COVID-19 stuff . . . and “F” stories

These days, it’s tough remaining positive amid all sorts of bad news. I mean, there’s also good news from certain quarters reporting small victories in the current fight against COVID-19. But, when I read them, they seem but drops in a large bucket. Eventually, the bucket will fill, but it will take a while.

Also . . . it’s not really a fight, is it? I mean, the virus isn’t mobilizing and planning and plotting. It’s just out there and a bunch of idiots are trying their best to help it spread.

What I find most disturbing is the current seemingly Keystone Cops-like response from governmental bodies, elected officials, religious leaders, and the average idiot on the street.

Before I go on, let me show you a photo as-snapped of one of the birdbaths as the first raindrops of a storm start hitting it.

As shot, straight out of the camera.

Anyway, there’s no coordination, no guidance, no clear message. I stopped listening to the White House briefings (Melisa still watches them) because I can only take so much of our idiot “leader” basically saying “it’s not my fault” and “I’m not responsible”, contradicting himself, cutting off questions from reporters, and showing us just how unsuited he is to meet this fairly basic challenge. I would say it’s a no-brainer, but the irony would be too much.

What galls me to no end, is the required thirty or forty seconds of praising the President for the excellent job he’s doing by each and every speaker before they give their update. It reminds me of basting a pork roast so that it doesn’t dry out. Maybe that’s a poor metaphor . . . I’m not a cook by any stretch of the imagination.

It’s so painfully obvious the buffoon needs his ego stroked that I feel embarrassed for them. I worry about their mental health. Probably why I would not last long in that kind of a job.

Here’s the edited version of the photo . . . 

DxO Nik Collection Color Efex Pro 4 and Lightroom CC

I plan on doing a post just on my thought about this crisis; thought about the economy, the Middle Class, healthcare, and just about anything that crosses my mind.

Won’t that be fun!

Right now, I want to address something I keep seeing, namely, a comparison between COVID-19 fatalities and other events, be they other virus outbreaks, or just “normal deaths”.

In a strange way, this reminds me a bit about HIV and AIDS. Early on, the majority of people dismissed it as a “gay” disease . . . until the numbers got staggering.

“…by the end of 1992, 250,000 Americans had developed AIDS, and 200,000 of these had died. By 2004, the number of cases of AIDS reported in the United States closed in on 1 million, with deaths totaling more than 500,000.”

Now, I’m not saying COVID-19 is the same as HIV and I’m not comparing the mortality rate . . . no; what I’m comparing is the evolution of the public and government response.

At least this time the medical community is taking COVID-19 seriously, but you still have idiots (many elected officials and religious leaders and so many of the MAGA crowd) comparing it to the flu and saying it’s not that bad.

Two or three days ago I crossed paths with a Facebook post about how on any given day, about 400 people die in New York City, and no one worries about it and we go on with our lives. But now, they say, 400 people die and we close the place down. Where’s the sense in that, they ask?

Well, let me explain with a few examples. Mind you, some of these might be bad examples, but given they address bad thinking, I think it’s a match.

Imagine you and your spouse or significant other are the parents of three wonderful kids, have two dogs, a cat, and live comfortably in a nice house. Life is idyllic if a little busy . . . until one day when, all of a sudden, you go from three to six kids, from two to four dogs, and from one to two cats. You had no idea this was going to happen, so you scramble to prepare more food, clean more clothes, do pretty much twice as much as you did before.

“OFSM, how long will this last?” you ask.

Wait, before I answer that, here’s another variation of the photo . . .

DxO Nik Collection Color Efex Pro 4 and Lightroom CC plus Topaz Studio 1.0 AI Remix.

“Yeah, yeah, it looks nice, but how long will these extra kids and pets stay?”

Well, the good news is, some kids and pets might try to run away in a few days — but you have to keep them from doing that — and the rest will probably leave in a week or so. Oh, and one of you might have to leave as well.

“That’s the good news!? What’s the bad news?”

Oh, that . . . tomorrow you’re getting another three kids, two more dogs, and one more cat. Same deal as before. But, it’s not a big deal, right? I mean you’re used to having three kids, two dogs, and one cat. I mean, you’ve had them for years now and handled them without any problem. Hey! Don’t make that face! It’s what’s you’re already used to.

So, does that make it a bit clearer? No?

OK, I got another one.

Every year, as Spring comes, you’re used to getting about 30 inches of rain over the course of six weeks. There’s some local flooding as the ground gets saturated and can’t drain any additional water, but you’re used to it. Puddle in places, soggy yards, and some of the roads have standing water. But, this year, we’re going to get 60 inches of water in the same timeframe. The ground is going to get saturated twice as fast, and now the extra water has nowhere to go,. But wait! There’s more!

Normally, the rain lasts for six weeks, but now, we’ll tack on another six weeks with another 60 inches of rain. Won’t that be fun?

I could go on with more examples but you get the gist. What the people who spout those numbers don’t understand is that the other deaths (the “normal” deaths) are still happening. In fact, because of the strain on the system, those “normal” deaths are likely to rise as well.

Oh, but here’s the kicker . . . you can see charts floating around comparing the COVID-19 deaths with prior pandemics. You can probably guess how much I love those as well.

How about we wait until the end of this pandemic (likely sometimes next year if we’re lucky) before we compare which pandemic has the biggest dick to impress the brain-addled?

OK, I’m being a bit harsh. Here’s a great little video that shows possible scenarios . . .

The trick here is that we don’t know stuff . . . we don’t know lots of stuff. And the numbers change based on what we do and what we learn about what we do.

If we are very good at isolating, maybe this fizzles out and we end up with a “paltry” number of deaths compared to other events. 

Boy, won’t we hear it then! “See! It was nothing! Fake News! MAGA!”

Of course, given many people are still not listening, we might end up with lots of people dying and make the pandemic Big Time.

Boy, won’t we hear it then! “We should have done more! We suck!”

I’ll link it in the next two or three future posts because I think everyone should listen to THIS PODCAST.

Here’s the excerpt:
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with General Stanley McChrystal and Chris Fussell about the COVID-19 pandemic. They discuss the nature of the ongoing crisis, the threat of a breakdown in social order, the problem of misinformation, the prospects of a nationwide lockdown, the trade-off between personal freedom and safety, the threat of tyranny, the concerns about the global supply chain, concerns about the price of oil, safeguarding the 2020 Presidential election, and other topics.

Warning: after you listen to this, you might come away rethinking all these alliances you hold toward “your party” and “your tribe”. Why, you might actually come to my side of the fence where we hold both parties responsible for creating a situation that might facilitate the breakdown of our society. No, not that they created COVIF-19; it’s that the fucking around they did, pitting one group against the other, finds us in a situation where we can’t work together even if we wanted to, and we desperately need to.

And, let me be clear . . . this is not a political podcast. Sure, there are some mentions of politics, but the focus is on the dangers we face.

Now, I know full well 95% of the people are too busy counting their toilet paper rolls and making spreadsheets about the projected timeline before your supply runs out . . . but, believe me, however much you got, it ain’t gonna be enough if we don’t get our shit together. More in later posts.

Meanwhile, remember the photo of the two cardinals . . . Here are two versions in Black and Gray and White.

Let me know which one you like the best. Or not . . . listen to the podcast, instead.

Anyway, stay safe, and if you feel like reading three short stories, and if then you feel like voting for your favorite HERE, well, shucks, that’s just awesome.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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