Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

SCREAMING AT THE TV

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I watched the Biden/Bernie debate last night. I was literally screaming at the TV at one point. I said to my perplexed housemate, guess now you’re glad I don’t watch the news all the time? Yes, yes he is. It’s likely the neighbor’s are glad too. Apparently it’s genetic, my grandfather was known for flying into a rage watching the news. The item that earned the loudest screams, the debate moderator actually asked “Should China be punished or sanctioned because their initial response to Covid-19 was inadequate?” The Trumpian/neocon implication being that other countries should be punished by the US for doing what the US deems to be bad things? Who the hell made America the world’s policeman? And if we are going to talk about countries causing problems in other countries, the US has turned whole nations into failed states wreaking havoc across entire continents. So yeah, pot calling the kettle black, global style. And the idea that Covid-19 is a created bio-weapon requires layers of special pleading, so not likely. I’m losing my already shredded tolerance for propaganda. It never helps. Propaganda, not tolerance.

Well, if one ever wondered if something like Covid-19 would pull humanity together, the answer is pretty obvious. No, some nations are better than others, but turns out having a planet run on the “armed gang turf” model isn’t a good model for communal national response to a global emergency. Basically think of Covid-19 as an alien invasion, because that’s a pretty damn good analogy. It doesn’t care. And we’re squabbling among each other for the most part. Trump not exactly leading the charge for international cooperation in the face of this crisis.

Writing about this unfolding crisis is weird, thoughts and trends become irrelevant so quickly. I had more thoughts on the Bernie/Biden debate, but it’s already slipping away. Bernie thinks the Covid-19 crisis should force us to look at the problems in society that are making this such a disaster. Great, but it was preaching to the choir. Biden is the Democratic voice of corporate America, IE GOP lite. He sounded good though, he’s not senile yet. And the debate format clearly played to his neocon world view. At this point, who knows. Both could easily die of Covid-19 before the election. Reality bats last.

Yeah, it’s bad and getting worse. Last Friday my small rural Iowa town was mostly pretending everything is fine, in action (bars etc packed) and online. By today the tide was changing. The empty store shelves, Trump and the governor finally saying it’s an emergency. Too little too late I expect, it’s still exploding in Europe, and they were vastly more prepared for this than the USA. Oh, yeah, Biden at one point even said that Italy’s cradle-to-grave health care system had failed to prevent their outbreak, evidence that such wasn’t needed in the US. The “logic” in that is so frighteningly bad that yes, more screaming. We’re going to fare a lot worse than Italy, and our patchwork for-corporate-profit health care system is part of the reason.

Trump rated himself 10 out of 10 on his response to Covid-19, which is divorced from reality, but he believes it. At this point Covid-19 is looking like the worst pandemic since 1918, the worst depression since 1929. With Trump stridently claiming he’s got it under control the whole time, despite all evidence to the contrary. This is going to be like Hurricane Katrina, but national. Some of our friends and family will be dead before Christmas, barring a miracle.

Yes, so normal last week, peeps starting to freak out this week. Empty store shelves, limits on purchases. The first national disruption of my lifetime since the gas crisis of 73. And looking much worse than that already, though at least gas is in good supply. Yeah, fracking. I’m pretty stocked up, and have helped friends and neighbors already, because that’s why I stocked up. We’re all in this together.

In that vein, peace out to everyone I know, in contact with them or not. My estranged siblings, my friends old and new, Lars, Eric, Steve, my family, my readers, everyone. I’m at risk in the coming storm, if I go I want to be at peace with all. Even my mortal enemy, Anna-lisa Smoker. “You haven’t really lived until you’ve had a mortal enemy.” I’m quoting myself. I’ll try to make a near future post about the nuggets of supposed wisdom I’ve uttered or heard in my life. Might be my last chance.

So I had a bunch of links, most stale already. It’s bad people, not a hoax. And Covid-19 is worse because our system has failed the common good. This link is worth reading. And yeah, there’s a storm coming in. Hell of a thing. Take care everyone.

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Anonymous Facebook meme. Credit: Riker’s Beard? Used without permission, will gladly attribute or remove upon request as required.)

Written by unitedcats

March 16, 2020 at 6:52 pm

I HAVE NO WORDS, GROCERS TO FIGHT A PANDEMIC?

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OK, I had a Covid-19 post already written. Then, Friday the 13th, Trump held a press conference where he announced a national emergency over Covid-19, the novel coronavirus pandemic that is spreading around the world. I’m still in shock over his event. Trump trotted out his crack team of … grocers … who are going to be our goto guys for fighting Covid-19. Not experts in public health or pandemics, no, those weren’t even consulted in the planning for this! And by grocers, I mean the heads of giant health care profiteers like Walgreens. People whose entire agenda is to make money from sick people. Wait, what? When your house is on fire, one sends in fire-fighters, not anyone else. Right?

And after all these guys gave a little rahrah speech for Trump, Pence gave a speech extolling Trump’s response to Covid-19 and claiming everything was all peachy, which was so divorced from reality that I had to stop listening. I’m having a real hard time processing this, Trump seems to have finally become aware that Covid-19 is real, not a hoax as he was claiming at first, but he thinks businessmen are the people to fight this? This is surreal, did I dream this, did I die this afternoon and this is a dying fever dream?

So yeah, crisis of the decade, if not my life, is upon us. We’re in a really interesting moment in history, gonna be wild. Like when Grant was approaching Richmond or Panzers were rolling over France. Surprize! Reality might very well change in big ways in the next few months. I’m gonna keep  blogging about it, because my whole life has been devoted to “What the hell is going on here?” And right now, “here” is overwhelming whatever comfortable fantasies Americans live under. Arguably we’re the most sheltered and coddled national population on Earth, so the Covid-19 shutdown is going to be an ugly shock to most Americans.

I hoped Trump would make it through his term without having to deal with something like this, most of the damage he’s done can at least potentially be rolled back. Ain’t no fixing this, a global crisis, and the guy in the White House is a failed businessman, skilled grifter, habitual liar, and reality show star. Not the skill set for dealing with a pandemic. As today’s performance showed. :( Convince me otherwise.

One last thought, Trump and Pence made a big deal about how their border closures made things so much better. And on one level, true enough, the fewer infected people arriving, the better. However, and it’s a huge however, that was only part of the battle. There was no question that Covid-19 was going to arrive in the US, so border restrictions just bought us time to deal with it when it got here. And that’s where Trump dropped the ball. They did nothing but pretend it was no big deal. And here we are, it’s spreading rapidly in the US, and we don’t even have a clue how much because zero preparation was made for widespread testing and containment procedures.

I had more, but most of it is rapidly being overtaken by events. The crisis of a generation is upon us, and the Trump administration isn’t handling it well. So barring a miracle, things are gonna get real ugly over the next few months. I hope and pray I’m wrong, time will tell I suppose.

Have a safe and sane weekend everyone. Comments appreciated, damned if I know what to make of all this. God bless.

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: A Lewis Carrol illustration, The Hunting of the Snark: An Agony in Eight Fits by Lewis Carroll, just a random image of something crazy, like today’s Trump national emergency declaration. Credit: Henry Holiday, This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 70 years or fewer.)

Written by unitedcats

March 13, 2020 at 7:32 pm

IT BEGINS

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I went to my local Dollar General store today, and was saddened but not surprised that people were buying cartloads of staples, and store shelves were already empty. And I live in rural Iowa, so I can only assume it’s happening elsewhere. Not too surprising, the World Health Organization today declared that Covid-19 is officially a pandemic. Cases outside China increased thirteen fold in the past two weeks, and it has spread to at least 114 countries. Here in the USA, apparently the Trump administration is taking the situation so seriously that they are sticking to their proposal to slash funds for the CDC and the Infectious Diseases Rapid Response Reserve Fund. He honestly seems more concerned with salvaging the stock market. He’s also ordered federal health officials to treat top-level coronavirus meetings as classified, which is hampering their ability to do their jobs. Controlling the narrative and protecting his image is more important than protecting Americans apparently. You can’t make this shit up, the mind, already boggled, careers uncontrollably.

So, ok, here’s a link about why it is so important to slow down Covid-19’s spread by social distancing and other measures. Basically, the slower it spreads, the less stress on the health care system. And the less stress on the health care system, the more people will be treated and survived. If it spreads rapidly, the system gets overwhelmed, and patients die in the hallways. Read it here: Curve mitigation. Hoping Trump’s upcoming address focuses on this.

And here’s a good article about why it is so important for infected people to isolate themselves. Too much has been made about “It’s no big deal, most people will have mild symptoms.” Yes, yes they will. But if they don’t isolate themselves, they will give Covid-19 to people who will die. Anyone with Covid-19 is a Typhoid Mary, this cannot be emphasized too much, and they need to self isolate. Read it here: Stop killing people. And here’s another article about why it’s so important to take drastic steps now.

In other words, this is a global emergency, and immediate and decisive action should be taken by Trump to limit Covid-19’s spread. We can’t prevent it, but we can minimize the harm. Sadly a line of logic that Trump in his back and white thinking seems incapable of. We’ll see, I’m going to listen to his Covid-19 message in 45 minutes, and I can only hope he snaps out of his shit. I expect mealy mouthed crap downplaying the crisis, bragging about how well he is handling it, and partisan attacks thrown in for good measure. It will be all about Trump, not protecting America. I hope I’m wrong.

<Trump’s Covid-19 address>

Oh boy, that was … interesting. Here was my tweet after watching Trump’s first public statement from the Oval Office:

First impression of Trump’s Coronavirus statement: 80% lies, bragging, or irrelevant. 20% on point. Could of been worse.

Yeah, I was not terribly impressed, though not as horrified as I could have been. Watch/read Trump’s message here. I took notes.

A lot of bragging about how great our response has been and how the US is the best prepared nation in the world for facing this pandemic. Pure unadulterated BS. We are terribly unprepared for all sorts of reasons, likely the least prepared developed country. He announced closing flights from Europe; um, dude, Covid-19 is already here. That’s called closing the barn door after the cows are gone. There was also kind of a xenophobic tone to his characterizations of this “foreign” virus, but whatevs. That’s Trump for you.

He announced measures to limit the economic hit to small businesses and workers. Etc. All good I guess, but being the cynical SOB I am, one has to wonder where the money for this will come from. Somehow I doubt the Pentagon or fossil fuel subsidies will take a hit. There was also his schtick about how the economy is the best it’s ever been, which is always scary. No, it’s not, so he either really believes that, or is lying. Neither is reassuring. This was all kind of the irrelevant part, since for most of us, “Is granny going to survive this?” is the more pressing concern.

And Trump did stress the importance of hand washing and social distancing. He’s right there, can’t argue that. I don’t think it went far enough though, he didn’t cancel any rallies or take other measures to limit Covid-19’s spread inside the US. Basically his whole speech could be summed up as: “We got this, just wash your hands.” I think the country needs to take drastic steps to stop the spread of Covid-19, that’s the only thing that will minimize the death toll.

Trump didn’t look good either, though at least his message was blessedly brief. Being president is a stressful job at the best of times, and this is the worst of times. 1918 all over again. Some of the people I know are likely to die before this is over. My own chances aren’t the greatest. We need to learn from history, and sadly history teaches us that people are in denial until too late. A topic for a blog post itself.

Stay safe everyone, protect your elders.

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image:  Empty store shelves. Credit: Public domain image obtained from Snappygoat.)

Written by unitedcats

March 11, 2020 at 7:48 pm

WORLD WAR V

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I’m paraphrasing here, but this is it folks. World War V. A pandemic in all but name. A novel coronavirus, Covid-19, is at war with the human race. A virus humans have never faced before, our immune systems are, well, more or less defenceless. A virus that  doesn’t give a shit about one’s ideology, religion, race, or political party. It doesn’t give a shit about anything but finding more hosts and passing itself on. And it’s winning. This. Is. Really. Happening.

We are facing a planetary emergency, and a lot of people aren’t getting it. Making partisan fun still. All of Italy is shut down trying to stop this thing, and Italy has one of the best healthcare systems in the world. Yet still seeing Americans saying things like:

“Maybe it’s worth the economy crashing and burning and my losing my retirement if Trump loses 2020.”

No, no it’s not. Especially not if hundreds of thousands of Americans die. We’re all on this boat together, no matter how much we may loath the captain.

I’m also still hearing the flu analogy. Along the lines of, look how many people the flu kills every year, and no one panics about it. Just a part of life. Yes, yes it is. And no, we don’t panic about it. We do however fight it tooth and nail, expending huge resources every year keeping it in check. It’s a terrible thing, especially to those who lose friends and loved ones to it. So a new “flu” is nothing to worry about? That’s the logic of a sociopath, a new “flu” would be a terrible thing, not something to just accept as part of life. No one is suggesting panic. Yes, this might bring down Trump. His administration is flailing. That’s nothing to be happy about! Our leader failed us and hundreds of thousands died! Woohoo! Wait, what? 

Trump’s retweeted the image above. As Trump sees himself, calm leader, in charge. Of course the implication is he’s serene about getting re-elected, but hey, a vision of Trump being a calm leader in a crisis, one can only hope. For example, if he now cancelled all his campaign rallies to prevent the spread of Covid-19, and sequestered himself in the White House to deal with the crisis, I would be impressed. A lot of people would. I’ve never had much hope in Trump, but I don’t want him to fail! This is your Waterloo Mr trump, only you get to decide if you’re Wellington or Napoleon.

That being said, one has to wonder what he was thinking tweeting about himself as Nero fiddling while Rome burns. (Yes, the bottom text line is an Alt-Right sentiment, but I digress.) Nero fiddling while Rome burned was a bad thing, not some calm leader in the face of crisis. Is Trump that ignorant of history … or of how to use Google? Or did he really mean he is going to party while Covid-19 reaps its death tax? Really? And has anyone explained to him what happened to Nero, the Caesar who allegedly partied while the city of Rome burned? He grew so unpopular because of his policies that even his supporters spurned him, and his attempts to flee failed because his guards refused orders to take him to safety saying: “Is it so dreadful a thing then to die?” (A quote from Classical Roman literature. Who knew Romans were the first Klingons?) Then his guards fled, and Nero killed himself to avoid being torn to bits by a mob.

So you’re really comparing yourself to Nero Mr. Trump? Oh well. When Trump was running for POTUS I half jokingly told peeps if he wins I will apply for a position in his administration. I even considered it after the election, but realized it was a long shot at best. And even if I did, I’m not much of a yes-man, so sooner or later (but probably sooner) I would have spoken my mind and said something “disloyal,” and that would have been that. Why yes, I worked in corporate America once. If I had ended up in the Trump administration, and somehow was still there, this would be my moment of truth. Step up to the plate Mr. Trump, stop obsessing on the Dems, partisan politics, or the election. Focus on Covid-19, this is the threat facing America that dwarfs other threats.

Or maybe the tweet is right. Nothing can stop what’s coming. Covid-19 isn’t going to go away by itself. Even if a country does manage to halt its spread, they can’t stay in their homes forever. And as long as Covid-19 is out there, it will find its way back. So all nations can hope to do is slow its spread enough that hospitals aren’t overwhelmed, and eventually enough of the population will have survived it to make containment possible. Hopefully aided by a vaccine at some point. This all assumes that people who survive a bout of Covid-19 are for the most part immune to reinfection. That’s the likely case. Knock on wood.

To conclude, it’s real folks. That’s the irony Trump missed in his quote, Covid-19 is coming, and nothing can stop it. If you’re over 60 you should especially hunker down, that’s from the freakin CDC. Convince me otherwise, I’d love to be wrong on this one.

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Trump tweet.  Credit: Unknown, but my current understanding is Trump’s Twitter channel is an official US government publication, and thus Public Domain for most purposes. Including this blog. Quote: Used with permission.)

Written by unitedcats

March 10, 2020 at 4:10 pm

Posted in Coronavirus, Trump

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

IN OTHER NEWS …

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Well, the Super Tuesday Primary is over, and the fawning corporate media is falling all over itself proclaiming Biden the victor. And I can only agree. It will be Biden vs Trump in the fall, and Biden will more than likely lose. It’s almost as if the establishment doesn’t give a rat’s ass about anything other than corporate profit. And the loss will be blamed on Russians and Bernie supporters, further dividing the party and making sure that true progressive issues never get off the ground. Baring some big change, that’s my prediction for the 2020 POTUS election. God help us all.

Trump and the Taliban signed a peace deal. On the one hand, anything that smacks of the US backing away from its colonial wars is a good thing. On the other hand, it’s hard for me to see this as anything but an election year stunt. The agreement was reached and signed without the participation of the Kabul government, America’s ostensible ally, even though they were required to abide by its provisions. So predictably enough, it’s already falling apart. Basically Trump can now say he tried to get the US out of Afghanistan, but the Taliban wouldn’t hold up their end of the deal! Right. Mr Trump, you can pull American troops out of Afghanistan any time you want, the Taliban’s permission is not required.

Scientists have spotted the remains of the largest explosion ever detected. The “crater” (a bubble really)  it left in space could fit fifteen of our own Milky Way galaxies. Ginormous doesn’t begin to cover it, this explosion could have destroyed our own galaxy. Fortunately it’s nearly 400 million light years away, so no worries. Best guess is that it was produced by a, well, ginormous black hole somehow. Matter falling into a black hole can get really hot as it spirals towards it, and if enough matter gets hot enough, kaboom. Still stay tuned, astronomers still have a lot to discover. The doctor has a good post discussing various aspects of this discovery.

And in India, pogroms! Yes, Muslims are being targeted and murdered by Hindi mobs. So Trump wasted no time praising Mr Modi, the man whose policies inspired the violence. Mr Modi basically is trying to legally turn India’s Muslims into second class citizens. Who would have thought that a national leader stripping a minority of their rights and demonizing them might lead to violence? Oh, right. Sadly, it’s not just academic, religious extremists are working hard to turn the United States into a “Christian” theocracy where non Christians are second class citizens. I find that a lot scarier and more likely than Trump turning into the next Hitler. And I say “Christian” theocracy because the idea that Jesus would have been down with this is questionable at best. Christ taught love and inclusion, not hatred and exclusion.

In another Trump fail (aren’t you glad this isn’t another Covid-19 post?) Trump said that wait staff making $2.13 an hour are overpaid! Trump has always claimed American workers are overpaid, claiming that somehow that hurts America’s international trade. It’s all a crock of bull of course, American workers have been getting it in the shorts for decades, while the rich grow ever richer. Despite Trump’s lies, the situation for American workers hasn’t improved at all under Trump, as this site chronicles. America, land of duelling fantasies.

Greta Thunberg is still in the news. You would think someone trying to rally the planet to deal with a freaking planetary emergency would be universally popular, but no. Sadly the fossil fuel industry, the most insanely profitable industry the world has ever seen (supertankers are the Spanish treasure galleons of our time) has the money to buy entire political parties and whole governments. So Greta gets lots of death threats, and such things as this lovely little incident where a Canadian oil company gave its workers stickers portraying Greta being raped. She points out that oil companies stooping so low is a sign of desperation. Well, when you’re destroying the planet to keep a tiny handful of people ever and ever richer, I guess desperate measures are all they have. The global warming deniers love to claim the issue of human caused global warming isn’t settled … so what. (It is settled.) There’s people claiming evolution or the age of the Earth aren’t settled, hell, the planet is filled with people denying various scientific issues. Again, the doctor has a good post on them.

In local news, it looks like winter is over in Iowa. Nothing but nice weather in the pipeline for the next few weeks. Woohoo! Of course I still can’t walk more than 20 feet without excruciating pain, but at least I can look out the window and not see a sub arctic wasteland. Hope everyone is having a good week, comments and shares appreciated.

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 4, 2020 at 8:30 pm

DARK DAYS

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Number three abortive Covid-19 post. I notice it’s not making a huge amount of news, I think some attempt is being made to avoid panic. A good thing, panic rarely helps. As the CDC says, keep calm and wash your hands. At this point, still thinking Covid-19 is the cold from hell. The 1918 flu of our time. 40-70% of the world’s population will catch it, millions will die. The US will be particularly hard hit because of the dismal state of our public health care system, among other factors I previously blogged about.

Economic disruption is almost a certainty at this point. Just the closing of factories in China is going to result in empty store shelves here. Those of us who remember the 1973 gas crisis know what it will be like. Except there will be shortages of all sorts of things, not just gas. A little preparation now goes a long ways, I’m stocking up on items I know I will use eventually no matter what.

Going after Trump a waste of time, he’s made things worse and his response to this crisis is questionable, but the USA’s horrific public health system long preceded Trump. Turns out a health care system that prioritizes corporate profit over public health is poorly equipped to cope with a pandemic. Who would have guessed? I actually kinda feel sorry for Trump, he actually believes he’s this smart and competent leader. And now that he’s facing a real crisis, not an imaginary crisis or a crisis of his own making, he’s out of his depth. He’s like this guy, it’s painful to watch.

Watch for scammers. Facebook and Amazon have already pulled millions of ads for products claiming they will cure or prevent Covid-19, or price gouging on things like masks. (Masks are of little value anywise, they can certainly help prevent sick people from spreading disease, but they are of little use in protecting from it.) It goes without saying that getting Covid-19 advice from the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow or Jim Bakker is a bad idea. Hoping and praying are of zero medical benefit. Here’s the CDC guide for preparing for it, real advice from real experts. Yeah, I’m old fashioned that way.

Some of the rumours flying are ridiculous. Read a post by a guy claiming Covid-19 reached the US by way of Chinese balloon bombs, modelled after the Japanese balloon bombs of WW2. Yes, that’s what comes from mixing poor logic, a limited understanding of history, and racism. There’s so many things wrong with the idea I don’t even know where to start. And as expected, since Covid-19 originated in China, racists are crawling out from under their rocks. Hopefully most people have more sense, but people often react badly to scary times.

Sorry about the brevity of this post. I have reached the age where various parts of my body are saying: “You thought that was bad? Watch this!” This being Bursitis. Sigh. Have a great week everyone. Wash your hands! Comments and shares appreciated.

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: CDC flyer, inspired by this. Credit: CDC, used legally under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

March 2, 2020 at 12:58 pm