Friday, July 10, 2020

Give the people what they want.

I think the most astonishing thing I've seen is people running head long into herd immunity. It's fascinating because the experts don't even know exactly how long immunity lasts yet everyone is emphatic they can achieve it.

Last night Mr S. and I were talking about how Hong Kong had re-shut their schools.

Me - If Island nations like Hong Kong and Australia can't eradicate it what hope do we have?

Him - None.

Me - Exactly!

Him - Well, that sounds like an argument for opening things back up and just dealing with the consequences.

Me - Yeah. Let's go! I'm sick of fighting about this. We know how to protect ourselves. Let everyone else Darwin it out.

Him - I just wasn't sure there was a policy change.

Me - It's been six months now. If people having crawled out of their bubble, that's on them.

I see all kinds of crazy comments on my city Patch. Some people are like - I can't wait to get it. And I'm like - yeah.... we can't wait for you to get it too.

The thing about America is that it's been a LOOOONG time since people have had to deal with the consequences of their actions. They always try to shove the consequences onto someone else. ALWAYS. This might be the first time people have ever had to actually confront realty without a way to wiggle out.

So, let's open things back up.


  1. It looks like the flu.

  2. We are back to believing the CDC? Cool cool. I don't think that link supports your argument at all. But maybe I'm missing something.

    CDC: 80,000 people died of flu last winter in U.S., highest death toll in 40 years

    "In recent years, flu-related deaths have ranged from about 12,000 to — in the worst year — 56,000, according to the CDC."

    Last fall and winter, the U.S. went through one of the most severe flu seasons in recent memory. It was driven by a kind of flu that tends to put more people in the hospital and cause more deaths, particularly among young children and the elderly.

    The season peaked in early February. It was mostly over by the end of March, although some flu continued to circulate.

    Making a bad year worse, the flu vaccine didn’t work very well. Experts nevertheless say vaccination is still worth it, because it makes illnesses less severe and save lives."

    It is a complete lie that people keep repeating that the flu kills that many people each year. The years we have high deaths are years when the vaccine is fairly ineffective. And let me know which disease we have ever reached herd immunity with without a vaccine. Back to you.

    The flu normally kills less than 50 thousand people a year. Sometimes well under 50 thousand. You can look at the stats here on the CDC website.

    2018-2019 34,200

    2017-2018 61,000.

    2016-2017 38,000

    2015-2016 51,000

    2014-2015 38,000

    2013-2014 43,000

    2012-2013 12,000

    2011-2012 - 37,000

    2010-2011 - 37,000

    2009-2010 - 12,469

  3. Look at the world wide death total for the 2017-2018 flu, it was a bad one. Look at the world rates for the 1968 pandemic (& the population in 1968).

    I'm not going to argue with you, I think catching any flu would just suck. I got a flu shot every year because the flu keeps changing and I don't want to catch it! I suspect this one will require yearly boosters just like all the other flu shots did. FWIW The first few years of the flu shot I was forced by the Coast Guard, when I noticed I didn't get the flu anymore I was convinced!

    This year? For some unknown reason THIS flu has gotten great publicity world wide & it shows.

  4. We can disagree here. It should make us better people. Everyone has been very respectful and I appreciate that.

    I don't always like it when my husband disagrees with me, but I'm glad he does, and he makes me a better person by making me look at things differently. Which I'm pretty much always willing to do. I read more stuff I don't agree with than the stuff I do.

    The other day he said - flamewars are like process of science. Of course I was confused.

    He says - you come up with your hypothesis and people try to poke holes in it. That is basically a flame war.

    As long as everyone stays polite - this is a healthy process.

    But stay stay safe Rob. Dying is the easy part with this "flu."

  5. I think it’s real, would love to be wrong. I think it will be debilitating to many and the focus on death is irrelevant. If the virus weakens you enough and then leaves you with no immunity to another round, the final exit seems inevitable. We are overhauling our life to reduce social contact to zero. No neighbors, no walks with dogs, a job that is done independent of the customers and lots of home grown food and medicine.

    As much as I worry about losing my health, I’m even more worried about the depression. There are going to be 100 million Americans in extreme poverty. 1 out of 3 won’t be able to afford a meal, let alone shelter or healthcare. The riots, the shortages, people’s crazy reactions in the grocery stores over masks are all signs that their sanity is cracking and were easily predicted. You don’t need to be an economics major to understand cause and effect. I think a lot about the effects of mass unemployment on a mentally unbalanced population and what that means for me. I don’t know if the country can survive the depression intact, acting authoritarian over the virus will only make it even harder to deal with the coming starvation. I agree with your sentiment that everyone has to be responsible for their own health on this one. The nanny state can’t protect you, only isolation can.

    The job losses will be tough for people to handle. So much of one’s identity is tied up into what they do that it can be disorienting. I see so many people in denial right now and feel sorry for them. Even if the virus is just a flu, the depression is undeniably real. The market can’t ignore reality forever. The longer people wait to liquidate their assets, the less they flexibility they’re going to have when the invisible hand steps in. The home losses will be even harder to handle, so much of ones emotional identity is tied into where they live. The losses from the banks failing will be the spark that ignites this human powder keg. The Fed can backstop all they want, but as long as the rent strike continues, the banks are going to be the ones upside down. Losing your job over something beyond your control makes you feel hopeless. Losing your life savings over something beyond your control leaves you enraged.

    The downside of our corporate training is that it has left many incapable of working independent of the collective. Of disobeying the official narrative. The learning curve for self employment is steep even in the best times. I’ve lost a fortune in my life time and at one point was forced to live house less. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through, but the process of rebuilding from nothing left me with a skill set that seems especially beneficial in an economy based on survival. I don’t know how many Americans will be transformed by the next decade and how many will die, but the economic fallout will change us all. It will change where we live, what we do, who are friends are, what are priorities are. To me the question isn’t are things going to get bad if the virus is real, it’s are they going to be terrible or are things going to be even worse because the virus is more dangerous than acknowledged. The minute that home values crack, you will see the stock market collapse. There is no need to continue to manipulate the markets with confidence games once housing breaks. With no one able to get a loan, the Airbnb flip completely broken, renters on strike and a massive amount of people trying to tap into their only source of wealth at the same time, how long is it going to take before leverage starts to destroy people instead of making them rich? DF

  6. I'm really proud of you D. You have become a true disaster baby. It takes a lot of internal strength to get to this stage and keep putting one foot in front of the other and just making it work somehow. I've always been impressed with your ingenuity.

    In a lot of ways the current climate reminds me of the irrationalities that swept through during the housing crisis. I knew lots of people who could completely afford their houses, but gave them up because of the feedback loop at the time. Last we saw each other, I was still hundreds of thousands of dollars underwater with mine. But I held on fighting against the wind. I never expected people to give up their houses like that. So I try to figure out the psychology of this disaster all the time. I'm still not sure how I think this will play out. A lot of people are on deferment now, so I think it will play out slower than people think.

    The depression however.........

    The depression is real. I rarely talk about it , but even I fight the demons. Or I should say.... try to outrun the demons. I really worry what happens this winter if we don't get a handle on this. For myself and others.

    I really agree with everything you have said. But remember that right now people are isolated and unmoored from the natural feedback that the invisible hand provides. This is why people are acting crazy. And some of those people are just assholes in normal life anyway. The no maskers. The people shaming the no maskers. I don't even know why those people spend any time on that at all when they could just avoid people without masks. How fucking hard is that? Instead they have to pull out their phones and antagonise them. It's ridiculous! MOVE ON WITH YOUR LIFE for effs sakes. People really have nothing else to do these days.

    And in the end, as horrible as things feel, people are really resilient. I'm sure they felt this way with the flu in 1918, and polio. They all made it though. So much so, we have lost our fear of viruses apparently.

    It's really interesting you made this comment "If the virus weakens you enough and then leaves you with no immunity to another round," because it's something that had been rolling around in my head too since people seem to talk about getting a mild version of the virus. They call it corona light. Then get hit with a much stronger version. I've been wondering if the virus causes damage that makes it harder to survive a second round. There are starting to be a lot of reports of non-symptomatic people with lung damage that they were not aware of.

    We've all been trying to figure out the trigger... right? Nothing seems to line up. But maybe it's been passing around a long time and it isn't a problem until you get subsequent infections. Also I could just be making shit up. We are all trying to figure it out.

    Keep yourself safe for your Baby D.