly stupid Mr Santelli. First of all, worst case scenario only 40-70% of the population will get the virus, I guess he thinks people will feel left out if they don’t get Covid-19? Secondly, millions would die and one out of five would require hospitalisation. How, exactly, is that going to spare the economy? Did he just invest in coffin manufacturing company stock? Sadly, pretty sure this won’t be the last blast of stupid about Covid-19. Hell, here’s a guy denying Covid-19 exists. (Sorry it’s on a tendiciously liberal site, but the facts seem real.)

On the plus side, Coronavirus porn is now a thing. Yes, it’s real. Humans are just shaved monkeys, and anyone who has visited a monkey house knows what goes on there. When they are not throwing excrement at visitors. So no surprise. Granted I don’t see the appeal, but the link apparently has links to NSFW coronavirus porn for those so inclined. I’ll stick to my mermaid smurf porn, I’m not some sort of weirdo thank you.

Still hearing people downplay Covid-19 by comparing it to the annual flu. It’s a deceptive comparison. Yes, the annual flu kills enormous numbers of people compared to Covid-19, and we aren’t freaking out about the flu? So Covid-19 is no big deal, right? Well, wrong. Yes, as it now stands, the flu is worse. However, if Covid-19 infects as many people as the flu does, or even a significant fraction of that, it will be vastly worse than the flu. It will kill and seriously sicken vastly more people than the flu does. That’s what the big deal is, public health officials desperately want to prevent Covid-19 from becoming as ubiquitous as the flu. And any rational person should be able to understand that.

So, where are we today? Up to about 100,000 confirmed cases in over 80 countries. It’s doubled in about three weeks. Italy has quarantined 16 million people. It’s in numerous states in the US, likely all of them by now. I’m guessing the next three weeks is the key. If it doubles again, or less, might still be under control. If it’s more than doubled, we’re in deep le doo doo deep. We would be talking millions of cases by summer, with enormous economic costs as parts of the globe shut down to try and prevent it spreading further and faster.

Here in the US, still spreading, Trump still getting mixed reviews on his performance. He’s said a number of, well, factually challenged things. Suggesting people sickened by Covid-19 should just go to work. Basically still downplaying it, still making it all very partisan. He’s basically BSing his way through it, and because he and his core followers believe in his BS, they still think he’s great. The man actually believes he’s this brilliant individual, and so do his followers. That won’t help in the response to Covid-19, so Trump might well turn into the Herbert Hoover of his day. He was the Republican president who had the misfortune of having the stock market crash and onset of the Great Depression during his time in office.

Basically the Covid-19 epidemic is real, and no amount of dancing and prancing and finger pointing on Trump’s part will change that. As one expert said: “The spread of the coronavirus outbreak in the US could push the healthcare system to its limits. In a February webinar presentation hosted by the American Hospital Association, an expert laid out “best guess” estimates about how many Americans could be impacted. He projected that there could be as many as 96 million cases in the US, 4.8 million hospitalizations, and 480,000 deaths associated with the novel coronavirus.”

Have a great week everyone.

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Facebook meme. Credit: Unknown, used without permission. I will happily attribute or remove it should the copyright holder come to light.)

Written by unitedcats

March 8, 2020 at 4:51 pm

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