This election is the largest, most consequential mass communication experiment ever conducted. The question before us is whether someone can bend objective scientific data into an alternative reality on a national scale.
Sane people now know the vast majority of cases are the result of people congregating indoors without masks. I’ll continue to be outdoors or inside with a mask on, but if you want to get the ‘rona, some of our Canadian brothers and sisters are here to help.
Step 1. Go to an indoor spin class with LOTS of other people.
Step 2. Conform to what everyone else does—after clipping into your bike, take your mask off.
Step 3. Lean on the pedals hard for an hour.
Step 4. Wait.
Sentence to ponder from the article.
“Hamilton Public Health Services isn’t calling it a ‘super spreader’ event, but Richardson described it as a large outbreak with lots of transmission.”
That’s the funniest thing I’ll read all day.
David Remnick, “The Coronavirus and the Threat Within the White House”.
“In terms of scale, the West Wing is less like the Kremlin or the Élysée Palace than like the cramped executive offices of a medium-sized insurance company. The hallways are tight. The chairs in the Cabinet Room sit close to one another. The Oval Office itself, where Presidents routinely hold working sessions with many aides, is smaller than you might expect. And yet numerous reports in the press have described how, owing to the President’s attitude, employees, reporters, and visitors to the West Wing are disdained or mocked if they wear a mask.”
“It is time, at long last, to learn. To be smarter. To be safer. To be more responsible, to others as well as to ourselves. We cannot erase the mistakes made in America’s response to the coronavirus but we can vow not to continue making them. The way to treat President Trump’s diagnosis is as a turning point and a new start. This is when we woke up.”
In early April:
“. . . the prospect of launching a large-scale national plan was losing favor, said one public health expert in frequent contact with the White House’s official coronavirus task force.
Most troubling of all, perhaps, was a sentiment the expert said a member of Kushner’s team expressed: that because the virus had hit blue states hardest, a national plan was unnecessary and would not make sense politically. “The political folks believed that because it was going to be relegated to Democratic states, that they could blame those governors, and that would be an effective political strategy,” said the expert.
That logic may have swayed Kushner. “It was very clear that Jared was ultimately the decision maker as to what [plan] was going to come out,” the expert said.
On April 27, Trump stepped to a podium in the Rose Garden, flanked by members of his coronavirus task force and leaders of America’s big commercial testing laboratories, Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp, and finally announced a testing plan: It bore almost no resemblance to the one that had been forged in late March, and shifted the problem of diagnostic testing almost entirely to individual states.”
When “effective political strategizing” substitutes for human decency.
Peter Baker of The New York Times.
“The surge in the United States is so extreme that, once adjusted for population, 10 states are recording more new cases than any country in the world.”
There is no country in the world where confirmed coronavirus cases are growing as rapidly as they are in Arizona, Florida, or South Carolina. Germany yesterday reported 298 new cases of COVID-19. The U.S. reported over 59,400 cases and 948 deaths.
“I have witnessed countless black students thrive in classrooms where teachers see them accurately and show that they are happy to have them there. In these classes, students choose to sit in the front of the class, take careful notes, shoot their hands up in discussions, and ask unexpected questions that cause the teacher and other classmates to stop and think. Given the chance, they email, text, and call the teachers who believe in them.”
2. The Tesla of masks. How ’bout it Captain?
3. Take this new and improved personality quiz. Isn’t there still a built-in complication–our inherently subjective sense of self?
. . . unlike four years ago, they are no longer focusing on his character in isolation — rather they are pouring tens of millions of dollars into ads yoking his behavior to substantive policy issues surrounding the coronavirus, the economy and the civil unrest since the death of George Floyd.”
That’s AC Shilton’s sense in “Why You’re Probably Not So Great At Risk Assessment”.
Shilton closes this way:
“Our brains may sometimes be too optimistic. While that isn’t always bad (going through life thinking constantly about every bad thing that could happen isn’t healthy either), in a situation like this, your brain could expose you to unnecessary risk.”
AC Shilton’s bio* says she’s a two time Ironman finisher and a chicken farmer, so what’s not to like, but I think she gets this wrong. Most people’s challenge lies in the parenthetical note—constantly thinking about worse case scenarios.
Where’s that essay?
Coronavirus deserves attention and we should beat it back through proven mitigation strategies. But I’m not going to fool myself. I’m four months closer to dying than pre-pandemic. Could be skin cancer. Could be someone texting while driving who takes Blanca and me out this afternoon, could be heart disease, could be a tree during tomorrow’s run in Priest Point Park.
I use sunscreen, I wear a mask when inside or unable to maintain proper distance, I eat healthily and exercise regularly, I use seatbelts; but I’m not going to fool myself. I am going to die. The humble blog will be no more. Guessing whether ‘rona or one of the other myriad possibilities is gonna get me, it ain’t even close.
Do you really want to restart the National Basketball Association season in Orlando, FL with the 346 cases per 100,000 people in Orange County rising rapidly?
Especially when you could push “restart” in Thurston County, Washington with only 78 cases per 100,000?
I would be happy to work with your advance team who will find the Olympia, Tumwater, Black Hills, Capital, North Thurston, River Ridge, Timberline, South Puget Sound Community College, and Evergreen State University gyms to their liking. And I have no doubt the players will love the Motel 6 Tumwater mostly due to the outdoor pool and it’s proximity to McDonald’s, Subway, and Lemon Grass.
And then there’s the local golf courses which will be welcome respites from Florida’s brutal heat and humidity. Tumwater Valley is a fine test not to mention Capital City and the underrated Delphi Golf Course.
Assuming a team is not scheduled to play, nighttime entertainment is no problem. The hotel provides free wi-fi.
Also, unlike Florida, Washington State’s politics are much more in line with the Association’s. The person posing as President even called our Governor a snake, so we have that going for us.
I challenge you to find a nicer place to be in July, August, and September.
Look forward to hearing from you.