Friday, April 03, 2020

America is still in the bargaining phase.

I haven't really talked about the virus ~that~ much in the past few days because people are in desperate need of hope. Every other day someone writes a story about how we are flattening the curve. And I get it. It's what we all hope.

Since (as a whole) we are a less dense population than China or even Italy you hope perhaps things will be slightly different. But, a couple of day blip does not make a trend. Italy's numbers might be going sideways - but they starting locking down cities AT THE END OF FEBRUARY.

In confessing my own sins... I've been going out every three days or so. Armed with a mask and alcohol swabs. I still need to replenish supplies and some takeout is still open. It's a hard battle between complete lockdown and hoping some of your favorite places get at least some income and will come back. But from what I have observed - there are still a lot of people out. I mean....go to a Chickfila. I'm betting you will be astonished. Because I was and I was in that line. Don't yell at me.

In my burb I've been watching how many people mask up. Two days ago it looked like finally maybe 30% of people were wearing them. The three days before that it was maaaaybe 10%. Even my chiropractor STILL wasn't wearing one after I'd given him a portion of a box. I finally gave him half a box of n95's and told him I couldn't give him anymore. See... my going out is an overall benefit to the community.

I think because we only have *minimal known reporting the burbs feel not as much at risk. But every time I'm in Silicon Valley proper I see a million license plates from my city. We have car lots here and people never seem to remove the license plate holders that identify my town. So if it's in Santa Clara it's pretty much in my town.

The asterisk is because my county is purposely not breaking the numbers down by city. They say it's because of patient confidentiality, but I know it's because people will panic. I honestly think the panic is better than what they are doing now because it is delaying people from taking this seriously. If you know there is a case in your city... you are going to start protection measures.

There are still an army of virus deniers. It's frankly unbelievable. But, Wuhan was locked down for at least 77 days. We are still really early days. This virus has done exactly the same thing all over the world. I don't think we have seen real lockdown yet. And I don't even know if it's actually possible. Hard lockdowns just cause people to fly to the wind like dandelions.


  1. Capital of Texas RefugeeFriday, April 03, 2020 5:08:00 PM

    Oh, this is special new shit: Blogger's now making me fill out a captcha prior to being able to access the comment area here ... or at least it's doing that until I restart the browser and wipe all traces of the Mission Impossible Team and its covert insertion of a Booger up Blogger's virtual nose.

    "I've been going out every three days or so."

    Maybe I'm a "virus acknowledger" of a different kind.

    I think the only way that anyone's going to notice how busted-ass the American medical system is at this time involves it falling flat on its face and failing to get back up again.

    80% of people who get this stuff appear to get a mild form of it that's a moderate inconvenience, but not life-threatening. Then it's something like 9% get it super bad and 1% get The New Fashionable Road to Death from Wuhan.

    Which leaves the 10% where it doesn't do anything at all, the "asymptomatic" people who just don't get it because they just don't get it.

    So about North Florida then: 60% of the cases have been in Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Palm Beach counties.

    Up here, there's more to risk by driving up to All-Bany, Jaw-Juh, because the area around that palookaville has turned into the Joe Bob Briggs Memorial Drive-In COVID-Breaker-One-Nine Theater.


    But Governor DeDumbass had bad optics this past week, and so he had to do something, and now we have this lock-down here across Florida ...

    Sort of like Chancellor Sutler in the "V for Vendetta" movie, actually.


    North of Florida, there's an even bigger dumbass governor, have you seen this ball-fondler political prick?

    The current governor of Jaw-Juh now wears a little vest with his own personal seal as governor on it, which is a bit like that character in the rebooted Doctor Who that would always flash her ID to people, even when she became Prime Minister.

    So why not have the American medical system do its "I've fallen and I can't get up" routine with the Boomers so perhaps there's still something that can be rebuilt after its grand failure for Gen X and everyone else?

  2. Capital of Texas RefugeeFriday, April 03, 2020 5:09:00 PM

    As for me, well ...

    I had one day where I had a sore right lung, a little bit of a cough ... and then whatever that crap was went away completely.

    Of course, that was right after I punched up the "male energy formula" (made out of concentrated beet powder) to six capsules, which normally would have resulted in a boost of nitric oxide that would have required me to call up "the blonde" on the road so she could say things that would help me with that situation.

    But no, nothing, it's like I didn't even take the stuff.

    Nobody around me's showing symptoms, so maybe if I've already had it, I've managed to kick its ass so hard that like Chuck Norris, I can put the COVID-19 into its own quarantine for 14 days. :-)


    ... I don't think that I will, and for what it's worth, neither does Donald Trump himself. :-)

    Let's not forget because of the double-barrelled fuckups of the CDC and the FDA, there aren't enough of these test kits to go around, even for the noticeably sick.

    And if I did do this testing thing, what could I expect from a positive result despite obviously not dying from it so far?

    Getting my civil liberties fucked up at the least? Being put under the same kind of forced medical shit that was why I was looking at Somewhere In The Inter-Mountain West? Eventually being forced to take some sort of syringe in the arm that's full of medically questionable crap in addition to whatever ersatz crap they've come up with for COVID-19, despite having acquired immunity to it under fire?

    I'd rather die on my feet than take a shot while forced to my knees.

    Nah, Sweden has it right.

    Enough people are being "responsible" by staying home, and enough other people are being "responsible" by not staying home and doing their jobs.

    Lots of kids and young adults around here are being "responsible" by staying out of trouble, playing, maintaining a state of mind compatible with being simultaneously concerned and bored, and enjoying life despite the dour bullshit their teachers and parents have tried to put them through.

    As for the rest, let the milk burn for a change, healthcare Nazis!

    Besides, isn't it mostly Boomers who are failing to recognize how they earned a certain rep as a generation, and that Gen X especially thinks it's appropriate that most of the burden's finally on them for a change?

    COOF COOF COOF joke's on the boomer assholes finally COOF COOF COOF :-)

  3. I think it's pretty crazy that so many people just waking up to what some of us knew in January honestly. One of the first things we learned was it was spreading asymtomatically from person to person in the wild.

    But at this stage I think it was better to let people panic in stages.

    I feel a lot of different ways about lockdown. Even with unreal lockdown scenarios the virus raged unabated. There are countless stories of people evading lockdown. It gives people a primal urge to flee. So I'm not sure if it's not better to have a quasi lockdown. People are so minimally hinged on a good day.

  4. Capital of Texas RefugeeFriday, April 03, 2020 10:33:00 PM

    I like that the Swedes actually still have a strong sense of cultural identity to draw on, which I didn't expect.

    I especially didn't expect this from a Prime Minister who was elected as part of the Social Democratic Party of Sweden: what he said was that if Sweden gave in to the authoritarian lock-downs, Sweden would in effect cease to be Swedish.

    And so far compared to most countries, they're getting off light, but that's because most people in Sweden live on their own, so they're maintaining Swedish social distancing by default.

    I think they've been wanting to go to digital payments just because paying each other with a tangible and touchable form of cash is just too personal for Swedes. :-)

    Sweden may yet survive the failed social experiment of the EU with their culture intact, although the reprisals against some of the more savage elements they've allowed to come into existence are going to be a rude shock to the rest of Europe.

    After all, they don't have a history of Holgar Dansk beating the shit out of people like the Danes do. :-)

    But things are going mostly OK here, aside from a few annoyances.

    I picked up a new consumer product so I can learn how to use it, mostly so I can add another useful personal skill that I'd long neglected, only to discover that all of the stuff that the manual says should be packed with it as accessories isn't in it, along with the top styrofoam section that should be part of the packaging.

    Normally this would irritate the crap out of me because the value of the time spent standing in line to exchange it means I'd be paying for it at least once more, but not right now.

    This gives me an excuse to go to an "essential business" to do stuff, and I can pick up a few other things while I'm there and in the general area.

    When that's done, I can drop by a restaurant and pick up dinner, and maybe after that I can hit up the liquor store for some more island rum, at least if that's still deemed an "essential business" now.

    That gets me out doing stuff in the sun, and that keeps me out of an office where there's really no rush to pack stuff.

    In the meantime, there are The Ways That Americans (Used To) Do Things, and then there are the System D ways, and now more Americans around me are beginning to understand why I knew they were crazy and why it wasn't the other way around.

  5. Capital of Texas RefugeeSunday, April 05, 2020 1:29:00 PM

    Let's do some unconventional thinking ...

    What is the real purpose of these lock-downs?

    What is the exit strategy?

    Supposedly this is to "flatten the curve" relative to the carrying capacity of the medical system, but that's not how people are behaving.

    The people who are staying home are probably doing so because they think this is acting like a modern-day literal Biblical plague, and that if they behave like good little high schoolers, they'll get to graduate from this plague with their lives intact and presumably somewhat like they were before.

    The people who are out and about doing stuff are accepting a certain amount of risk, especially the ones (like me) who aren't wearing masks, aren't wearing gloves, and so forth, but they know this isn't normal and are out doing things that mean that they don't need to draw down on other resources.

    But is the exit strategy that by taking a huge economic hit that we don't have to observe already broken medical systems come crashing down?

    Now I see Sweden's wisdom: ventilators aren't going to help enough of those damned by circumstances, and if everyone's eventually going to get this stuff because of reappearances of the pathogen in everyday life, why do anything differently?

    As one Polaroid-styled Pundit noticed, it's everyone other than Sweden that's venturing into unknown territory, and that the several months of lock-down in Wuhan didn't amount to doing much at all in terms of stopping the spread of the virus.

    The mainland Chinese also apparently were totally cool with letting five million people from the region around Wuhan to travel outside the region, some of which wound up in such remote places as Ivalo, Finland, which wound up getting the virus a lot earlier than many other places.

    But the real lesson to be learned is this: all of the medical systems that were run according to principles of "just-in-time inventory" are failing or will fail because the "just-in-time" methodology doesn't provide exceptions for dealing with outlier conditions.

    And so if there aren't enough masks, enough gloves, enough ventilators ... well, that's just too damned bad, because everything's broken now and nothing's going back to the way it was ...

    Especially when it comes to people's illusions.

    In the end, I realized that there is no exit strategy for this crisis aside from wishful hopes that this will somehow "peak" before Easter, and that it was deemed acceptable to trash most of the Western economies than accept the truth that there are some interventions that are just one foot too far into the depths of the Rubicon.

    Ultimately this is yet more proof that so-called "austerity programs" never work, and that people are fools to think that these will.

  6. The other issue with masking up is that you have to leave the mask ON and not fiddle with it. Had a customer in the store today, gloves and mask. Except she took off the gloves to play with the appliance displays, used her now possibly contaminated hand to pull her mask off to talk to her husband, put the mask back on, and shoved her possibly contaminated hands back into the same gloves. Now her gloves are potentially contaminated inside and out (and everything she touches from here on out), and her mask and face have been touched with the same possible contamination.

    Masks and gloves are just a false sense of security unless you're REALLY serious about it. Just skip them and keep your distance and wash your hands.

  7. Agree. It honestly takes a lot of discipline to do this affectively. If this hadn't been my January routine for a few years I think it would be a lot harder.It took a couple of years before it was second nature. I used to feel really awkward opening doors with the bottom of my shirt. It sort of made you stand out and I'm not a fan of that.

    I don't do the gloves at all. But I do use alcohol swabs every time I touch anything. When I get back to the car it's the first thing I do. Masks I only use if I need to pay for something or are in a close space. I'm trying to draw a middle line. You want to be safe but still live your life.

    I hope we are able to get a hold on this soon because masks in the summer are going to be a reeeeeeeeal bummer.

  8. Capital of Texas RefugeeTuesday, April 07, 2020 6:57:00 PM

    You think that's going to suck ...

    ... but just wait until we run out of masks and have to wear this heavy shit instead.

    On the plus side, it won't get in the way of the scopes on our "deer rifles", so there's that.

    On the minus side, replacing both of the cans on these things costs $160 per set.