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I don't think I have ever shared this uncropped original photograph before. Low resolution but still effective. I like how the tail curls around the girder.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Buzzkill

I actually felt pretty optimistic when I woke up this morning. Wrote the cheeriest blog I can remember in some time about the country turning the corner or flattening the curve, I forget which now. Went out and fixed a couple broken sprinklers before things got too hot. Then two or three different people emailed to tell me that there was a new bigger badder meaner corona virus mutation discovered by the guys at Los Alamos. All previous optimism vanished in a poof and I was once again confronted with dark thoughts of disaster and despoil. Guess we are toast. Spent an hour tor two trying to fix a loan application on the SBA site. But I kept getting an error message. When I called they said I should try Internet Explorer which is a real tough chore on a Mac but neither Opera, Firefox, Chrome, Safari will now work on the government website. But never fear, they have their best people on it. A steady stream of politicians are now chiming in daily about the importance of opening things up and the inevitability of a bunch of people dying for the motherland like it's their patriotic duty. Christie, Trunk, Patrick, Abbott, they are all pitching this line, sensitivity and empathy of hard bitten actuaries. Still hard for me to buy in. But I also know people who are dying on the vine waiting for this thing to open up too, not like I have any answers either. Leslie told me that the keyboard player from one of the best british new wave bands succumbed to the illness, Dave Greenfield of the Stranglers, shame.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

"As President Trump toured an N95 mask manufacturing plant in Phoenix on Tuesday, his visit through the facility was accompanied by a head-scratching musical soundtrack: the Paul McCartney-penned “Live and Let Die,” as performed by Guns 'N Roses." Not judging, but wouldn't "Cat Scratch Fever" be a more appropriate choice? But hey, it's his jukebox...

Jon Harwood said...

There was a right way to do this and Germany seems to have figured it out. They didn't flub the testing and contact tracing and they put up strict safety rules and thus a significant part of their economy kept running. We screwed up the testing and tracing and we treat the virus with propaganda. Now we are opening up in a disorganized way and we will harvest the results of that chaos at the graveyard.

Cheers.

Anonymous said...

So if I test negative this week, am I good next week? Or do I need to keep getting tested over and over? I think testing negative is going to create a false sense of security. The only tests that seem to matter to me, are testing positive, and positive for antibodies. Any thoughts?

Blue Heron said...

That's a great question. And antibodies are not necessarily an indication of immunity. We just don't know enough right now.

Anonymous said...

The head of Sweden's no-lockdown coronavirus plan said the country's heavy death toll 'came as a surprise'...What did you expect you big dummy??

MABDA "Make America Big Dummies Again"

Jon Harwood said...

I think the deal with testing is that the positives are the ones that count. The testing assesses the status of the virus in various populations hopefully allowing for mitigation to be used in hot spots. For individuals the testing is less meaningful unless you think you have the bug, then it means a lot. We never got beyond this individual level to a more random sample of the overall population.

Adequate testing allows a whole country to know how things are going and to take an educated guess about how much mitigation is needed. In the US we are flying blind. The states that are opening early are doing it on a wing and a prayer as none of them has the widespread testing that might allow a more accurate assessment of the risk.

The administration congratulating itself on having done a lot doesn't mean anyone is safe as "a lot" has not yet been "enough". Japan did "a lot" in WWII but it still lost the war. Congratulating themselves on doing "a lot" and encouraging states to open up is little more than guesswork and positive thinking. The virus doesn't think so it doesn't care about positive thinking.

Martin said...

Trump & co. and the GOP want us-all to die - or at best, they don't care if we do. "Damn their eyes" and "may they rot in hell", to quote numerous old westerns.