Assume a Spherical Cow of Uniform Density in a Frictionless Vacuum

sphericalcow

I’m not a physicist, nor do I play one on TV.  And I did not sleep at Holiday Inn last night. But my kids took way more physics than needed for either of their degrees, and despite being 3 years apart in schooling took those classes together in college.

(Which was great. They can’t stand for one to outdo the other so not only were they top of the class, but had improbably great grades. Because younger one might otherwise slacken but not when there was a chance of older one doing better.  And older one, who always tried for perfect invented plus que perfect for the occasion. Had I known it, I’d have fought the state of CO to advance younger three years starting in elementary (he could take it) and they’d have been LEGENDARY.)

Since they were both living at home to save money, this meant that I was often standing in the kitchen minding my own business cooking, and they’d be telling what they thought were hilarious jokes, or trying to figure out that day’s problem and turning it into a joke.

Which is why I learned that there are physics assumptions that only work for ideal objects.  Or, as my kids put it (and perhaps it’s a joke from a show? I can be daft) “Imagine a spherical cow, of uniform density in friction-less vacuum.”

This came to mind about a week ago as I was stomping around the house saying that anyone who relied on computer models for anything should be shot.  My husband was duly alarmed, because as he pointed out, he has designed computer models.

At which point I told him that’s okay because his models do not involve people.  Which is part of it.  Throw one person into a model, and you’ll wish the person were a spherical cow of uniform density in friction-less vacuum.

But the reason the cow story is funny, of course, is that you don’t even need a person to upset that kind of very exact calculation, because cows are not in fact spherical or of uniform density, and would fare rather poorly in friction-less vacuum.

However, much worse than a person is a group of people. Particularly when the group has its own culture, its own geographical “plant” and its own way of being in the world. Throw those into any model, and even if what you’re trying to model is a single, small, fairly well known group, the model will have a leak.

You see, people don’t always behave the way you expect. And frankly, they find ways to get around things they don’t like.  Or they just  do unimaginably stupid and crazy things.

To be fair to the left they never have — and possibly never will — understand that.  Their whole program is the idea that human beings are fungible.  Having glomed on the idea some humans are not like the others, they of course decided to sort humans by external or largely irrelevant characteristics.

No, I DO NOT in fact understand why the collectivists, the people who keep wanting to do what the group is doing, and who are more socially oriented than any of us fail to get people.  Except perhaps that G-d has a sense of humor. (Low one, puts itch powder in your pressure suit.)

What I do know is that — are you ready? — human societies, involving multiple nations or even our own culturally diverse, geographically spread out nation, are not now nor will they ever be a spherical cow of uniform density in friction-less vacuum.

So…. why is it that even now that they admit the scary Imperial model is insane, our authorities, from federal on down are treating the US as though it were just that mythical cow, and on top of that exactly the same as the cow in Italy, Spain or France.

This is a stupid thing. What’s more important, it’s a stupid thing that’s not only killing the economy, it’s getting in the way of us figuring out what the Winnie-flu is, how bad it is, and what causes high-lethality clusters.

Let’s leave side for the moment the fact that the books are being cooked, okay. They are. this is undeniable. As is undeniable they’re cooking them the most in places like Louisiana and NYC, and we probably know why.

It’s hard to deny the disease presents in weird clusters.  I have a friend whose Georgia County is about the same level of bad as Italy.  Which makes no sense whatsoever, as they have no high Chinese population.  And while the  cases might be guess work (with tests only accurate AT MOST 70% of the time, it’s guesswork all the way down) the deaths aren’t. The community is small enough they all know each other. And they’re losing relatively young (still working) and relatively healthy (no known big issues) people.

The question is WHY?

In the same way, when I go to FB and I say “Is this really as bad as people claim,” people from NYC who have relatives in the hospital get very upset.

But instead, what we should be doing is applying the severe restrictions to places with these clusters, and figuring out why the clusters develop. (Instead of shutting down the economy of a nation of 320 million, and making people in Lone Cow Nevada follow the same restrictions as New Yorkers.)

Look, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Sure, quarantines are justified. But that word doesn’t mean what we’re doing. Quarantines is when you isolate the sick. What we’re doing is mass house-arrest.

Which brings us into why this is crazy.

I can GUESS at some reasons why NYC has a lot more cases than anywhere else in the country. They are the closest thing to an European country in our midst, relying mostly on public transportation (or truly unsanitary taxis), living in apartment buildings with shared air circulation, keeping minimal personal distance in the street.

To all that add that there are problems with their health workers being third-world hires and as cheap as humanly possible. (I suspect Seattle has the same issue. In fact, other states do. Having heard stories, particularly of long term care homes, I’ve told my sons that if I ever need that (Please, no. Mom and Dad haven’t) and they can’t afford to send me to one of the best, just put rat poison in my tea.)  And OF COURSE there are problems with culture in that too.

So, I’ve covered this before, but here’s the thing: Italy has a completely different culture. Yes, it also has a sclerotic, understaffed and just impoverished healthcare system. (Yes, every time I post that I have to spam a million comments telling me how well the WHO ranked Italy — which is great, except the WHO ranks a single payer system above everything else, including outcomes — and how Lombardy is the envy of Italy or something, which leads me to say “Sucks to be you.”)

However, that’s just a factor in the debacle. The other factor is culture and no one is taking it into account.  Multi-generational families live together (I should throw stones, yes) or in the same house which becomes a sort of compound. (This is common to all Mediterranean cultures. I grew up in such a compound until the age of six.) which means that while Grandma isn’t abandoned to the tender mercies of Haitian health workers, it’s also really hard to isolate her when little Guido gets the never-get-well at school and cheerfully brings it home.  Even when they don’t live together, extended families have a level of closeness that freaks out even the closest American families.  If you and your relatives live within driving distance of each other and don’t see each other every other day, there’s something wrong.

Every house is a continuous cacophony of visiting relatives and friends.  In safer times, we just left the back door unlocked because it was easier than answering the doorbell every five minutes.  When I first got married, I had the TV on all day, because otherwise the house was so silent, it freaked me out. (I left Disney channel on all day, because it was less likely to startle me with explosions or evil laughter. This led my inlaws to believe I only understood “English for children” (rolls eyes.) I wasn’t even in the room with it. I just needed that noise, or I freaked out, because of the habit of a lifetime.

The freakiest thing in my exchange student years was that my family never had people drop by, several times a week, just because.

On top of that, of course, a lot of the younger people live in stack-a-prol apartments with shared air, and most people commute by train or bus or something.

Now, in Portugal at least most trains and buses aren’t as full as they were in my youth. You are rarely packed in like sardines.  But it’s still public transport, and at rush hour every seat is taken and there are people standing.

As much as I get sick here, I got sick way more often there, and had a few really close calls, starting at about thirteen. Because you live in each other’s pockets.

And I understand that in Italy, as in Portugal, as in, for instance, France, people kiss a lot more.  Adult men might not, unless they’re close(ish) relatives, but women and children get kissed by everyone from close kin to total strangers.

All of those create conditions for the virus to explode. In Italy, in France, in Spain.  I understand it’s not exploded nearly as much in Portugal, but I also wonder how much of that is Portuguese reluctance to go to the doctor or the hospital. Because “the hospital is where you die.” (Yes, sue me. Some cultural assumptions remain. Which is why my husband is the one who normally drags me to the hospital.)  Because, you see, we DO know for at least one of the clusters, the hospital was making it worse. Go to the hospital for any other reason, catch Winnie the Flu.

All of these uncertainties are even more uncertain with China, which is a culture that is, by itself and by design fairly opaque to us, round eyed devils. BUT because they are on top of that also totalitarians, the culture becomes double opaque.  As Writer in Black put it in the comments, paraphrasing:They lie because they lie, they lie when the truth will serve, they lie because they can get away with it, they lie when they can’t.

And we simply don’t know the conditions on the ground. Most Americans don’t know, and most “progressives” refuse to admit that China has air quality not seen in this world since London ran on coal and its air resembled pea soup.  I heard that their air pollution makes everyone, man, woman, preschooler and infant inhale the same amount of particulates and pollutants as a three-pack a day smoker. Or that China’s prosperity is mostly for show/limited to a certain class (as we said in Portugal “for Englishmen to see”) and in the countryside, and the lower classes, life is more or less medieval and very close to the bone.  So close it might have tipped into actual famine, once we engaged in curtailing China’s exploitative trade practices.  On top of which, the mode of life being medieval and the government unpredictable, most people live in close proximity to a food animal or two. Which–   Which has given us all the bird flus, the swine flu, and soon to come and excitingly another bird flu.

So, do we even know that China is locking up again because of Winnie the Flu? or because of the new bird flu?

We don’t and neither do they. Their diagnosis was by “has pneumonia” since their tests are THIRTY PERCENT accurate (a coin is more accurate) and honestly, they don’t care for the lives of individual citizens. They care to hide a debacle from the world.

So trying to understand why the Wuhan cluster happened and how bad it really happened might be beyond us.  As I write this China has gone into lockdown again, which will send the Western hysterics into convulsions and give those like my governor who hanker for well polished boots and a Hugo Boss uniform in red and black another excuse to stomp on our inalienable liberties.  (And if at the end of this there aren’t a thousand civil rights law suits, I’ll be seriously disappointed.)

Because in his mind, Colorado and China are spherical cows of uniform density in friction-less vaccum.  (Stupid or malicious? Well, in Polis’s case? BOTH.)

And dear BOB, guys. Colorado and New York City (or state) are not the same culture.  Heck, North Carolina and Colorado are not the same culture. I know, because I transitioned from North Carolina to Colorado.

Let’s put it this way, if you stand as close to people in Colorado as you do in North Carolina, we’re going to freak out. Give it another foot (and that’s a foot more than NYC.) Unless you’re obviously a tourist. In which case we’ll send you to the next city to look for something improbable.  And while we’re not an unfriendly bunch (truly) we are not precisely the kind that gets together in a big bunch for no reason whatsoever.  (Unless they’re recent transplants.)

When we moved to Colorado we belonged to a national social club. We tried to continue our involvement here, but eventually gave up, because though the group was larger, the meetings were small, odd, and kind of lackluster.  The explanation? Coloradans are OUTDOORS people. They’re out hiking trails, or, when urban, walking around.  Sure, they might eat at restaurants, or go to museums, but the natural group size for Colorado is one or two.

You observe this in our parks, during summer, when you stare at groups of more than about four, because they’re so rare.  And in museums, even when going through as a family, our family of five tends to go through really individually, just keeping the others in sight most of the time.  And we’ve been doing that since the kids were about five. And this is normal.

Yes, there are subcultures. But even our college students don’t really clump as I see in other cities/states/on TV.

Our NORMAL mode, with very few exceptions, is social distancing.  You see this better perhaps in church. Whenever I go to church out of state/country, I’m puzzled at people crowding towards the front, in big masses.  In Colorado it often seems like the law is “let me find a space no one can touch me.”

I understand — Colorado is the only Western state I’ve LIVED in — that in the west that’s more or less the norm.  That our normal standing-apart is about two and a half to three feet. (And though yeah, there’s outliers like someone sneezing, the normal spacing for virus transmission, is one and a half feet.)

This alone, not accounting for the fact that trying to get Coloradans together is like herding cats, makes us completely different from NYC.

Heck, we do have the train that was supposed to go between Denver and Colorado Springs (WHAT IS with socialists and trains?) but it is about halfway there, and frankly when we drive alongside it, it seems to be empty.  The use is probably not helped by the fact our state made it free for homeless (ride the murder and assault carriages!) But even the homeless aren’t at great risk, since they’re like one per carriage. Buses… about the same. Though there is one route where I’m surprised people aren’t dropping like flies, but then, really, no one seems to be except in clusters.

Frankly without the clusters, I WOULD actually think this was just the common cold or the greatest hoax since the Trojan horse.

So, why are the same rules being applied to both places? AND why are both places treated exactly alike? And why are both places assumed to be on the same curve as Italy or Spain or Wuhan, places and cultures, and ways of living that have absolutely nothing to do with how we live or who we are?

And here’s the kicker: if you allow states like Colorado and others that naturally self-distance to go about their lawful business, not only time but more money will be available to study the problem clusters.

What is actually going on is the entire world being punished because SOMEONE spit on the teacher’s desk and China won’t fess up it was them.

Which means this is what our “betters” in charge think they are. The teachers, the important people in charge, who must make sure all of us spherical cows of uniform density in frictionless vacuum do as told.

That’s all this is about: a fundamental misunderstanding of humans and cultures, and that individuals and individual cultures exist.

And these are the people who “believe in science.”  (A statement that by itself tells you they have no clue what science is nor how to learn it.)  And who presume to tell us how things will go.

Which is why we’re in the middle of killing our economy and destroying the wealth of generations, because we’re always — always — two weeks behind the peak.  Or, as one particularly mentally handicapped governor put it “We just have to keep pushing the peak off for the next year or two.”…. does he mean through non-flu season, and into flu season, and out of it again, till everyone who would have died of flu dies of famine, with a bunch more beside?

And again I ask all you, my fellow spherical cows of uniform density in frictionless vacuum: How long will you tolerate this?

 

618 thoughts on “Assume a Spherical Cow of Uniform Density in a Frictionless Vacuum

  1. I can say that around here (sort of rural PA) it’s not so much a matter of tolerating it as business more or less as usual. A lot of places are closed by Governor order, but people are still doing their usual things as much as they can. I also strongly suspect that the US is over-reporting while the assorted totalitarian regimes are under-reporting. So reported numbers are also spherical cows of uniform density in frictionless vacuum.

    Other than that? Who knows? I suspect there will be many changes from this, and none of them will be the changes our so-called elites want.

    1. “and none of them will be the changes our so-called elites want.”

      I sure hope that’s right. There ought to be conspicuous blow-back.

  2. What is it with socialists and trains you ask? It makes it ever so much easier to get the boxcars full of people to the camps, when you have a train. Imagine having to have enough truck drivers to put the people in tractor-trailer rigs?

    1. And trains can only go reliably where the tracks are. Control of route. Control of timing. Control of boarding. Control! Control! Control! The personal transport, of any sort, is a Loss of CONTROL. They justy cannot stand the idea of someone else having and using liberty.

      1. This. Because (as I will go into elsewhere) they are mediocrities of no particular merit, and if people are allowed any liberty, this will become (more) apparent.

        1. They are astoundingly good at fud and playing the networking aspect. But that helps no one but themselves.

      2. AND trains are intrinsically cool. Cooler than cars. And why shouldn’t I have the cool you I want, even though it is intrinsically impractical? What are you, a Nazi?

      3. “Well, I don’t like planes, so everybody should be forced to use trains. It would be so much better.”

        Grrrr.

        I would like to take my daughter to Disney World every couple of years, and I’d rather not take three days each way getting there and back from Seattle, thank you very much.

          1. I love the city, I love the climate, I love the goth community I’m part of (one of the largest in North America), I love my friends even though their political opinions start with “stupid” and range all the way through “pernicious”.

            Also, my ex-wife and I share custody of our 11-year-old, so neither of us can move unless we both do, and we both work in tech or tech-adjacent jobs. And I actually like my fixer house and don’t want to sell.

            1. You like the climate? From what I remember, there’s the rainy season, and August.

              I was stationed in Bremerton for a year and a half while the ship got a 10-month refit.

              (We were lucky it only ran 80% over time and budget. Government, after all.)

              1. Nah, we have four distinct seasons. Cold and rainy from December to March, blustery from April to June, hot (70s-90s) July-September, clear and crisp October-November.

                Also, I’m from Anchorage, so I don’t mind that it only gets a little cold in the winter (2 weeks below 32 usually) and I like that it gets hot-for-me in the summer (2 weeks of high 80s-low 90s).

                1. Seattle is technically in the northernmost version of the “Mediterranean” climate type: cool wet winters and hot dry summers. Everyone thinks it rains here ALL THE TIME but in reality we have a near-drought for three months out of the year; all the native vegetation is adapted to it. (And even our “heavy rain” is usually more like “aggressive drizzle”.)

              2. Years ago, my dad gave me a ballcap with an embroidered umbrella and the words, “Washington State Rain Festival, January 1 – December 31.”

            2. I love Denver, so I completely understand.
              BUT I do have loving thoughts of setting our politicians on fire. Not that I’ll do it. My family never lets me have any fun.

        1. My daughter goes out to Los Angeles every spring for the last couple of years by train – our good fortune that there is a straight shot from San Antonio to Los Angles and the tickets for travel are about as much as regular air travel would be, but still – it does take about the same amount of time that it would to drive the same route, and sometimes … interesting things cause delays, coming and going. But it is so much more comfortable, a coach seat on Amtrak than a coach seat on Whatever Airline. It’s just a pity that passenger trains are low priority on the lines, as compared to freight. I am thinking that there would be money in a luxury bus line, over long-distances, inter-city. Something with generous seats, an equally generous luggage policy, with sleeping berths, fantastic bathrooms, gourmet meals available from local restaurants through take-out and delivery to the bus as it passes through cities … concierge service all the way, including pick-up from home and delivery to final destination. It could be doable, starting with service to gambling and resort destinations, you know. Pity I don’t have the billions to start this. I throw out the notion to any enterprising capitalist who wants it…

          1. I travel from Seattle to Portland (175 miles) once or twice a year for a long weekend for a big gothic masquerade ball, and it’s pleasant to take the train — a little longer than driving, and much more comfortable than the bus, and no parking hassles when I get there. (And last year The Specials UK were across the aisle and I got a photo with them.)

            But no way would I take the train to anywhere in California, because it’s utterly unreliable: I’ve seen delays of 12 hours or more posted.
            And I would still much rather spend time at the destination than getting there.

            1. Amtrak has regular run between Eugene and Seattle, with short stops in Salem and Portland. Not sure if it stops in Corvallis or not, and where it might stop in Washington between Portland. Whenever we see Amtrak on the road crossing near us, regardless of which way it is traveling, regardless of what times: morning “I see it is the 9 AM Amtrak (up through about 4:30 PM)” or “I see the 4 PM Amtrak made it on time” … Have no idea if it is on time or not. Reports are not. But I don’t know.

              1. Yeah, that’s the one I take, because it’s pretty much on time. It’s the Coast Starlight that I avoid like the plague, because I’d like to get to Portland today, thank you.

                1. Based on what we see at Irving/Beltline intersection Amtrak has the right of way over freight. You can always tell when line is waiting for Amtrak, there will be trains stacked waiting to go in the old train maintenance yard that sits between Beltline & Prairie Road / Hwy 99.

        2. I’m gonna make a quick note here and point out that most of the people who want to ban airplane travel for the middle class appear to like planes very much. In fact, most of them like planes so much that they have their own private plane (or charter one very regularly).

          1. This is mostly from a non-wealthy friend of mine who just doesn’t like flying and apparently rarely has to travel, so therefore the entire US should spend trillions of dollars building “high-speed” rail between all major and mid-sized cities. Economic arguments fail to penetrate. He hates planes, so the transportation system should be rebuilt to his preference. End of story.

        3. My girlfriend and I travel to visit her sister’s family every year during the holidays. We’ve seen them out here three or four times in 24 years that I recall. Her sister won’t fly, so they take Amtrak. It’s two or three days here from their place in upstate New York.

    2. Trains are a 19th Century solution to a 21st Century problem. Since the precepts of ‘progressivism’ were codified in the 19th Century, the left is comfortable with that. Odd that most lefty answers billed as ‘progress’ actually are regressive to a feudal structure.

      1. They are probably also longing for the good old days when they got together with the railroads to destroy the railroads.

        People often have nostalgia for the victories of their youth, even if that youth was before they were born.

      2. Passenger Trains work really well in areas with dense population, e.g., around NY and Western Europe. When I moved back here after many years abroad my only criterion was walk to the train. They work on The Acela corridor because the airports are so congested and the TSA so intrusive that the net travel time becomes about the same and the train is more comfortable.

        Freight trains are the best thing going other than ships. The US worked out how to do intermodal and we have the best distribution system in the world.

        Subway trains work if you have them but don’t justify the capital expense to build them now.

        Light Rail makes no sense at all.

        What new trains do give is large opportunities for graft. Busses, which are the better alternative, give much less scope for graft, hence politicians love light rail. Also, you get to use eminent domain to reward your friends and punish your enemies.

        Cars allow people to do what they want, when they want and only the political class should be able to do that.

        1. “Cars allow people to do what they want, when they want and only the political class should be able to do that.”

          Exactly.
          During the time when I worked a regular job (outside the home, and usually about a twenty to a half-hour drive away, I occasionally had to use the bus system to get to work. Which meant a rigid schedule for me, as the route nearest my house only ran once an hour. I also had at least one and sometimes two transfers, and a three-block walk at the start and end of every day. The daily commute expanded from half an hour to about an hour and a half, twice daily, eating up a lot of my spare time…
          Driving a car means flexibility – and our would-be fascist overlords hate that.

          1. Which is why when I said how nice it was that there was finally a nice road all the way to Baxia Guandu, my cousin demurred. “Now all the dirty criminals can come up from the City whenever they want.” And they did, but thinking that the lady living alone with her daughter was an easy mark, is a big mistake when said lady breeds Fila Brasileira.

            Bus service can be shut off, or run to the benefit of the local power structures.

            Make of it what you will.

            1. said lady breeds Fila Brasileira.

              How much did they have to pay to the lady to ransom themselves? Sure they weren’t smart enough to realize that she didn’t want to poison her babies.

              Never saw the culprits, but know someone jumped and ran when we were in Longview, at OMG 30 AM. I mean we had to come down off the ceiling before we checked everything out. Back in early ’80s. We hadn’t heard the reports, but found out after they tried to hit us, that someone was rifling cars and stealing gas, in the hours before early morning paper delivery. We were dog sitting in-laws malamutes, who resided in the garage. Then there was our German Shepard. Note dogs weren’t alarming when the paper was delivered. They alarmed that night. They startled us. Whomever had come on to the property had to have a minor heart attack or two. All 3 dogs, the cats slept on, regularly. Would be thieves heard “We will devour you.”

              1. No. The F.B. bitch doesn’t alarm. And her two make pups being trained abide by mama’s decision. Which was apparently to sit quietly in the dappled shadows of the yard until the guy’s backside and legs were half over the wall.

                Then the dogs started barking.

                1. Which was apparently to sit quietly in the dappled shadows of the yard until the guy’s backside and legs were half over the wall.
                  Then the dogs started barking.


                  Of coarse the dogs didn’t start barking while the strangers were outside the fence but wait until they committed coming in. Where is the fun in that? I mean really. Let them know we’re here? They’ll pass us by. Let them get halfway over and watch this

        2. The nice thing about Portland, OR’s transit system, is that they’ve set things up so that buses can use the same tunnels as the light rail. This gives their public transit a flexibility that other cities don’t have: buses aren’t clogging the roadways or stuck in traffic, and riders aren’t limited to to the fixed locations of train stations/ the city doesn’t have to put tunnels and rail in to expand the range of the system.

          That’s pretty much the only thing that city has done right.

          Especially since they tell their builders that they don’t have to provide parking if the building is within a certain distance of a transit stop.

      3. This is at least partly because Marxism is founded on a feudal model. And Marx never really escapes it, imo. It’s why his “capitalism” is such a lousy description of what we in America have built as “free enterprise”.

    3. Because you can’t make the trains run on time if you don’t have any trains to begin with.

      1. And as I recall, the trains “running on time” was NOT a matter of making the trains follow the printed schedules. It was done by printing new schedules that reflected the actual times of train departures and arrivals. Fascists demanded the “trains run on time.” Realists changed the ‘model’ (as it were) to fit reality.

  3. Here’s an interesting fact. The governor of Tennessee just made his shelter-in-place request mandatory because Tennesseans were beginning to go out more and they were seeing traffic patterns increasing toward normal levels. I think that says something about the populace beginning to chafe under these restrictions and beginning to be less and less receptive to this disruption of normal life.

    1. Listening to the radio, apparently the glorious bear republic saved us all from dying of the wu-flu by arresting a guy for swimming, alone, in the pacific ocean.

      To do this, they had at least half a dozen different units show up…..

            1. I now recall some Canadian comedy show about a Canadian superhero who upheld, “Truth, Justice, and the Canadian Way.” “Canadian Way?” “It’s like the American Way, but cheaper.” And then he takes public transit of some sort to (hopefully) get to where he’s needed.

              FWIW, I found “Mr. Canoehead” funnier, more engaging, and more memorable.

      1. Ya. Those two deputies were really socially distant as two of them walked him to the cruiser to be booked. Meanwhile the state is releasing hundreds and sidewalk Bob still lives in his tent by the bookstore.

        I get the reasoning. I swear,I do. But there is a difference between a mob of people (like oh, I dunno a scrum of seniors going after tp in walmart) and lone individuals or pairs.

        Flipping stasi

      2. My buddy got pulled over in Vancouver, WA by the sheriff for going for a drive cause he needed to get out of the house. Didn’t talk to anyone, didn’t interact with anyone, didn’t stop anywhere. Was told to go home.

        1. He should have said as the policeman approached, “Sir, could you keep your distance, please? Stay 6 feet from the vehicle, or I’ll have to roll my window up.”

          Because f*ing with authority can be fun. (Or it can be awful, maybe with lawsuits later.)

          1. “It’s for your own protection.”

            “I can’t attest I’m COVID-19 positive, but I can swear I haven’t tested COVID-19 negative.”

      3. I read that Bondi Beach ended up full again, after a week of being closed. It seems the biggest infection clusters are in the north and east sides of Sydney (going by the data they show) where people are less inclined to listen to even mild restrictions for quarantine, while the landlocked and west/south west side of Sydney are apparently obeying restrictions and have very small infection numbers, but then again to my untrained eye they have loads of space to do the social distancing and thus it isn’t as difficult to comply (going by pictures and video in the news.) Melbourne seems to be the second highest count, and Victoria is saying they’re ramping up to stage 4 restrictions, but that’s the Andrews government doing its thing.

        Western Australia is slamming its borders shut hard, and they are going to have to deal with those cruise ships NSW botched and aren’t happy because this whole thing could have been avoided.

        1. Kim Prather, a leading atmospheric chemist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, told The Times this week that she fears SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, could enter coastal waters and transfer back into the air along the coast.

          Now I know where those Millenial fits o f the “can ‘t evens” come from. They just have a much lower bar than I do.

            1. Dr. OZ was echoing it yesterday, so of course everyone knows that it’s true. (Of course, given the other things that flow into the water off the coast of CA *coughMalibusewagecough* a corona virus is the least of their worries.)

            2. Cortez’s degree was a bachelor’s from a for profit school, with a major that wasn’t actually economics, and reason for the public to suspect that the economics coursework did not contain the math. And a bunch of reasons to suspect that she never learned anything she could apply in the real world.

              Prather studied at UC Davis, which is an R1 school. Her bachelor’s is in business, but her doctorate is in chemistry, and the title looks legit. Issue is, even if she has a legitimate educational foundation in atmospheric chemistry, the actual problem she is talking about would be competently solved with an understanding of virology and oceanic chemistry. Absent reason to think that the virus can infect sealife, and that the viral particles survive in the ocean fairly well, this idea is probably bullshit.

              General rule of thumb is that PhDs are best assumed to be specialists, no more qualified than anyone else outside of the specialty, and often very confident in being competent everywhere.

              She is still working in research, and does apparently have a faculty position at UC San Diego. She has done research in a) ocean waves putting aerosols into the atmosphere b) microbe aerosols of that sort. She publishes in the area of climate science.

              She is a candidate for a malicious actor in coordination with the AWG marketing community to work the PRC’s angle on this. But she has been working on a similar area for a while, and could just be a promoter.

      4. I believe his crime was not wearing a mask and maintaining a 6-foot distance from other people. That the other people weren’t in evidence doesn’t mitigate the fact that he was not acting in such a way as to maintain that distance. In fact, the lack of other people around meant that he couldn’t comply.

        I live in this idiotic state and it’s scary. We’re all lining up like obedient little sheep and the state officials see that and something primal in their brain says: “Yes!! That’s what I’m talking about! Order!!”

        1. — Oops! This was in answer to the solitary surfer dude arrested by the police for violating quarantine —

          I believe his crime was not wearing a mask and maintaining a 6-foot distance from other people. That the other people weren’t in evidence doesn’t mitigate the fact that he was not acting in such a way as to maintain that distance. In fact, the lack of other people around meant that he couldn’t comply.

          I live in this idiotic state and it’s scary. We’re all lining up like obedient little sheep and the state officials see that and something primal in their brain says: “Yes!! That’s what I’m talking about! Order!!”

    2. One of the first rules of Leadership/command is NEVER give an order you know will be disobeyed if you can avoid it. Most americans are decent law abiding folk and try to behave. However poke and prod them long enough and they turn on you (unlike much of the rest of the world that seems to go sullen and then freaks out at some unpredictable point).

  4. This is (one of) the major problem(s) with big government. With big gov, “one size fits all” is the norm, because keeping track and making rules that fit a million different circumstances would be impossible, never mind responding to local changes in anywhere near a reasonable timeframe. So we have our current Coronavirus response. I have some friends who are very rural, who don’t have a single case within 75 miles of their house, who are mandated to the same lockdown as I am living in a city (suburbs really), with a hospital less that two miles away that has, from what I’ve heard, active coronavirus cases (I have no idea how many or how bad).

    One thing to note however, is that my rural friends are older and not exactly very healthy. Frankly I hope they stay 75 miles away from this thing. Not that I think they need that much distance, but it sure means I have to worry about them much less.

      1. Because those were entry level problems the purpose of which was to introduce new students to the basic principles of physics. They stripped away all the real world variables that always tend to make a true physics experiment a hairy mess to calculate.
        Side note, back when we were flying Spacelab missions at about a billion dollars each the primary purpose was the ready access to micro gravity, near perfect vacuum, and elimination of miles of atmosphere between our instruments and the universe. Conducting experiments with those factors removed has been the source for countless PhD theses over the years, and quite a few advances in our understanding of certain physical phenomena.

        1. Worked for a while making tools used in that sorta vacuum. And chambers that were designed to get greater vacuum than space. It is quite fascinating

      2. actual pulleys have friction. actual vacuum does not. the dust in it may, but that’s dust, not vacuum.

      1. Similar to why the common use term is now “microgravity” for what was previously often referred to as “weightlessness”.

            1. Ahh.. Too literal-minded strikes again. Mi dispiace.

              In other news that joke dates back to my freshman physics class lo these nearly 40 years ago.

              Here’s one for your kiddos: What’s nu?
              Ans: cee over lambda!

              That still cracks me up.

                1. An opportunity to put up a Muppet performance of a Flanders & Swann classic …

                  … is not to be overlooked.

              1. I heard it a little over 40 years ago while going through Navy nuclear power training, although it didn’t include the “frictionless vacuum” phrase. As I recall, the instructor told it after we learned about the units for nuclear cross-section.

        1. Maybe you should have used ‘in a perfect vacuum’ instead.

          The vacuum inside politicians’ heads is not perfect. You don’t want to know what’s in there.

  5. However, much worse than a person is a group of people. Particularly when the group has its own culture, its own geographical “plant” and its own way of being in the world. Throw those into any model, and even if what you’re trying to model is a single, small, fairly well known group, the model will have a leak.

    Dancing naked on the mail box!

    Short version:
    They made a video game.
    It is possible to dance. It is possible to take your clothes off (you get a fuzzy bikini, or conan shorts, or the same in linen colors). There are mail boxes.

    So folks danced on them.

    This started a design war to try to stop people from doing it, which STARTED with making it so you can’t jump on top of the mail boxes. Well, trying to make it so you couldn’t…..

    Spoiler; it didn’t work.

    1. Mention of World of Warcraft reminds me that waaaaaaay back in Vanilla, the game had its own form of pandemic. For the unfamiliar…

      One of the raids introduced in the base game featured a boss who would target members of the raid group, and give them a debuff called “Corrupted Blood”. Corrupted Blood did damage over time to the targeted character, and anyone who had the debuff could infect other nearby characters. The debuff would disappear after a period of time… or when the character died. The damage inflicted by the debuff was high enough to be cause for concern, but could still be outlasted by characters who were properly equipped for that particular fight.

      The debuff could also infect player pets, and this is where the trouble started.

      Players realized that if you “unsummoned” your pet (basically, put it into storage in the exact same state that it was in when you unsummoned it), when you summoned the pet again later (i.e. pulled it back out of storage), the pet would still have the debuff. And it could still infect other nearby characters. So someone got the bright idea to unsummon their infected pet during the battle, and then resummon it inside one of the major cities. The debuff then jumped to all of the nearby characters – including lots of low level characters who didn’t have high enough health pools to survive. It *also* jumped to nearby unkillable non-player characters. These non-player characters would then pass it on to other nearby non-player characters, who would reinfect the original non-player character when the debuff expired on the first character, creating a never-ending cycle of infection.

      As a result, players abandoned the cities.

      The problem was eventually fixed with a patch that made pets immune to the debuff, and a subsequent hard reset of the servers (to clear it from the already infected NPCs).

      1. Did you ever see some of the scientific write-ups folks got out of that?

        Hm…maybe that’s the root of some of the crazy big deaths they’re getting… I know for a couple of them, I metaphorically laughed in their face, because they didn’t realize that there were a sizable number of griefers in WoW who deliberately got infected and went out to infect others, over and over……

    2. This started a design war to try to stop people from doing it,

      Ah, the “Stop having fun wrong” brigade strikes again.

      1. Eh, started with it actually being obnoxious– see, they hadn’t considered that folks might stand IN the mail box.

        So it got turned into a flat topped pillar.

        …which was too short, especially in the big-scary-monster side, to click on if someone was dancing on it.

        So they tried to make it so people couldn’t dance on it at all– as a side effect made the anti-collision big enough to not get stuck, but also switched it from a form of griefing to a harmless challenge.

    3. >> “This started a design war to try to stop people from doing it”

      Any good reason why? Because unless they’re messing with others first, trying to stop your players from having fun with your game sounds like an incredibly bone-headed move.

      Also, what’s the background music in that video?

      1. Song Got the Life
        Artist Korn

        …and when I opened the page to find out, my husband commented it was an “interesting” choice, he hadn’t heard any Korn in a while. Seemed much less worried when I explained the situation. (About two days ago I started adding break stuff by Limp Bizket or however it’s spelled to my workout rotation, and more Disturbed. Ah, music for mental health….)

        *********

        If I remember the development correctly, it started with model collision.

        The exact order is going to be mixed up, but this will give the idea….

        Which meant that if someone stood in the doorway, nobody else could walk through. If you make it so you can push people, you can push people off a cliff. So they made it so you can walk through people.

        The mailbox was classified as a person, rather than a building, so people stood on it.
        Patched that, made it basically a tall rock.

        Well, that made it so you got a big crowd around the mail box, and had trouble clicking on it.

        Made the mail box taller.

        People figured out they could now stand on top of the mailbox, or /sit, and block it that way.

        So they made it harder to get up there, at which point they made the click box bigger in both directions– which fixed the collision issue, but also made it so that you now had a REALLY COOL stage to dance on.

        Which resulted in the video.

  6. Centers of transmission = places and circumstances where people do not have the freedom to act as they wish and go there because they HAVE to.
    Hospitals
    Dealing with police or in jail
    Nursing Homes
    Schools
    Well, they shut down one of them.

  7. They should have had a marketing department. As pointed out in “If This Goes On”, a decent marketing department can tell you to go to hell, but in such a way you’ll be eager to get there. Instead they used the Legal and Enforcement departments.
    Never works, every time.

    1. Piers Anthony must’ve read “If This Goes On.” In his Incarnations of Immortality series, Hell did get a marketing department, and was selling Hell as this really cool place where you got to do all kinds of fun stuff — except it was all snake oil. There was a scene where the POV character put on a set of magic Truth Glasses and got to see that all the free food was in fact the vilest of garbage, the doe-eyed houris were hideous hags, etc.

  8. Maybe they’re seeing this as their way of reducing the population down to what they think is a “sustainable” level. And then we can all become vegans who only eat organic and all the nasty cows and pigs can give way to the buffalo and deer. They east coast liberal academia has been pushing the idea that the great plains will become a “buffalo commons” since I was a kid.

    1. Or introduce lions and elephants, because they are the closest things we have to mammoths and saber-toothed cats. (Thank you, Ted Turner, for that great idea.)

      If we still had surface water, then the buffalo commons might be viable if you squinted really hard. But no water = no critters. The Poppers (the couple who first floated the idea) missed that little bit.

      1. Don’t be silly. The buffalo will get water from pipes coming naturally out of the ground, just like Manhattanites do.

        You need to come up to speed on the real problem: how much of the midwest we will allocate to plains and buffalo, and how much we’ll plant to restore the rain forest. To which the proper answer is, sucks for the buffalo, because if we don’t plant masses of trees to restore the CO2 balance WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!

        Plus you don’t need water for trees; they get it from roots, or the air, or something like that.

        [looked at an elementary school “Earth Science” textbook lately? Young people don’t get ideas like that from nowhere…]

          1. For “literary” fiction, avoiding post 1980 is perhaps a good idea.
            For science texts, avoiding post 1970* is almost certainly a Good Idea.

            * And perhaps earlier. US education was really hit a nasty blow by the establishment of the Dept. of Education, but I suspect/fear the downfall began with the overreaction/misdiagnosis in 1957 from Sputnick… when the USSR’s German rocket scientists had gotten just a bit ahead of the USA’s German rocket scientists.

            1. My history text in grammar school, state textbook mind, had a glowing account of the Great Leap Forward. This would have been 1975 or so It was Catholic school so we didn’t get the new books. the only thing that stuck with me was pig iron in the back yard. Cause pig iron was funny. Had I not read on my own I never would have found out different.

            2. I recall a discussion with a science teacher over a textbook with a big science error. It said vertical axis windmills were inherently more efficient because the blades didn’t go up and down like they do in a horizontal axis windmill. Uhhh,….. The blades aren’t going up and down, they’re balanced and rotating in a circle… In a vertical axis windmill half the rotation the blades are going against the wind. He shrugged; that was the officially approved textbook.

      2. There are those who approve of mustangs and feral donkeys, because they replace the native equines wiped out by humanity in the Pleistocene. And bringing in the cheetah to give the pronghorn something it needs its speed to escape. . . .

          1. For decades I have advocated the return of the wolf to more of its former territory. Specifically urban landscapes. (Give the gangs a competitor predator.)
            You disagree, because of the people? YOU JUST HATE MOTHER EARTH!

            1. I regret to say that there are actually people who say that since people in Africa have to live with the danger of being eaten by cheetahs to prevent extinction, people in America should also live with the danger of cheetahs,

              With not the slightest hint of awareness that someone might object to the first point.

        1. A mustang in every garage? I could live with that!

          And I’m sure that Ford would approve, as well.

          1. But…but…this is not the Pleistocene! The environment has changed substantially, even without our help. Different weather, different plants, different critters. It’s not possible to re-create the Pleistocene now. That should be obvious to any reasonably intelligent person if they spent a few minutes thinking about it…oh.

            1. As I said, Ted Turner. That the climate of the region then was closer to what Seattle has now, with mild humid summers, cool moist winters, and a mixed botanical landscape like the African savanna . . . Is completely irrelevant, of course. Because global warming, or something. (Even my hard-core environmentalist grad school buddy was like, “Dude, that is sooooo stupid.”)

    2. East coast Liberal Academic knows less about the Old West than the Europeans who get all their information from Western movies. It’s a careful, studied ignorance that takes years to develop.

        1. The Europeans are wrong, but they are at least wrong based on something they have observed and misunderstood. The academics are wrong based on carefully never observing anything, and fantasizing about the subject.

            1. Breaking a stein over Bob’s head would have just been a waste of a perfectly good stein.

              Breaking Bob’s head with a stein might have done the world some good.

          1. The problem is their choice of source material to observe. I have a cousin in Australia whose son told me that they learned what they knew about the US by watching The Simpsons.

              1. It could be worse … Tom Stoppard depicted the typical Brit’s grasp of the United States in the intre-acte play New Found Land:

                About sixteen hilarious minutes …

      1. I’m almost to the point that I’ll accept a boogaloo as a positive development. If they really do try to keep this quarantine internment up through next spring it would just about even out in the population reduction.

        1. And, when it starts, then we’ll see why certain products are desired. Because we want that appropriate social distance when we reach out to discourage governmental tomfoolery.

      2. They want people to be dependent on government because they think that gives them power, and above all what they want is power over other people. LBJ was very open about his programs being designed to get people to vote for Democrats “forever”, as people would become dependent on government for their very lives.

        The Democratic Party has not only continued to double down on this, but they are openly trying to use the virus as a pretext for their vision of “fundamentally transforming America”.

  9. Foe me, SOCIAL distance is as far as I can swing a bucket without hitting someone. And I really thing everyone should be carrying buckets, and testing that distancing with impunity. Family distancing is inside that. Intimate distancing is, well, we all know what being intimate is. Living distancing is more problematic. If I can see your place from my place, you’re too dad-blamed close.

    1. That’s the living distance I grew up with. I remember biking up to the neighbor’s place to play with their daughter, who was a couple of years older. Budget at least half an hour to get there, longer if I got tired pedaling up the moraine, and another half hour to get back.

      Part of me still misses living out in the country. Unfortunately, it’s just not feasible for us in this time and place.

      1. When I lived in suburbia my older kids were allowed to bicycle everywhere. In the country where I live now? No. Much more dangerous. Country road drivers drive like maniacs. A different kind of maniac than city drivers, but like maniacs. I won’t back out of my driveway because it takes a second or two longer than pulling out nose first. Enough time for someone coming over the hill at more than 70 to smash into me because there’s not enough distance to brake after they see me.

        If the Amish expand out on to my street I’m sure there’ll be a bad accident from that. So far, they move and travel in flat areas.

        1. Also we have black bear, cougars, and a lot of really stupid people who let half-socialized dogs get loose on a regular basis. Oh. And sexual predators. More of them than you’d care for.

          So yeah, you don’t let your 7 year old bike around unsupervised.

    2. I live within city limits now (great for internet, sucks for damn near everything else. I miss DARK skies damnit.) but I can see: “If you think you have to worry about me firing a .22 short, you are TOO DAMN CLOSE.”

    3. Lately I get offended when I see humans walking past the end of my driveway on my deserted rural road. Its a pretty long driveway, but seeing the two-legs out there is… ungood.

      Deer are fine. They can crap on the lawn for all I care. ~:D

  10. Down here, as of last night’s report, we don’t have many in the hospital, but most of our cases (21) are in the 20-50 age groups. They all showed up after Spring Break ended, which makes me suspect they are families with kids who went places, or who went places themselves. Two cases (the first two) were “brought it in from outside” and the rest are “community spread,” according to our health department.

    The metro city/counties health people have started drive-up testing. It is free. If you go to your private doc, it costs money. Either way, the results are reported to the county and state.

    AAAannd the frost we were supposed to get this morning? It is 24 with a wind chill of “YGTBSM.” Bye-bye flowering plants. Grrrrrr.

    1. It’s similar to a number of the popups you see in the southern states. Trace back to patient who flew in from nyc after all this crap began because they were too important to stay there.
      It’s part of the bizarro nature. Going to a mom and pop nursery is outlawed but go get same plants with 80 other people at big box store is fine. Fancy, sit down restaurants where there is easily 6 ft between tables verboten but can get on the subway with 100 of your closest neighbors and the random hobo. Shut down all trade and association but forbid states from actually enforcing quarantines of folks entering them as the city spreads out to avoid the restrictions.

      I can make anyone’s life risk free. Just kneel over by that wall. Otherwise you have to find the least damaging. Haranguing people for not kowtowing to the fascist state just starts bubbling resentment.

      1. Yep. I can get fabric at Walmart, but fabric stores who have maybe 10 customers an hour are closed. And damn it, I want to get plants in for summer. Fortunately (?) it’s still snowing out here, intermittently, at least two days a week.

        1. It’s still early for the nursery I used to work for and that my brother still does once he’s done with quarantine but missing mothers day and memorial day gonna be huge hits I expect.

          Again, I get the intended purpose (although the bureaucracy keeps stymying it) but the economic damage from just the collateral impacts, never mind stuff like hospitality will be huge

        2. Yeah, I dig native trees to sell to the nurseries for landscaping. Very seasonal, have to dig them when they are dormant. Snow should go off where I dig them in a month, then have just a few weeks (sometimes days, depending on the year) before they bud out.
          Not sure how that is going to work out this year. I plan on digging regardless of Big Brother’s directives, but not so sure the nurseries will be open for me to sell to. Most of my big customers are Eastern Washington and their communist governor is trying to shut the whole state down.

              1. I elected a governor, not a dictator. Men or women who want to play dictator can play the WHOLE game, including the move where they are physically removed from office and publicly hanged.

            1. Hardware stores are open here. I’ve seen one garden center. I will check my favorites this week.

              1. Both Lowes and Home Depot stores are open here – although Home Depot has begun limiting customers. The one nearest us has thoughtfully set up a series of pop-up pavilions to shelter those waiting in line to get in. Lowes’ wasn’t – but they may be starting next week.
                I think the garden supply and nurseries are open as well. Tractor Supply is also open.

                1. Well, do you want to be the one to tell an irritated rancher or farmer that he can’t buy new jeans, a salt-lick, a replacement bulb for the incubator, parts for a calf-feeder, and dog food as well as some baby chicks? Especially after he drove 90 miles into town and there’s no TP?

                  Gov. Abbot may have his faults, but he also has a strong sense of self-preservation. 😀

    2. Not sure how things are here TODAY, but a few days ago almost all positive cases in the country could be linked back to one church in a nearby smaller town – while incorporated, no post office. How the first case got there, no idea.

      1. As I understand it, patient zero there had a daughter who’d just returned from China…

    3. Our county is now at 12, with the public health people saying community spread is in play. Same people are nagging us about social distancing (I’m starting to hate that phrase), and saying we should keep at least 6′ separation when possible, even within a household. (Why do I suspect that person lives alone in a 1 bedroom apartment with two cats?) Demographics for cases here are fairly evenly spread between 20 and 69. At the state level, the peak is in the 60-69 range, with a long tail down to 0-19. The deaths peak for 80+, with no deaths for people below 60.

      (The spike in cases for us was partly due to someone who flew on a plane with a CV+ passenger aboard. Joy.)

      I’d offer sympathies on the cold morning, but we had 15F, 10 degrees below normal for us. At least the dogs don’t want to dawdle in the morning potty break.

      1. I’ve hated the phrase “social distancing” from day one. It’s like nails on a chalk board to me. “Fake news” too.

        SD just sounds like an Orwell word.

        1. Social Distance is a real term, useful in examining the customs of a culture and how they affect how people live (and vice-versa). Ripped from its setting it becomes more or less meaningless.

      2. Hell, I got grief yesterday from an officious Walmart manager, because my daughter and I (who live in the same house, and drove there in the same car) for standing too close to my daughter as she wiped down a shopping cart in the foyer. “You have to be six feet apart at all times in the store, or the city might close us down!” Didn’t matter that she is my daughter … in Walmart we had to keep six feet apart. I really think that manager followed us all through the store, because I pointed out the ridiculousness of that.
        Oh, and the kicker was — we were there to buy fabric and a packet of sewing machine needles so that we could make masks for a local clinic…

        1. The real kicker is that manager was right to be afraid. Not: “OMG we’re all gonna die of CCP-flu -!” But: The Stasi will shut me down, and I and all my employees will begin the dole.

          You know that states are setting up too lines for snitches, no?

              1. Yeah, well, those tend to get flooded with — interesting reports. I’m sure the NYC mayor who drove to a park would appear many times.

            1. That requires getting the kids away from the parents. Which is why they usually do it at — school!

      3. For comparison, Santa Clara County, California, which is pretty much the area known as Silicon Valley, as of 5pm April 1st 2020 reported COVID-19 at 1,019 cases*, 153 hospitalized for COVID-19 in med-surg** beds, 92 for COVID-19 in ICU beds, and 36 deaths.

        And to scale those numbers, the July 2019 population estimate by the US Census Bureau for Santa Clara County was 1,927,852, yielding an overall, hm, lets call it “COVID-19 diagnosed person” rate of 0.0529%, med-surg hospitalized rate of 0.0079%, ICU of 0.0048%, and a COVID-19 death rate of 0.0019%.

        Current COVID-19 admitted as inpatients are taking up ~9% of the total med-surg beds in the county and ~31% of the ICU beds in the county, but some of those total beds are otherwise occupied, so subtracting those otherwise in use COVID-19 patients are taking up 16.4% of the available med-surg beds and 50.3% of the available ICU beds.

        Bottom line from the locked-down-for-another-month Silicon Valley is no hospital flood of patients yet.

        Note Santa Clara County Public Health has a nice dashboard page at https://www.sccgov.org/sites/phd/DiseaseInformation/novel-coronavirus/Pages/dashboard.aspx

        * Includes confirmed and suspected COVID-19 cases
        ** med-surg is short for medical-surgery, basically normal hospital beds.

        1. Oh and one more interesting statistic form that page: Of tests run within the county, at this point only testing people with the required checkbox symptoms, the positive-result rate is 11.05%.

            1. The local public health, and some national outlets (as reported in the Wall Street Journal) are that if you test positive, you have it. If you test negative, there’s a 30% chance you have it but either the test is bad or you don’t have enough in your mucus membranes to trip the meters yet.

    4. Our official number last night (a couple of hours south of TXRed) was 108 cases with 3 dead. About half of our cases are in a few nursing homes, one in particular, where employees called in saying they were symptomatic and were told they would be fired if they didn’t show up. At least if the local news stations are to be believed. Two of the deaths were at that nursing home.

      Then there was the student who was flown home from a study abroad program. The university provided all of the students in those programs with transportation from the airport and a free place to stay (meals included IIRC) so they could be isolated for two weeks. One young lady left, met friends at a restaurant, and then went home. My understanding was that she was symptomatic at the time but that may not be correct. A day or so later she went to the doctor and was our first or second confirmed case. The ad to shut down (this was before restaurants were officially closed) and her family was immediately quarantined.

      1. About half of our cases are in a few nursing homes, one in particular, where employees called in saying they were symptomatic and were told they would be fired if they didn’t show up. At least if the local news stations are to be believed.

        Gaaaahhhh.

        1. The crucial phrase there is “At least if the local news stations are to be believed.”. If they are, for once, correct, then somebody in the management needs to be hit with wrongful death charges. OTOH, what have the news stations gotten RIGHT recently?

          1. LOCAL stations, so they might have it right. The closer something is, the better it generally is. As was told to me back in the heyday of dialup ISP’s, “Stick to places that know you can firebomb them.”

          2. Yeah… I just wish it weren’t plausible. I’d hope a nursing home would have more intelligent sick leave policies for its caretakers, and yet….

            1. Healthcare or medical care facilities & providers all should have reasonable sick leave policies, no limit paid sick leave, you abuse it, we find out about it, you are fined AND fired.

              Niece works for a medical healthcare insurance provider. She has Lupus. You’d think they’d be reasonable … nope, not even close.

                  1. That one assumes more competence than is exhibited by the given trainwreck, assuming the story is true.

            2. The thing is, if they had policies designed to be followed and administered by people with three digit IQs, they wouldn’t be able to hire people with community college degrees at rock bottom salaries.

              Also, the government would indict them with Medicare fraud for charging what actual care,actually costs.

          3. It’s fairly reliable. The county health director has named the worst nursing home in more than one press conference. The lawsuits are coming.

            1. Good. I know there are good hospice and nh nurses out there but there was a reason I always warned my parents I knew the good nursing homes and bad ones. I’m a cynic with them.

              But the reason I am concerned of sick time policies like that is that you have the employee abusing. Until the HR lawyers are defanged a bit you will have set sick days.

      2. where employees called in saying they were symptomatic and were told they would be fired if they didn’t show up. At least if the local news stations are to be believed. Two of the deaths were at that nursing home.

        Employees VS Management: They said VS They said … without written or audio confirmation of the order and threat the employees are SOL.

      3. A quarter of the cases in one of the counties here came from one business. The county asked them to clean things up, they didn’t, and they are now closed for two weeks. I suspect the manager ordered sick people to keep coming to work. (It was/is a sandpit. No, literally, they mind sand.)

  11. When I took macroeconomics in college, all the problems began with “The head of the Fed drops $100,000 out of a helicopter. Assuming an initial interest rate of . . .” That way we could skip a lot of steps in the money supply system.

    1. All too many economics courses start with “policy makers decide”. I blame Samuelson and Harvard.

  12. Re culture…I’m a Southerner. Right now we live in southern middle Tennessee (you can’t get any farther south). The governor TELLING me to stay home makes me want to jump in the car and go shopping. Because. I, too, want to see a thousand points of light and a thousand lawsuits bloom. Meanwhile, since my husband owns a tax service and I work reception, I figure if the Wu Flu is here we’ve already been exposed. And this is an area where we had the usual “unidentified upper respiratory infection,” run through around mid-January, except it was rougher than usual and took longer to get over, so who knows?

    1. I’m in Connecticut, and work at one of the casinos. I’m in the offices, but I have friends in security and the cage. As far as i know we’ve had ONE case among the staff of some 6000, and that appears to have been diagnosed on symptoms, not testing, and after two weeks quarantined at home, he’s back at work. (Upper level security still have jobs, keeping the empty premises empty.)

      If this thing is as transmissible and lethal as they say, and we exist off folks from NYC and Asia, how do we have so few cases? Or is this why my asthma has been bad this spring, and I’ve had to use my rescue inhaler several times a day for the last 5 weeks or so when I *never* need it in the Spring? Otherwise I feel fine.

      I’m supposedly higher risk, and I’m about to go see if Walmart or any of the grocery stores are hiring before I go stir-crazy. The family has begun randomly singing the Cabin Fever song from Muppet Treasure Island.

      1. Or is this why my asthma has been bad this spring, and I’ve had to use my rescue inhaler several times a day for the last 5 weeks or so when I *never* need it in the Spring? Otherwise I feel fine.

        The dangerous cases supposedly work that way. You’re fine, other than having issues getting air.

        ..which your inhaler would counter.

        (Which seems obvious, same as the family friend sent home with oxygen in January, as a “needs ventilation” option for the not-needing-the-lung-and-heart-machine folks.)

            1. Exactly. Now if the weather would make up its mind, and hopefully the boiler tech beaveting away in the basement can get my central heat back on… As normal, it only scraps out after hours.

              One of these days, probably sooner, they wont he able to revive it. And any stimulus money we get is already earmarked for the car and replacing the shingles the squirrels have played with. I’m told squirrel pot pie is very tasty.

              1. >> “I’m told squirrel pot pie is very tasty.”

                Certain cats seem to like the taste. Find a hunter or two and it might solve your squirrel problem.

                1. Our cat’s, none of them, have been able to catch squirrels. Mice, Birds, moles, yes. Not the squirrels. Have watched the squirrels tease cats too; or that is what it looks like.

                  1. I know one of mine can do it (or at least could when he was a bit younger). I’ve seen him chase them up trees, catch them and get back down with no trouble.

                    1. Oh. Greebo had a raccoon understudy. No, seriously. Might have been an orphaned cub. Followed him around, did everything he did. EVERYTHING. Including curling up in the sunny spot, while giving Greebo looks, to make sure he was doing it right.
                      Don’t know what happened to him when we (and Greebo) moved.

                  2. I think our dog might have caught a squirrel once or twice, but mostly they didn’t seem to concern her much. They’d throw her apples from the next yard over. I mean… maybe that was intended to be hostile, but she ate the apples….

                  3. I’m sorry. Greebo was fixed before we “got” him by our crazy neighbor who took him and his brothers to a “feral fix”
                    At this point, we’d have to clone him.

                    1. Thanks for the offer. Not like the squirrels are robbing anything in our yard. We don’t put out bird feeders. The other attractants, Giant Sequoias, were removed after the huge 2017 Silver Thaw buried the yard in branches.

                      Cats may not hunt squirrels, but they definitely hunt birds. A couple have been dang good at it. One was so good, he regularly had birds dive bombing him. He thought it was great. They were coming to him, no stalking involved. We even double belled him!!! He could move without those bells ringing. Current hunter handles collars with bells differently, he takes off the collars …

                    2. Athena T. Cat walks without triggering her bells. If it wasn’t for the noise she makes on the carpet, I’d have flattened her more than once. Her coat pattern is an excellent night disguise.

                  4. We live too close to a major road and have coyotes. But if all the families indoor-outdoor cats over the last 40 years we’ve only had one ever catch a squirrel. Though our Irish cat gifted us a dead stoat once. He left it in the laundry pile.

              2. Lo, these many years ago, I spent a few days sick at home, watching TV cooking shows. One episode of “Justin Wilson, the Cooking Cajun” that I watched covered his recipe for squirrel head stew.

                1. *Grin* My maternal grandfather used to send Justin stories to use. We had several autographed LPs of Cajun humor, signed by Justin Wilson. They were stolen after my grandfather died. [Omits long string of uncharitable thoughts about people who go through the obituaries looking up addresses to loot.]

          1. I don’t think anyone has an accurate and consistent list of symptoms to diagnose this thing. Even the doctors are going mostly on rumor-mill level info. I don’t think there has ever been this much testing and I don’t think there is enough accurate and reliable testing to really sort out what is going on. Without a better baseline about the different strains of respiratory viruses, I don’t think it is possible to make definitive statements about this “pandemic”. When this is past I expect there will be a lot of PHd theses written trying to dissect the data and try to figure out how this all happened.

            This, of course assumes we don’t do so much damage to society and the economy that it destroys the ability to do such analysis.

              1. Yeah, Sturgeon’s Law will definitely apply. The soft-headed “sciences” will be greatly over represented. I hope at least some rational analysis will also be done.

                As it is, most of the top down government directives seem to be more based on superstition than anything else. That includes the pronouncements of so called experts. Unfortunately would be tyrants can get a lot of mileage out of selling superstition.

                1. I know in at least some of the hard sciences, folks are being encouraged to propose stuff, because there is a lot of funding for covid now. Doubt that funding will be there long enough to finish a hard science PhD or even Masters.

                  1. Theres a good chunk of things that probably could for a while. Anything dealing with the tools used or methods of surveillance and tracking or similar could be written to qualify and they are general enough that you can likely continue to find support.

                    1. Yeah, but a fresh project with Covid specific function has a good chance of not keeping funding after this level of concern passes. Of course, hard scientists probably have to plan on getting funding for more than one project per doctorate.

                  2. I’ve seen a chart showing the number of pneumonia deaths has plummeted while the number of. WuFlu deaths has rocketed. Oddly, or not, the two more or less cancel. There’s big, big money in WuFlu At least $ 6 trillion. With more to come. In the US. Europe and Civilized Asia will spend proportionately. It’s the greatest boondoggle of all time.

                    If the tracking of actual versus modeled continues there will be enormous pressure to find any thing that can be attributed to WuFlu They need deaths I’m afraid since so far the virus doesn’t seem to o be providing enough of them. This will be the first genuine bi partisan thing since Trump was elected.

                    little place for hard science or medicine though. They might find out what actually happened and no one will want to know. Thankfully, the Acela crowd don’t understand anything about medicine or hard science so life will go on its merry way.

        1. When my weird flu (I call it not-a-flu) was worst, the med tech on the phone suggested Albuterol. Haven’t had any in a couple of decades, but logistics said I could only get it at the ER. I was feeling bad, but not that bad. I gave brief thought to the steroid inhalers, but passed. (Little red light flashing in my foggy brain.)

          I’m glad I passed on the steroid. Current thinking is that the steroid does a great job at inhibiting inflammation, at the expense of turning off the immune system in the lungs. Oops.

          By the time I could get a prescription for the Albuterol, the fever broke and I felt like the road roller had finished with me, and it was just a garden roller. Really didn’t want to go back to town to get a prescription. Sleep sounded far better. Oh yeah, mucus tabs helped. We had the gunky cough; *not* a good idea to recline or sleep on your back.

          Three weeks since the peak fever, and I sort of feel OK. $SPOUSE is running a week behind me, and is willing to do indoor stuff; including bread. (Gluten free bread, and this version is odder than most, but it’s tasty.)

          TL;DR: if you have the weird flu and trouble breathing, stay away from the steroid inhalers. Albuterol seems to be the best bet.

          1. If the reports are correct . . . well, back in November my GP put me on Losartan for my high blood pressure and gave me a Ventolin (albuterol) inhaler for what he believed was my childhood asthma making a comeback in my middle age based on the symptoms I described to him. Both of which meds seem to work well against Kung Flu. Haven’t really needed the inhaler much; I started out with the dose counter at 205 and five months later it’s still showing 191. OTOH this spring I’ve used the inhaler more in the past two weeks than I did the first five months I had it. Yep, wicked seasonal allergies combined with year-round sinus trouble and now asthma. What most people call Flu Manchu symptoms, I call March. And I purely hate how the media-driven doom hype has turned us all into hypochondriacs. Grrr.

            1. I’m sneezing! ARRRGHH! (I know it’s not a common symptom, but knowing that does not calm me.)

              And having had trouble with coughs for years and its being a wet cough are also insufficient.

    2. I want to go driving around and kissing total strangers. I never wanted to do that before. BUT I’VE HAD ABOUT ENOUGH.
      Seriously, all through Jan we went to a million doctors. if I didn’t/don’t have it? No one does.

      1. Yesterday’s conspiracy theory is today’s conventional knowledge.

        There’s starting to be people testing positive for Corona virus antibodies who had a weird flu in January. Evidently you can get a serology test from China. God know how accurate it is and the people involved seem to be appropriately skeptical about it, but there you go.

        This came to NY by Christmas or very soon thereafter. Had to have been floating around the world since that time.

        Everything word China says is a lie including “and” and “the.”

        1. Let’s not forget the news story that testing kits China “gave” to European countries were contaminated with the Corona virus.

          I wonder how many people were told they tested positive before someone realized the kits were bad?

          1. Goes along with the defective masks they’re selling, and the test kits that fail QA for false negatives. Haven’t heard of virus-contaminated kits, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

            1. UK got that chicom present iirc. But they’ve had. Not enough virus to be dangerous but enough to make test worthlesz

            2. UK got that chicom present iirc. But they’ve had. Not enough virus to be dangerous but enough to make test worthless

      2. I think I had it in January too. I haven’t had the flu since I was a kid (38 now) and this was the sickest I think I’ve ever been. Tested negative for the flu.
        Weirdest part for me was when I first started feeling bad and realized “I’m getting sick” my lungs were burning. I have mild asthma but I’ve never felt anything like it with any other illness.
        I took Advil for the body aches and fever, which they say can kill you I guess, so maybe I just had some *other* super awful weird flu not flu. All other symptoms were very much in line with Wu flu.

  13. Southerners more touchy-feely than Westerners? Don’t y’all hug? After church? When you see relatives?

    Oh, wow, just saw an old Mattlock episode where Mattlock went to Roanoke Island and the outdoor theater where “The Lost Colony” is performed. Andy Griffith and his fellow actors were almost shoulder to shoulder (so they fit in the shot) and they looked natural to me. (No one bothered to sound like they’re from Dare County, so far at least. Dare County closed to outsiders a week or two ago, btw. Sheriff deputies at the county line. I kid you not.)

    1. Hugging is not-a-thing in Arkansas, and social distance is at least as far as Colorado.

      Interestingly, in the last 20 years shaking hands became not-a-thing to a social faux pas. Stick your hand out and people will look at it like you just made an indecent proposal. But it might be part of the new Mexicanization of the culture, like the part about not looking at people when you mumble at them.

      1. Grew up in Montana in the ’60s… natural social distance was 5-6 feet. You’d have to step up to shake hands, then stepped back. Moved to SoCal in 1984 (yes, appropriate) and was immediately startled by how everyone hugged everyone, even total strangers, as the generic welcome-greeting for every interaction that didn’t require wearing a suit. Eventually I acclimated, and hugged just like everyone else. Retired back to Montana… and I note that social distance here is not what it used to be; now it’s about 3 feet. Then again, we’ve had a serious influx of out-of-staters, largely from huggy places.

        1. Church hugs outside of Minnesota were very very hard for me to become accustomed to. These days I don’t even flinch. 😉

          Actually, that might revert after this. Back to flinching!

    2. About the only random hugger sorts I run into much are the standard issue Nice Church Ladies of all ages (not that the other church ladies aren’t nice, but you know, the fluffy, fluttery, sweet ones) and the more grown-up “don’t call me Mr., that’s my father” types in their late 40s and up.

      Washington was a decent social distance for my NorCal/Oregon sensibilities, El Paso and SoCal I apparently give off “stay the F back” vibes and folks keep fairly well back unless they’re talking to me, Iowa is a bit closer than I like but not too bad.

      That said, I’m over-aware of a lack of social distance because I’m short. Moving to Iowa, I spent a few weeks running away from folks who come “too close” when they’re talking to me. (about mid-forearm back, instead of a full arm away, I adapt without thinking, they follow; it was kind of funny when I first figured it out!) Less “my space” than “ouch, my neck!”

      1. Curiously, the most memorable “you clearly have less of a personal bubble/conversational distance than I do” encounter I can remember was a job interview with a very nice lady some inches shorter than I am. And I am not tall; meeting an adult significantly shorter than me is a large part of why it was memorable!

        1. Guess never thought about it. My normal social distance isn’t particularly close either. I don’t consider myself tall, short, or even average. Why? Or how can that be? I guess to most I’m short. I’m shorter than everyone in my immediate family, in-laws, nieces, & nephews, except one sister. Everyone else ranges from 5’6″ to OMG (19 year nephew at this point – I think he’s 6’6″?). Sis is 5’2″, I’m 5’4″. But we grew up with both grandmothers and a great-Uncle who were less than 5 feet. Son is 5’10”. Hubby is 6’2″. Drives him nuts that I tend to follow him in a crowd. He can lose me in a crowd. I can’t lose him in a crowd, or anyway it is harder.

      2. The late, lamented (by me, anyway) Janet Karan’s novel HELLSPARK deals with the issues of a contact and exploration team from different cultures who are not comfortable with each-others’ ‘social distance’, and don’t understand what’s wrong.

        I really wish that woman had lived to write more….

        1. from Gordon R. Dickson, “None But Man”:

          “Well, keep that in mind now, while I tell you my story,” said Will. “As far as I know—it may go back farther—it dates back to the twentieth century on Earth. As it goes, there was a diplomatic cocktail party somewhere at which the English and Italian Ambassadors were standing face to face, talking to each other; and as they talked they gradually, without realizing it, drifted across the room—the Englishman backing up, the Italian advancing.”

          Will broke off abruptly. He stared at Cully.

          Have you got any idea why?” he asked.

          “Not an idea,” said Cully.

          “Well, as it happens, the distance that’s considered comfortable between people in conversation varies from culture to culture,” said Will. “What was a comfortable conversational distance for the Italian was about half the distance comfortable for the Englishman. The result was that the Englishman, being vaguely uncomfortable at the Italian’s closeness, was unconsciously continually trying to back away to his own comfort-distance. But any increase in space between them made the Italian uncomfortable, and unconsciously, he would move forward to try to decrease the distance between them. And all this was going on at a low level of awareness without either one realizing just why he was uncomfortable.”

          1. I had an English class following a psych class. With all the same people. One day, using what we just learned, any time the English instructor walked to the right side of the room, we started dropping pens, coughing, whatever. As soon as crossed the line to the left- absolute rapt attention to him. Within a week we had him pinned to a corner….

            Was’t the only experiment we performed on him.

          2. Edward T. Hall wrote about that phenomenon in his 1966 book, The Hidden Dimension, about which Amazon says:

            People like to keep certain distances between themselves and other people or things. And this invisible bubble of space that constitutes each person’s “territory” is one of the key dimensions of modern society. Edward T. Hall, author of The Silent Language (1959), introduced the science of proxemics to demonstrate how man’s use of space can affect personal and business reltions, cross-cultural interactions, architecture, city planning, and urban renewal.

            Hall wrote a number of books of popular cultural anthropology. Wiki reports that

            During the 1950s he worked for the United States State Department, at the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), teaching inter-cultural communications skills to foreign service personnel, developed the concept of “high context culture” and “low context culture”, and wrote several popular practical books on dealing with cross-cultural issues. He is considered a founding father of intercultural communication as an academic area of study.

            An easily accessible author, Hall’s works remain in print and ebook.

          3. Back in the early 1980s (I think), there was a computer program that allowed you to play around with simulated situations like that. You would define how far each person wanted to be away from each other (Joe wants to be 1 unit from Sally, 3 from Fred, while Sally wants to be at least 5 from Joe and 2 from Fred, etc), and how close they wanted to stay to the buffet table, then tell it to go. It would randomly place everyone in the room, and then you could watch them chase each other around.

      3. Well, yes, I’ve run into a couple of those. But to give them credit, while they could hardly have failed to notice the gun in its shoulder holster, they seemed entirely unfazed by it. Of course, there was a good chance they had iron of their own…

        1. That kind of good manners is pretty much required to be a really NICE church lady, in my book. I’d actually managed to forget the grabby ones that set off my “they’re a manipulative predator” reactions, because they don’t succeed in hugging me.
          (No, I haven’t bitten anyone. Yet.)

      1. Western farming culture started as a mix of Norse, German, and Dutch, all rather more socially-distant types. I’ve seen Dutch-lineage farmers who think a good social distance is about 12 feet. (Also tend to be the types who can have a working dairy farm with never a blade of grass out of place.)

        Might also be why we talk louder; we expect the listener to be farther away.

        1. Or it could be because we are around too many loud noises and equipment we need to speak up over. Plus most of us are getting hard of hearing by 40 and the younger folks are used to having to speak up to those who are hard of hearing.

      2. I think the only times as an adult I hugged my mother was when I danced with her at my wedding and again when my father died. We’re Irish. It’s changed a bit since but my family doesn’t do it and my wife’s family doesn’t do it.

      3. I hugged close family in the Midwest. It had been 9 years since I saw immediate family, and 17 for aunt, uncle and cousins. (We pretty much grew up in frequent contact with my aunt; she stayed with us a couple summers when she was in college.) Beyond that, we weren’t huggers.

        1. Huggers? Immediate family, yes. Even that beyond mom, sisters, their kids & grandchildren, less likely with kids significant others. We all taught our kids that you could refuse hugs (contact) from anyone, no explanation required. The boys took to that advice more than the girls.

    3. Hugging is not common in rural Oregon. Last time I hugged at church was the last day I set foot in that building. (Left on good terms, but it was permanent.) My insurance agent shocked me March 3rd when he shook my hand. $SPOUSE called him after I got sick and warned him. (Timing was right for me to have been exposed that day, but it wasn’t at his office. Lucky him. Very lucky him.)

  14. No, I DO NOT in fact understand why the collectivists, the people who keep wanting to do what the group is doing, and who are more socially oriented than any of us fail to get people.

    Random thought…. have you ever seen what happens when most of the highly socially oriented folks end up in a social group of, well, Odds or introverted fanboys?

    Very few will be able to roll with it; usually, they try to control it into something they’re use to, and when that doesn’t work they get mad and try to destroy it as toxic.

    Folks use stuff that works for them elsewhere. A lot of the social animals are more…good at a specific type of social group. Switch it up, and it’s like going “hey, you’re great at kung fu, you must be great at tai chi, too!”

      1. To make it harder to figure, there are folks who really can just roll with it in most any situation. They don’t seem to be the ones that flag as super social, they just are social everywhere.

        1. Those kinds of people really do enjoy people. They really do want to get to know you, find out about you, and meet all your friends and family. But they also want you to be comfortable, so they follow your lead instead of trying to mess with you.

          1. I’m glad it’s helpful.

            Me, I’d like a way to tell the folks who really can roll with it but I stepped on their toes from the folks who are controlling the situation. *wry* Preferably BEFORE I step on said toes.

    1. That seems to be related to the type of person who joins several organizations and ends up leading every damned one of them. It *can* work, but when the org and Fearless Leader are a mismatch, watch out! We had a minister like that; real activist type, in a conservative area. Some of the organizations he didn’t try to steer, but I know of one that imploded solely because of his actions. (Protip: don’t put someone who doesn’t like kids in charge of a youth music organization. It never reformed, either.)

  15. my fellow spherical cows of uniform density in frictionless vacuum

    What if I identify as a dodecahedral direwolf, huh? Are you going to deadspecies and deadshape me? What are you some kind of transpecieshapist?

  16. No, I DO NOT in fact understand why the collectivists, the people who keep wanting to do what the group is doing, and who are more socially oriented than any of us fail to get people. Except perhaps that G-d has a sense of humor. (Low one, puts itch powder in your pressure suit.)

    It’s because autism spectrum isn’t 100% an illness/disability. Sure, the extreme non-verbal types are not very functional. And even the high functioning intelligent ones are not the best at applying that intelligence to social manipulation games.

    Humans are basically alien to one another, and the condition of not-being-autistic includes an instinctual assumption of similarity. An intelligent high functioning autistic with the right orientation to observing other humans will eventually work this out if they are analytical. That however non-autistics respond to autistics, to each other they are very comfortable in their assumptions that they have similar thought processes. But an autistic looking over autistic-autistic, autistic-normal, and normal-normal interactions does not see a communication mechanism that forces it to be true. There does not appear to be any transmission mechanism for keeping the inner ‘state spaces’ identical, and the differences between two normals seem to be of the same order as between two autistics.

    Sarah, I recall that your observations are that you are odd, but not autistic. To my knowledge, there are also autistic spectrum sorts who have a yearning for community, and like having a community that they identify with.

    When we look at those type of autistic, your brand of odd-normal, and the extreme group consensus normals, we suspect that the extreme group consensus normals are much more profoundly wedded to the notion that they are not essentially alien to others in that group.

    1. Oh, hell, Bob. Since I was raised in an hyper-social society I could be on the spectrum and masking it. I did have the sensory/nervous system issues till 19 and sitll have some. And I analyze EVERYTHING. When I was a kid I realized people communicate at a level I don’t GET and assumed that instincts were left out of my makeup.
      So, who the hell knows.

      1. Heck, it STILL scares me that I didn’t understand a bit of a LOT of people until I got more than “happy smile” drunk a time or two.

        “You knew it was a bad idea, yes?”
        “Yes.”
        “And you did it anyway?!”
        “Yeah… it.. seemed like while it was bad idea, it would feel good just then.”

        Sober, that made NO DAMN SENSE!
        (More than just a tiny bit) Drunk… I was there.

        And it then dawned on me.
        And it scared the [EXPUNGED} out of me.
        See, I needed to be 3+ drinks drunk to be there.
        THEY.. did that stone-cold sober.
        And… they drink.

        It’s enough to make an ox go full George Carlin and stop caring, just sort of watching not IF, but just exactly HOW the world goes to all to Hell. Never got full George Carlin. Though I will not rule out Mark Twain. Yes, even the (perhaps especially) the later, embittered, years.

        1. I think that’s what Sir Pratchett was getting at when he defined “knurd”. As in that inestimable Watchman Sam Vimes, who needed 2-3 drinks to be at the same level as “sober” people, and saw reality way too clearly most of the time.

          …If 3 drinks leads to understanding other people, maybe this is why I don’t drink…. *Wry G*

        2. I can see that. I can get drunk, I have on a few occasions. But I don’t seem to be able to get that drunk…. To be honest, I have no idea what people are talking about when they say they have a good buzz on. I have no idea what a “buzz” is. Same with the highly addictive painkillers. They either A. Kill my pain or B. Don’t. I don’t get any kind of feeling of what people describe as “high”.

          1. I do – I get a mild buzz after a couple of drinks (wine mostly of late) – it’s … freeing, creatively. I think (and after reviewing the next morning) I think I have written my best bits when mildly elevated. But it’s a fine line. The typing goes to heck after a certain drink-consumption point. So for me, there is a “golden hour” to let my creative imagination range free.

            1. I’ve found that I can get that same effect by being slightly sleep-deprived.

              I don’t recommend this for more than a couple nights in a row, though.

              … drinking to achieve that state might be less damaging, now that I think about it.

      2. When I was a kid I realized people communicate at a level I don’t GET and assumed that instincts were left out of my makeup.

        I think that pretty much covers “spectrum” folks, although some folks might just be “hard of hearing” rather than “deaf” and there are different languages, some of which are tonal.

        (how’s that for a jawed over metaphor?)

      3. I dunno, I used to think the same way; that there were channels of social interaction that I was completely missing. It was downright disheartening.

        Eventually I came to the conclusion that there are no hidden channels; most people are self-absorbed to the point of being completely oblivious to what anyone else might think. And what I thought was interaction was probably just schooling, like when fish move about en masse. They don’t have any channel of communication, they just do what they see others doing.

        1. I think I need to try to clarify what I think is correct.

          Human communication is heavily learned by mimicry.

          What are possible communication mechanisms? They divide pretty narrowly into physical mechanisms, and mechanisms that can fit into a religious system. The latter are occult belief, mystical belief, religious belief et cetera type stuff.

          If we stick with the physical interpretation, there is a signal transmitted by physical mechanisms that conveys a willingness to conform to group social norms. A pattern of behaviors, some body language, and other things. Nothing static and obvious enough that one could learn it only out of a book, and apply it in a way that passes the error checking functions of those without the autistic traits.

          I think autism, where this is concerned, can be summarized as a learning disability.

          But what is really communicated by this signalling pathway? Perception of ‘group norms’, and willingness to conform to them.

          What do the people who have learned this pathway at an instinctual level think it communicates? Sameness.

          I think there’s an element that is actually there, and an element that is not actually there. I think there is a common false belief in the latter. Which can be understood as ‘self-absorbed to the point of being completely oblivious to what anyone else might think’. I think it is more correct to think of it in terms of ‘learned this pattern matching so young that they have zero awareness of that part of their thought process’. Because folks like esr can apparently learn the awareness that autistics can more readily learn.

          I disbelieve in the mystical person to person communication. (I have had experiences that could be interpreted as mystical perceptions, but I try to discard them as going against my religious beliefs. Which only admit human to God mystical communication as a valid endeavor. Absent human to human mystical perception, there are only physical mechanisms for human to human communication.) In absence of that, there is no way to match ‘internal state vectors’ by mimicry. What the extreme normals seem to believe in could be described as matching ‘internal state vectors’ by mimicry.

          1. I think this describes the extreme surprise, and viscerally unpleasant reaction, when you do not conform to the expectations. They’d overly invested in that understanding of that perception, and interpret as the level of ‘attack’ they perceive in not conforming in the first place, plus the ‘betrayal’ of having ‘mislead’ them.

            A less typical typical example might be Ian Braune’s theory of profound betrayal by conservative/religious leaders, which he claimed might potentially merit execution.

            SJWism, for all the claim to neurodiversity, seems to be that mundane reaction combined with the theory that everyone who does not conform in that way to SJW group norms does in fact want to murder all members of the oppressed groups, and are actively working towards that goal.

            All this would explain why ATH regulars at times seem to satisfy my need for a group to identify with/feel a part of. There are many weird, stubborn people here, who mostly realize that there are profound disagreements between us. So, some of the people here have expectations so limited that might ‘Yeah, I’m agnostic on whether that should carry a capital penalty, but have strict procedural requirements for execution as a general rule’ is not a cause of irreconcilable enmity. Irreconcilable differences perhaps, but not enmity. (Note that my Canadian/Foreigner policy issues, and my pot smoker issues are explicitly excluded from my evaluation of this metric. Those are not really agnostic, and certainly not agnostic in my mind. And even there, some of our Canadian regulars are far friendlier to me than a far mundane Canadian would be, much less an SJW.)

        2. Might be an agree-but-language-is-in-the-way thing?

          Fish schooling is a kind of communication– it’s just not conscious. Not magic, either, although like a school of fish is a really, really good metaphor…it does look magical, and there’s probably a bunch of systems feeding in.

          After years of eyeballing, I can sometimes catch on to the school swerving away from…something. About half the time I can figure out where the thing they’re “dodging” would be, and about half the time there is something that is somewhat like what they’re responding to; a lot of the time, it’s like those traffic slowdowns where the cause is “there was an accident 8 hours ago that was cleared six hours ago but people are still trying to see why everything is slowed down so everyone is still slow.”

          1. Flies can also have swarming behavior, or at least it looks like that. A lot of insects are simple enough that folks are trying to map the nervous system, and figure out what is going on for things like swarming. Some interesting stuff, done with fairly few neurons.

          2. “There used to be a speed trap here for ten years. It hasn’t been there for a year, but everyone knows traffic slows down here, so everyone slows down.”
            Yep, THERE IS communication. I’m just aware enough to know there is. WHen I was young, if I worked hard enough I could sort of figure it out.
            I just stopped giving a damn.

  17. I live in rural Pa about 2 hours from NYC near the border of 2 counties, 1 with 68 cases and 1 with 17 cases … and these are big counties … 1300 square miles between the 2 counties … and we are supposedly on a soft lock down but every trip to Walmart over the last 2 weeks has been business as usual as far as the volume of people I’m used to …
    Our enlighted leaders have now gotten a taste of the New Coke and they will never again be satisfied with the taste of old coke …
    They have now condemned tens of thousands of Americans to a slow grinding death of depression, despair, alcohol, and drug abuse for years to come … and they did it on purpose … all to save some folks that will be dead in 2-3 years anyway …
    they had 2 possible choices
    1) lock down everyone
    2) lock down the at risk seniors

    They chose poorly and should suffer the same consequences that any medieval battlefield commander suffered when they choose poorly … but they won’t …

    1. Despair, alcohol, and drug abuse indeed. And this after so much ink was spilled about “the opioid crisis” and “white despair” and all the rest of that crap.

      I am beginning to feel like I was about nine years ago, after the tsunami, when we were conducting relief efforts and had no idea when we would be coming home. That time, we made it back to an empty Yokosuka by mid/late April around tax day, as I recall. May this year of never knowing when it would all end come to a similar conclusion by the same time. I hope. I pray.

      1. Vack-yoom.

        My best friend growing up and his little brother both pronounced “balloon” as buh-loo-uhn. Drove me nuts.

        1. Someone I know has issues with “car-a-mel” rather than “car-mel”… which means many around him make a point of saying “car-a-mel” whenever they can. I don’t really care, so long as they do not confuse calomel with it.

      1. Recommend you not extend Biden’s co-blogger privileges. You probably just assumed he would be intimately familiar with vacuity, right?

  18. They’re so desperate to be seen as Doing Something that they don’t think about the consequences of the Somethings they are Doing.

    1. This. I frequent another forum with a high percentage of Alaskan and upper Canadian outdoors types. The Alaska governor shut down the spring bear season yesterday due to corona virus (changed his mind and reopened it last night after all the blowback). Because you know, wandering around out in the woods looking for a bear to eat is so much more likely to expose you to the virus than going to the supermarket to buy hamburger.

      1. On a similar vein, the shutdown of so many small businesses and tons of people losing jobs resulting in an “unexpected” nationwide queueing up at Centrelink. No, really?

        Or that large rural homesteads would naturally need to shop at stockpile levels every time because HOMESTEAD ON A CATTLE RANCH. But nope, gotta stick to the two carton limit of long life milk.

        1. Yeah, hadn’t been to a grocery store in six weeks when this broke out. Been three times in the last three weeks just to get what we need. Last time was only to see if they had toilet paper for the mother-in-law because she was down to her last roll and her hometown has been out for a month. Low and behold they had not only that (limit one) but 25 pound bags of sugar which was the one thing we hadn’t been able to get before and were running low on.

          Not that we couldn’t have done without sugar if we had to, but still, being able to get sugar was sweet.

          1. Sugar seems to be if not fully normal, pretty close here, now. Flour is still climbing, slowly, towards normal. Local store now has small half-pound store-repacked bags of flour on one shelf. I presume so those who need just a bit can get just a bit and reduce the 5 lb and 10 lb bag demand some. TP is hit and miss. Some shipments have a lot and the shelf if nearly full and lasts into early evening. Others are just barely there and the shelves are empty by noon. I’m hoping in a couple more weeks that moves well back toward normal.

              1. Last week, we scored a 50lb sack of baker’s flour at Costco. Quantities were limited to one per customer. We already had a brick of yeast, sealed and in the refrigerator. Thank Ghod we have been in the habit of stocking up regularly. We’ve been doing bread for ourselves and neighbors.

  19. we do have the train that was supposed to go between Denver and Colorado Springs (WHAT IS with socialists and trains?) but it is about halfway there, and frankly when we drive alongside it, it seems to be empty.

    There are apparently plans to bring a train up my way as well. The current plan is for it to be done in 2040. For reference, the transcontinental railroad took 6 years to build.

    1. The Transcontinental had much less regulatory overhead.

      I still think the real reason for the decline of the Roman Empire was their bureaucracy finally became too much of a burden for it to respond to military issues in a reasonable time.

      “Why can’t those invaders just *wait* until we get all the paperwork done! Don’t they know how to conduct civilized warfare?!”

      1. Taxation an over burdening bureaucracy the resulting devaluation of the currency which wiped out the middle class.

        1. And hitting the limits of the Roman engineers’ ability to pump water out of the available mines, so they had to start devaluing silver coins.

    2. Are we talking about the high-speed rail boondoggle that Governor Moonbeam kept pushing hard even while defunding the emergency mobile pandemic hospitals with ventilators and masks? They still haven’t paid most of the farmers whose land they’ve used eminent domain on, despite the cost overruns being 2-5x the original pie-in-the-sky projected cost.

      1. Back when the moondoggle railway was a ballot issue, I worked out the cost per seat based on the projected cost, then tripled it to (conservatively; 5x is more realistic) account for the typical California cost overrun. It came out to something like $1600 per one-way trip.

        Meanwhile, Southwest Airlines sometimes runs specials for under $100. (Lowest I’ve seen was $25 each way. Even a 50mpg econoskate can’t beat that.)

        Yeah, tell me again how the whole thing wasn’t a pork barrel for Moonbeam’s construction buddies. Which is probably also why the initial segments are out in farm country where they figure no one will notice.

        1. A few years ago – before it was (mostly) cancelled – a cost analysis was released. Based on that, I estimated that the projected cost at that time for the rail was going to be more per mile of rail line than a jetliner (a 787, iirc).

          1. The thing is, IF there was a high-volume demand for reasonably quick travel between points the project proposes to connect, it would probably pay for itself, eventually, unless somebody skimped on maintenance and wrecked it. But there’s that IF. To my knowledge nobody who is willing to let other people look at their data projects anything like enough ridership.

            To my knowledge the only rail based projects that routinely pay off their construction costs are rollercoasters.

              1. Japan has dense cities. Acela makes a profit* for same reason.

                The problem is that if I want to fly to see family it takes me 8hrs including transfer and security. Train was 36 hrs or so with multiple changed trains and cost more than a first class ticket. Rail does not work for me in that case. In most of midwest I’d expect car would be faster than train and for most of population you can only work so much on train so it’s not saved. I will not open any work stuff on trips, even when on company time, solely because of the security requirements and minimal utility.

                1. Japan has dense cities. But the Japanese also use trains to get to the cities from some of the more outlying areas. I’ve been told that like the trains in the cities, the ones connecting to the outlying areas also tend to be crowded.

                  1. I’ve been told that Japanese commuter lines tend to make money, while inter-city lines usually lose. And that both are to some degree subsidized.

                    Of course with the state of politics being what it is, for all I know roller coasters get subsidized too….

              2. Japan is -small-. America is -big-.

                Talking to Europeans can be hilarious sometimes when they start talking about internet networks. “All of Germany has der High Schpeed Internets” one guy was telling me. “Why can’t Canada connect all these towns with fiber optic?”

                Because Canada is BIG, German dude. He couldn’t believe how far it was to my house from the city. About the same distance as Amsterdam to Antwerp, but no little towns in between. Just cows.

                1. So is the United States. I had to inform one very annoying German on David Weber’s forums that San Francisco is farther from New York than Lisbon is from Moscow. And that we have, I think, seven states bigger than Germany.

                  1. Yeah, things like that. Moscow to Paris as the missile flies is 1542 miles according to Google Maps. Toronto to Vancouver is 2089 miles. Toronto is in the middle of Canada. I think you could lose the whole of Germany in the woods north of Lake Superior and never see them again.

                    If you flew 500 miles due north from Toronto and dropped a nuke the chances are high that not only would you not kill anyone, nobody would even know you’d done it.

                    Canada is -empty-.

                    1. I think you could lose the whole of Germany in the woods north of Lake Superior and never see them again.


                      Hmmm… What would it take to actually DO that? I mean, just as a thought exercise, of course!

                    2. Well, perhaps not directly. The seismologists might have a few interesting squiggles to interpret, and some chemical/radiological analysts would have a couple more interesting days than usual.

                    3. “Hmmm… What would it take to actually DO that?”

                      An evil spell of teleportation conjured by The Dark Ones. (They live in hell. Its dark there. Not much going on. Kinda quiet. They get bored sometimes.)

                      They’re still pissed because a Valkyrie shot one of their bros with her two megaton-per-second main gun. He lasted 10 miliseconds before the beam traveled the full length of his revolting flying squid body. Then there was the heating effects, blast wave, implosion following the blast, resulting firestorm… it was a tidy bit of destruction.

                      They’re basically chickenshits, so moving Germany is the type of thing they’d do.

                    4. How big are Canada and the US?
                      Germany: 367,000 square km.
                      District of Kenora (farthest north and west chunk of Ontario) 407,000 square km
                      Belgium: 30,000 square km
                      District of Sudbury (which excludes the City of Sudbury, I think) 40,000 square km.
                      Toronto to Vancouver: 2089 miles
                      Toronto to St. John’s Newfoundland 1350 miles great circle; about 300 more by car.
                      Toronto to Winnipeg takes 24 hours driving time.
                      Toronto to Miami takes 24 hours driving time.

                    5. Well Moosonee on James Bay is 525 miles north of Toronto but slightly west. Due north from downtown Toronto would hit James Bay just east of the Ontario-Quebec border, about 45-48 miles east of Moosonee. So yes, they might not notice depending on the time of day and the weather.

      2. No, this is an entirely different high-speed rail boondoggle. Colorado rather than California. Actually, I’m not even certain that it’s a “high-speed” rail boondoggle; it might just be ordinary trains running at 55 mph.

  20. “Or that China’s prosperity is mostly for show/limited to a certain class (as we said in Portugal “for Englishmen to see”) and in the countryside, and the lower classes, life is more or less medieval and very close to the bone.”
    Tried to find an embeddable at yt but Guy Martin, the motorcycle racer got in a bit of trouble filming “Our Guy In China” for the BBC, when he managed to get into one of the poor districts of a city, and walk around with a camera crew and getting his hair cut there.
    (Guy is an Odd and suspected to be “On the Spectrum” by a lot of people. He’s a very odd duck. Think ADHD kid in an adult’s body. He wasn’t even all that appalled by what he found and took them as they were. Basically he just wandered off like a curious kid)
    Their minders were not amused and about tossed the show out of Red China right there and then.

    1. China, outside certain city centers, is a 3rd world shithole. Your minders always get upset when they see you looking. And there are always minders

      1. Funny part was, you could tell Guy was a bit confused about why they were making a fuss. It also wasn’t as bad as other places I’ve seen or for that matter Guy had seen (he did a show in India. This little barrio was far better than some of those slums), but I think it was really managing to slip the minders however unintentionally, and talk to the plebes, without the minders standing ominously by, that was his bigger sin.

          1. Think about how freaked out the Intourist guides got, when an American tourist in the US ditched one.

            And to be fair, the Intourist guides/KGB were also going to be punished for not catching the American, so they had reason to be upset.

            1. One of my husband’s co-workers was civi-stationed over seas and had a handler.

              Usually pretty easy to identify… this guy is nuts, though, when he got assigned a fat one, he started jogging to work every day. Did a lot of screw-with-them stuff like that, at one point they broke into his house, drank a beer and took his dog for a walk. Conveyed “stop it.”

              Did I mention “utterly nuts”?

  21. A headline I glimpsed in passing this morning, from the NYT of all places: “For Autocrats, and Others, Coronavirus Is a Chance to Grab Even More Power”.

    Nice of them to finally catch up to us.

    1. Yeah, but they mean those nasty anti EU governments in eastern Europe. The statewide house arrests, nationalization of industries, and ramping up of the presses is just good government.

      1. The nasty anti-EU governments with large populist (and popular) majorities in their parliaments, in fact.

  22. Well, Marxists start with ‘Assume every person is a one-dimensional variable, interchangeable with every other variable, and plug them all into this simplistic brain-dead model of a perfect economy’ and expect that to work.

    How they get from there to ‘Treat criminals like they’re innocent, and innocent people like criminals’ beats the hell out of me.
    ———————————
    Count Vordarian: “What? You’re a Betan! You can’t do—“

    1. “ How they get from there to ‘Treat criminals like they’re innocent, and innocent people like criminals’ beats the hell out of me”

      Beating the hell out of people pretty much sums up their police in a nutshell…

  23. And the base commander at ft lee has decided in his infinite wisdom to not allow Uber drivers to pick up on base at all. Taxis, however, are fine.

      1. yeah, there’s some shady stuff going on between those in charge at ft lee and one particular cab company. I’m going to have a chat with the IG shortly, i think.

        1. Not the first time there’s been shady stuff like that; Anderson AFB on Guam had a similar problem years ago. Theirs was a special driving permit scam. Took a loooong time before enough reports made it uphill and people showed up asking questions.

          1. Yes, on ordinary days Uber drivers have to get a special pass to drive onto base for a pickup. The office to get said pass is open from 0745 to 1600. The pass is good for that day only. You cannot get a pass if you don’t have an active pickup. Outside of those hours, tough luck….

            Meanwhile, Airport Taxi has free run of the base.

            I’m considering calling the IG.

            1. Only fig leaf I could see would be if taxis got a bkgd that uber didnt. Not that the latter shouldn’t be just as possible assuming they are willing to give the chinese all their private info

              1. Nope, Uber and Lyft both do background checks. It puts a week delay in the ‘hiring’ process.

              1. You can’t ‘qualify’ for Uber, or Lyft, if your car is more than 10 years old.

                That really pisses me off, but raging about it won’t do any good so I just grumble.
                ———————————
                Dark Willow: “Bored now.”

              2. last week i was a little short despite working extra hours, but this week i seem ok. I’m hearing the food delivery service people are doing well, but I kind of have a comfortable niche in my timeslot…

                1. My daughter has been driving for DoorDash for several months, since her solo acupuncture/massage business wasn’t doing well. She says it’s worse since the stay-at-home order, because she’s now having to compete for time with all of the restaurant waitstaff who are now driving for DoorDash.

  24. You see, people don’t always behave the way you expect.

    I find that very hard to credit.

    But then, I tend to expect them to behave in very stupid ways.

    1. There’s expecting people to be stupid; then there’s predicting the exact way they’ll be stupid.

      1. I’m an engineer. Human factors is pretty much trying to idiot proof from users. Mfg for mechanics and machinists etc.

        They keep making better idiots.

        1. “Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.” — Rick Cook

        2. “Every time you think you’ve made something foolproof, some damn fool comes along and proves you wrong.”

          1. Imaginos1892, Orvan Taurus, and aacid14, are all correct.

            In 35 years I should have a list of them. I used to. But 4 years of retirement have erased most of those nightmares.

      2. I find that a lot of the problems come up right there– where folks are “idiot-proofing” things and, as best I can tell, have zero idea of what the person they’re trying to “help” is actually doing.

        Haven’t we all screamed at a computer, “Stop Helping Me”?

        Or decided against asking for help, because we know the “help” will end up taking more time than doing it ourselves?

        One of the most frustrating things with kids is figuring out what their understanding of the system was, and what they’re trying to do, which will let you see what they are going to try.

        For a silly example, my daughter learned phonics. Perfectly good at reading aloud, normal kid lisp.

        Even learned whatever you call the ch, sh, ing and such combinations.

        …so she labeled a picture of a tree? “Chree.” That’s how she said it, after all. And it was a perfectly legitimate interpretation of all information up to that point.

  25. The spherical cow is a common theoretical stand-in, in engineering textbooks. I thought my father was making a very strange joke when he talked about spherical cows, right up until I cracked the textbook for calculus-based physics for engineers I. There it was, right in the problem set: assume a spherical cow…

    I called my father, and we both had a good laugh. mumblle-ty mumble years since he’d graduated engineering school and gone into the working world, his daughter was finding out that spherical cows still lurked in engineering homework!

    1. I can’t remember if it was a spherical cow or a spherical chicken, but that joke was circulating in our U in the 70s. It seems that neither the engineers nor the Ag people had much faith in Physics PhDs.

    2. Around our house for the longest time it was “assume a spherical, frictionless cat of 10 Kg mass”. We actually had that exemplar our Mack Cat was 22 (+- more often plus) lbs virtually spherical and had such silky soft fur that he was effectively frictionless. My wife is a Chemistry professor and there was at least one Physics professor that Mack watched very carefully (and dubiously) when he came…Sadly our physics cat has passed on.

  26. PJ media reported about a Rasmussen poll saying nearly 70%, across the political spectrum, want interstate travel shut down and fines for people who violate the “rules.”

    I’m hoping it’s a garbage poll, as many are but it was very disheartening. I’m sorry I don’t want to be that person, and usually I’m not. A this is just taking its toll I guess.

    But I’m starting to wonder if we’re losing. If there are just too many in this country who aren’t like us. They really want the socialism. They just do. We’re a nation of Karens.

    I’m starting to buy into Schlicter’s red state blue state national divorce as a legit idea.

    1. If we are gonna shut down everyone that hasn’t given the state government their vig because we want to reduce the spread of this damned disease, then act like it.

      Actually quarantine the hot spots. Shut down or deal with the issues of mass transit, forbid any interstate travel using airlines, jets, trains, etc. Take over hospitals and move patients if needed, and then treat the transportation as contaminated just as you would an NBC attack. Focus all efforts on the locus and go from there. It’s much easier to deal with one nyc when the rest of the country isnt just as fearful and unprepared.

      1. And, the amazing part is you’re one of the few I’ve seen propose this. It should really be this simple an answer.

        1. It’s the equality fallacy. The idea that only those infected or areas that are should be affected seems unfair to people. Plus that Coumo wont hear of it (see Raimondos actions in RI, and responses)

          1. Yes. And it has already bitten us in one epidemic: HIV/AIDS.
            I said when it first appeared that we should quarantine those with the virus. Doing so might very well have stopped it in its tracks. But that wouldn’t have been “fair” because the only people initially getting it were homosexuals. Though I was not yet an adult I goggled at the stupidity of that, compared to standard epidemiology.

            1. It sucks because we bungled the exterior line of defense (border) with Chinas help, Bungled trace testing with the fda fustercluck, bungled the ‘hey, how about we don’t have big gatherings’ part with mardi gras, Chinatown, etc, and now because the bureaucracy that was supposed to protect cant look mean we have put 320m under near house arrest unless you have a job the government favors. It’s honestly why I cannot fault the use of DPA and near nationalizing of company capability, Coumos seizure of medical equipment, etc. The president has his hands tied by governors,bureaucrats (see state department flight), lawyers and media to point where only option he has is this sledgehammer.

              Hard quarantine for infected regions may suck. It may be harsh and painful but it can work. And by concentrating on one area you can use capability elsewhere if you’re smart about it. But we would have needed to knock down travel from hotspots much earlier. But between our chinese overlords, their bought and paid for politicians, and businesses that just don’t give a flip we get put in this spiral that is not recoverable.

              1. Just why I can see that 70%. Goes back to fairness fallacy (i changed my mind what i wanna call it, sue me). You’re going to uproot my entire life, have interventions not seen since Tojo was playing with germ labs on the Chinese, and basically declare the entire constitution null and void? Then go all in and show me you are serious and not just playing for cameras.

                I may not like it, but I can see it and agree with it. Papiere bitte for all is better than this half baked plan where millions of employees are now second class citizens but new Yorkers are jetting to Miami and Hamptons while all others are locked down and we are reduced to ever increasing and fluctuating orders that range from one month to 18 mos. Meanwhile we cannot even get priority over the goods that our essential workers are making (if we need to invoke the DPA, then unless we are fighting a war over there we need the output here.)

        2. Nah, I’ve seen it discussed here and and there (my mom and I were facepalming at trying to mass quarantine Metro Manila’s nearly 14 million population versus the infected and at risk.) But the idea makes too much logical sense so it’s not going to happen.

      2. This is the hard calculus, the cold equations, of globalism. You have to shut the water-tight doors to save the ship, even when you see your shipmate on the other side of the compartment, struggling to get over to you, knowing he won’t be able to make it in time and you have to shut the hatch anyway and listen to him drown on the other side. No one is willing to make those decisions, and no one is willing to back up the people who have made them, and encourage the fearful.

    2. I’m still hopeful, though my wife is sewing us masks because we realized that not wearing one when everyone else is panicking could be dangerous for us. Mobs are ugly. This is mob behavior, not the first time and not the last.

      My question is why are people wearing masks alone in their cars?

      1. Honestly? Magical thinking.

        They’re not thinking “Oh, hey, I’ll wear the mask when I reach an area where virus might be aerosolized(?) because that’s why I’m wearing it.” They’re thinking “Masks protect me. Therefore I’ll wear it when I’m outside my sanctuary (home).”

        I’ve seen people wearing gloves all over, too. Just putting them on when they leave home, then (I suppose) taking them off when they return. Without a single iota of understanding that they’re merely shuffling the virus around when they do that. Giving it an Uber as it were.

        (And don’t get me started on people not knowing how to take the gloves off. *eyeroll* )

        1. Gloves drive me nuts. I worked in kitchens when I was a young man so my wife volunteers me to cook for school barbecues and such since I can be counted on not to poison everyone. I had some woman complaining I wasn’t wearing rubber gloves. I told her that the gloves are contaminated every time they touch raw meat and I had washed and would continually wash my hands as the day went on. My hands were clean, those gloves are dirty.

          She didn’t get it. She got together with another bunch of mean girls and complained, next year they had no one to cook their burgers for them without poisoning the children so that ended that.

          And so our lives get smaller.

          1. Yes. Or wearing the gloves to work the register AND to handle the food.
            *facepalm* You’re missing the point…….

            And, yes, smaller, a bit at a time, until we’re all living… much like we’re living under these infernal lockdowns.

            1. I wear gloves to protect my hands from the Clorox bleach rags with which I use to wipe down surfaces (cheaper than the paper wipes if you have a big enough rag bag). If you “wash” your gloves hands between tasks with 5% bleach solut ion, wouldn’t that work?

          2. For all the good it does you could use winter mittens,tbh. It is an additional layer of clothing between you and body fluids of others (I learned hard way).

        2. When I first started on a fire dept, i read the information that came with the helmet. The term ultrahazardous was very common, however the statement that it would not protect against communicable disease was the scary part. Outside of using visor in lieu of safety glasses or face shield it made no sense. But someone had to identify that it might be seen almost as a talisman in that manual. It hurt my brain.

        3. Talismans. They see them as flipping talismans. This is straight out witch doctor bs wrt our bureaucrat betters

        4. >> “I’ve seen people wearing gloves all over, too. Just putting them on when they leave home, then (I suppose) taking them off when they return. Without a single iota of understanding that they’re merely shuffling the virus around when they do that.”

          I do that for grocery runs, but I also disinfect everything as soon as I get back home. The groceries, the parts of the car I touched, the doorknobs I had to handle to get to the sink and wash my hands, etc. There’s also a process for getting the mail.

      2. Cars? For me, I’d take it off as soon as I got inside. Forgot to put it on once when I went to pick up dinner.

        The only reason to keep it on is to avoid forgetting to *put* it on. Me hating the masks has something to do with it; had to use them in my job in the 90s, and they were unpleasant at best.

        I assume we’re probably immune (weird flu strikes again), but I’ll wear surgical masks until I run out (one per day, usually one trip per week). By that time, we’ll have cloth masks made up. I have enough of a compromised immune system and sketchy health that I’ll wear the damned masks.

      3. Because it’s more convenient to just put it on and leave it alone than to put it on and take it off constantly?

        1. With elastic not available (I’ve heard suggestions to slice skinny portions off waistband elastic, but nope.) we’ll end up doing ties on our masks. $SPOUSE wants white outer fabric to go with the white flannel; I might poke through the remnant stash. We’re both lamenting that the 1950s era Singer* machine I had was donated before we moved. OTOH, she has a cheap Brother that I can experiment with.

          Use of her better machines would be hazardous to my life expectancy.

          (*) Sort of. Japanese brand, but they took the old-school Singer mechanicals, did a fancy paint job and called it a “Sew Best”. I used it for a costume and a few repairs. Shoulda kept it.

          1. We need to take the featherweight to be fixed, but decided not to as I KNEW they were going to close with the machine there.
            So, I grabbed a cheap singer DIL and son are making masks on. AND I have my Janome 6000

          2. Printed a pattern for mom. She’s been doing T-Shirt quilts. Multiple for the grandchildren, and great-grands. A few for great-nieces/nephews for their parents, and one or two for son-in-laws siblings. Eh, it keeps her busy. Interesting fact: materials recommended are not only the cotton used in T-Shirts, but the thin lining material she’s been using to stiffen the T-Shirt cotton material. She’s got bags of material leftover, a very good sewing machine, time on her hands, she needs to be doing something. She’s making them for herself (first so she can wear it while she makes others), her children, grandchildren, probably starting with niece with Lupus, plus surviving siblings & spouses (dad’s siblings included), all within the highly susceptible age group. I haven’t had a sewing machine for decades now … although this would be a good excuse to get one again.

          3. I’m working with my daughter’s mid-price Brother machine, which she got to do machine embroidery with. Nice, but cranky. If this keeps up, I may dig out the little post-WWII Singer portable, which my grandmother (who didn’t sew, but my grandfather was uxorious and generous) gave me. It probably needs a good mechanical going over, but it had all kinds of lovely attachments for doing tucks and ruffles, and applying bias trim.
            Now, I wish I had the Singer machine that I bought from a college classmate back in the day. I think my sister might have it now – I hope so, for it was a beauty. Heavy, heavy, heavy – but the quietest engine imaginable.

            1. Sewing machines is one of the places where switching to plastic and lightweight metal parts did not improve the product. Yes, it is cheaper to make and easier to transport but its durability is nil and steadiness in use merely a myth retold by sales managers.

      4. If you washed your hands, put on the mask, and go somewhere you need the mask, it makes sense to wash and put on prior to going out. This requires driving with the mask. This would mean a person is very serious about actually doing the right thing.

        I have a few masks and gloves. I put on mask when getting out of car. Take one glove, if I go to a place where I will touch a dangerous surface like an ATM. I use a single glove, then strip and throw the glove away, prior to going back to the car. I am carefully following proper procedure, to not contaminate the car. If I had a large amount of masks, I would throw them away at every encounter, but must take a calculated risk in reusing, with so few surgical masks.

        I figure what I have will have to last for 2 months, I appreciate we have at least these few. These few masks remain from when my son was home with us, dying of cancer. When I use the masks, they remind me of him. Appreciate what you have. You never know when it will be taken from you.

  27. Completely off topic question: I have encouraged my son (home from 5th grade indefinitely) to start a journal. I would like to get a journal or two for him to read, preferably written by other young people. I would also like to avoid the omnipresent Dairy of Anne Frank, because I am sure he will get excerpts of that from regular schooling. Are there any other recommendations from the Huns?

    Oh, I was also going go read “A Tramp Abroad” by M. Twain with him, or at least the part where he talks about Journal Writing… but I was going to wait until he had done his own journal-ling long enough to understand the jokes.

    1. You might look up Oregon Trail or Santa Fe trail diaries and journals. I can’t think of titles off the top of my head, but those tend to be different.

    2. Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana. A Harvard sophomore circa 1830 has what we would call a nervous breakdown, chucks it all, and signs up as an ordinary seaman (grunt labor) on a cargo ship. Sails from Boston around Cape Horn, then up and down the coast of far northern Mexico (now California) for a year, then back around the Horn again and home. Polished up the book, sold it, went back to Harvard and became a lawyer specializing in seaman’s cases. His comments on various parts of (what is now) coastal California are hilarious.

    3. There’s also the collection of letters genre.

      Take a look at George Lorimer’s “Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son” and “Old Gorgon Graham” on Gutenberg.

      Stanhope’s Letters to his son has some hilarious quotes, but is probably above the age range.

  28. The ones who plan to be the high priests of marxism, living like princes in accordance with the Will of Marx, don’t want competition, so they want their useful idiots to be as idiotic as possible.

    That idiocy often precludes competence is both acceptable and often a desired result, as idiots aren’t as likely to be able to successfully plot against you.

    -Albert

  29. “No, I DO NOT in fact understand why the collectivists, the people who keep wanting to do what the group is doing, and who are more socially oriented than any of us fail to get people.”

    I don’t have a handle on all of it, but consider the following;

    A lot of these people desperately want to be Special, and by native lack-of-talent and/or miseducation are boring mediocrities, and on some level know it. The culture they grew up in, for whatever reasons, made it hard to fail and somewhat harder to excel. They have gotten ‘good grades’ all of their lives, and know at some level that those grades mean ‘this person showed up, and breathes’. They want to be special, but most of them don’t want to do the heavy lifting, and the ones that might have no clue how to start. They was conformity because they simultaneously want a herd to hide in, and one they can distance themselves from in simple ways. They hate anyone who displays any trace of excellence, because they know goddamned well they are tiresome drones.

    Sure, many of them entertain pipe-dreams of Being Important in the New System, but only a few are doing anything beyond running with the steaming herd.

    1. That sounds right. Then you have a few who are incompetent/crooked/ yes and trying to COVID* their @sses, and the two or three “nerd-in-the-spotlight” bureaucrats *coughDr. Fauccicough* and we are seeing the results.

      *Yeah, cheap shot. I’ve moved from miffed to peeved, since the city now wants everyone to wear masks. When I see one other person at most, a block away, when I go walking in the mornings.

      1. Epidemiology will tell you that two things help most to halt this kind of transmissible disease: closing schools, and everyone wearing masks in public (to prevent the asymptomatic from infecting others). Can’t find it again offhand but there was a case where merely doing these two things stopped a local epidemic cold.

        1. when the Epidemiology experts can explain why flu dies out every year with no interventions I’ll listen … until then I’ll assume what they don’t know about viral spreads among humans many multiples of what they claim they do know … and most of what they claim they do know shows up in their models, which as all can now see are big GIGO machines … lots of navel gazing doctors with poor or no statistics training deciding how I should live my life based on a bad model is not what I signed up fo …

          1. It’s not entirely a lack of statistical knowledge. It’s also a No Risk/No Infection mindset.

            For a certain sort of doctor (most often found in labs, bureaucracies and academia) any infection is a loss. In stopping an infection spread, the goal must be zero cases. Maybe because they actually get too much statistics, they see the potential of ANY infection hitting the most vulnerable, and therefore hurting “their” patient.

            It’s the same mentality that removes the merry-go-round from all the playgrounds because one kid got hurt. ANY injury is BAD!

          2. Epidemiology is actually pretty well understood as biosciences go. And to nutshell: the reason the flu is seasonal isn’t that it “dies out” but that in winter, we create a hospitable environment for it: warm dry air (dry nasal membranes are easier to infect), and living closer together (easier transmission). And about 70% of flu cases are asymptomatic. Between that and widespread use of vaccine, by spring (when we also change conditions to be less virus-hospitable) we’ve got herd immunity to this year’s flu variant, and it “dies out” (relatively speaking).

            Once a disease is well-understood, this becomes reasonably predictable. CV19 isn’t quite there yet, but take the well-established flu model, multiply it by 3 (because CV19 is more contagious) and you’ve got an adequate working model.

    2. > A lot of these people desperately want to be Special

      To be fair, they’ve probably been TOLD they were Special, all their lives. Six gold stars for writing their name on the paper, a B+ for one correct answer out of 40, an entire school system oriented to building up their self-image.

      And then they get out into the Real World(tm), which doesn’t operate as they’ve been told all their lives. And rather than learn how to live in it, they try to impose gold stars and sparkleponies on it so they can be Special again. Just like everyone else…

      1. I expect that when Generation Whatever-Comes-After-Z reaches middle age there will be retrospective psychological studies on the “participation trophy” generations. I’d love to read them; sadly I’ll probably be dead by then.

      2. While I’ve long recognized I am special, I’ve never been particularly enthusiastic about being people.

    3. That shirt you are wearing demeans [variable]!

      Your achievements are meaningless because of your [whatever]ism!

  30. Since you’ve all had your lives put on hold because the governor and mayor of NY looted NYC Health & Hospitals Corporation, I thought I’d provide the current statistics as a public service.

    Model vs Reality. Model says Hospitalizations in NY 3 April 2020: 61,000, low end 41,000. Actual 14,810. This model is 3 days old. Rather than peaking on 15 April, Governor Nipple Piercing says it’s now end of April. Total projected dead remains the same. I think they’re just solving for X at this point. Biggest error seems to be number of people getting well. They’re discharging at the same rate they’re admitting.

    It will be interesting to see who the first mover will be. Like most social phenomena, this started slowly then all at once in a cascade. It will run out the same way. My prediction, If NYC hasn’t seen the “surge” by the end of the week this will start to unwind.

    Since NYC is coming to the end of the maximum Incubation period for anyone locked down, – it’s been 2 weeks, and 3 since the first restrictions — a surge would show the lockdown was ineffective, which rather defeats the purpose of the whole thing. But that’s not what they’ll say.

    Anyhow, that’s the story here from the Democratic Peoples Republic of Greater NY. Sorry we destroyed your lives but you know how it is.

    1. ICU Beds. 3 April 2019: Model says 11,500. Reality says 3,700. Model is 3 days old.

      We need Richard Dawson.

        1. What about 30 seconds each on average. They would clump and be destroyed wholesale. They would die on their knees exactly as they lived. Where is the entertainment in that???

    2. Anyhow, that’s the story here from the Democratic Peoples Republic of Greater NY. Sorry we destroyed your lives but you know how it is.

      That’s okay – we realize now our lives never had any meaning (to” you”) anyway, crouching here in the hinterlands clinging to our guns and our invisible sky friend. We’re just the spear-carrying chorus to the Grand Opera of “your” existence.

      Just remember: we’re holding those spears at your backs.

  31. “Imagine a spherical cow, of uniform density in friction-less vacuum.”
    And this is why engineers don’t let physicists actually build anything.
    “No. Go sit back down. Leave the equations here. We’ll get back with you when we’re done. No. Sit.”

    And, it’s the starting point for my skepticism of so many “computer models”.

    1. There’s a whole genre of physicist/mathematician, engineer jokes. I’ve heard a lot of them. Look here:

      www-users.cs.york.ac.uk/susan/joke/3.htm
      upjoke.com/physicist-jokes

    2. We do sometimes when we need a laugh. Although I’ve seen it IRL. When the PhD starts making suggestions, beware the rabbit hole. Even more when optimization comes out.

    3. Physicists get to build experimental apparatus that has few users and isn’t a civil engineering project. If they can a) build it from components b) do the fabrication themselves without hurting themselves or c) do their own drawings and talk to the machinists/etc. Though letting them do the last unsupervised might be a mistake.

      OTOH, folks with engineering degrees don’t exactly have perfect track records either.

        1. If the physicists are in charge of the expense account, and the machinist is an outside contractor, I imagine they could pay for a bunch of unnecessary work. Machined surfaces that would not be needed with an alternative design that would serve the same purpose.

          Of course, at that point, the necessary qualities for getting it done right are at least partly aptitude. The right experienced person could get things sorted out, whether they were trained as a physicist, engineer, or machinist.

    4. It isn’t just physicists who shouldn’t build things. My late Father once declined to attach his name (as part of a committee) to a plan for dorms that included access to direct current, oxygen, and illuminating gas in every unit. He told me about this when I was in high school, and my reaction was, “I take it you don’t wish to be associated with the first college dorm to achieve low earth orbit?”,:which he said was about right.

    5. I just flashed on the series of youtube videos titled “Trust me, I’m an engineer”

  32. I’ve been wondering why, in addition to seeing no huge spike in deaths among the homeless, we’re also not seeing a spike among the housed poor — both the working poor and the multigenerational welfare poor. Given the tight quarters most of them live in, where getting away from interpersonal conflict doesn’t mean going to your room, but going out on the street and finding a bus stop bench or abandoned sofa to sit on, you’d think Winnie the Flu would be spreading like wildfire through the barrios and ghettos. Especially since so many of the working poor have jobs at nursing homes and other places that are known loci of spread, you’d think that they’d bring it home to their overcrowded apartments and the whole family would get sick, along with a significant number of their neighbors. And smoking is far more common among the poor than wealthier deciles of the population. But we’re just not seeing huge hotspots in the poor neighborhoods.

    Part of it may be the simple fact that even our worst slums are still better places to live than a lot of the Third World. Especially now that utility companies have been enjoined to suspend disconnections, and reconnect people who’ve been disconnected for non-payment, they have electricity and running water, which are huge helps in maintaining sanitation.

    But I can’t believe that alone is accounting for the absence of massive spread among a population of people living in crowded and often marginal housing, with diets that are typically rich in crap carbs and fats and poor in lean protein and vitamin-rich veggies, and frequently having poor health habits and unlikely to see a doctor until things get desperate. We should be seeing those tear-jerking human-interest stories of welfare-check calls for “strange smell” at apartments in Section 8 housing, of slumlords getting asked hard questions in an effort to find someone, anyone who’s next-of-kin to deal with the bodies and the possessions of the people dying in droves. Instead, it seems like the deaths are the usual — overdoses, gunshot wounds, motor vehicle accidents, domestic violence, etc.

    1. Have you seen a demographic breakdown in the hot spots? You make a good point about the “Oh, woe is they!” journalism, but have you (or anyone) seen any demo breakdowns yet?

      Because evidently AOC is claiming “black and brown” people are suffering more. She hasn’t been able to “show her work” yet, either.

      1. Hate to say it but, Proportionately, she’s probably right. It’s big in the Bronx and Brooklyn which is a darker demo. Doesn’t explain the Hasidim though, they’ve been hammered. NY has a large number of wealthy youngish people who live in Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn and a more ethnic, darker, poorer population who lives in public housing. They have all the health problems that American poor have. Only in The west’s end especially America is obesity a problem for the poor. Famine is more the rule.

        1. One news story said that a Hasidic rabbi died and several dozen men attended the funeral service (or burial. The media’s grasp of Jewish customs is . . . poor). One of them was a carrier, and so the ailment spread. No idea if that’s the only source of the illness in the community or not.

        2. One news story I read said that a Chasidic rabbi died, and a lot (dozens) of men attended a memorial or helped with the burial. At least one of them was a carrier. I don’t think that was the only source, but if true, it probably did not help.

          1. They tend to be a law to themselves. Cops are breaking up weddings and other things. It’s not general and each congregation is a law unto itself but they’re paying a terrible,price for it. Passover is coming and there’s a great deal of uncertainty around what will happen.

            That said, they might be right and we might be wrong. I’m going to miss the Easter triduum and haven’t been able to go to mass for weeks. For what, I’m not so sure. Panicking Politicians and the great king Fauci is all I get.

            1. On the other hand when you look at the historical track record of “emergencies” being used to prevent Jews from practicing their religion before either pogroms or putting them in cattle cars to be sent off to the camps, you can understand the reluctance to obey the “you are not allowed to gather” decrees.

              The left, which is always talking about cultural “sensitivity” is as usual oblivious to the practices and culture of people whose religion/culture that they despise, and the left despises orthodox Jews, particularly Hasidic sects.

              1. Don’t disagree. There’s also a strain of God will protect us. If you saw the kerfuffle about DiBlassio threatening to shutter houses of worship,permanently, its the Hasidim who he was talking about. Many of these houses of worship are peoples actual houses. The mind boggles.

                The left is simply an intolerant religion.

              2. The left, which is always talking about cultural ‘sensitivity’ is as usual oblivious

                The Left is only ever concerned about your cultural insensitivity, never their own.

      2. AOC may be right, but probably for the wrong reasons. “Black & Brown” people are likely to represent cultures in which large extended families are a normal feature and to live in more densely crowded communities. Thus they would be ideal vectors for transmission of the disease.

        “Black & Brown” people are also likely to have higher rates of incidence of conditions – diabetes (all types), high blood pressure, obesity – which reduce survivability rates for the virus. That these coditions are typical artifacts of decades of “assistance” is probably not something AOC wants to discuss.

        AOC will show her work when Hell freezes over, and it won’t stand up to inspection any better than did Velikovsky’s.

  33. I may have said this here before, but a friend of my son (who lives in Beijing) told me that the pollution there NEVER goes higher that 250ppm…because that’s as high as the CCP will allow it to be. And that was five or so years ago.

    1. Gee, why does that remind me of the folks in charge of Windscale revoking the ability of anyone there to check out Geiger-Müller counters after a couple people found ‘hot’ bits in their yards that should not have been there? I wonder what an unsanctioned sampler/counter would detect… Oh hey, is that Coal Black?

  34. I am starting to ponder the idea that COVID19 might be a bit of germ warfare, after all. NOT military grade as we think of it (really deadly, highly transmissible, both) but kinda Post-It note glue thing. NOT good enough for mil-spec, but… one HELL of an ECONOMIC weapon.

  35. The teachers, the important people in charge, who must make sure all of us spherical cows of uniform density in frictionless vacuum do as told.
    Honestly, that’s a problem with education, too. Progressivism (and anyone who’s learned to be a teacher via university in the last few dozen years has likely learned it steeped in progressivism) eventually leads to viewing humans as cogs. Except where they’ve evolved to non-corporeal brains, of course.

    1. It’s the increase in coding in population, too. Computers are repeatable. One input gives one output. People are not. But we treat everyone as identical, not willing to accept that there are variances

  36. viewing humans as cogs.


    ‘Cogs’ has a rather special meaning if you’ve read Larry Correia’s Hard Magic series. None of those ‘progressive’ idiots could ever qualify to be Cogs.

  37. Arrrgggghhh!! Dallas County has extended the lockdown to May 20. I don’t know what Collin County (where I live) will decide yet. I was supposed to go to the dentist on May 18! Do this much longer and the US will have suicided. Some people have TDS bad enough to do anything if it will “get” Trump.

          1. Sounds like the city my mother is living in. One city in two counties, in Illinois. The opportunities for dysfunction are phenomenal.

  38. FWIW:
    Talking to friends who are medical workers here in the Bear Republic (don’t blame ME! I moved here for work), I am told that people staying home has largely emptied the emergency rooms. But there’s definite pressure on “serious care” hospital beds and especially on ICU beds. And most of that pressure comes from patients who have both a positive Corona virus test AND also significant trouble breathing. [Note: replace “serious care” with whatever the heck the proper term is for “one step more intensive than a normal inpatient hospital bed, but not ICU-level”]

    From the anec-data department, my best friend back in Pittsburgh PA just got home from a hospital stay for his case of Corona-virus. He had quite a rough time of it, but never needed a ventilator. No word yet on whether or not there’s any permanent lung damage.

  39. Throw one person into a model, and you’ll wish the person were a spherical cow of uniform density in friction-less vacuum.

    I have to rise to defend mathematical models involving people, given I’m finishing the daily run of the calibration phase of a set of them.

    Models involving people can work if you know the limitations of your model, you are open about them, limit where they run to well defined boundaries, and a bunch of other caveats.

    Or as one of the founders of our field said, “All models are wrong. Some models are useful.”

    For example, we don’t predict interest rates, but we say “if the interest rate market moves this way, then the affect on the value of our asset and its related hedge will be this.” We then provide over a thousand ifs for the traders to use the next day as they see what the market does.

    So these models are wrong. We rarely run the exact scenario for tomorrow (in fact, the outputs are designed to be interpolated between) and even if we did, the day after will be different. But they are useful in keeping the value of the asset plus its hedge is constant.

  40. “WHAT IS with socialists and trains?”

    Trains run on rails. Rails are very efficient, so socialists love rails because they are scientific and stuff like that. Low rolling friction you know, very efficient. So many people moved at such low cost per mile! Very scientific!

    But the real reason they love them some trains is that the rails determine where the train goes. It only goes where they want it to, and it only goes WHEN they want it to. They can stop the trains whenever they want, and then nobody goes anywhere.

    Cars are a Capitalist thing. The car can go anywhere, there’s no schedule, and it is able to carry more stuff than a train passenger can schlep on his own. With a car one guy can be a self-contained small business that can go where the demand is and get the job done once he gets there.

    Socialists hate that. They want to CONTROL the workforce, not enable people to make money any old way.

  41. Incubation period is 10-14 days.
    By the time there’s a cluster, it’s already way too late to clamp down.
    .
    In the meantime, those clusters are generating a nightly body count of over 1000, and are accelerating rapidly.
    .
    Tracking is good data to have.
    It’s also not very relevant.
    An infected, contagious person can easily get anywhere in the country within a couple of days. There are a series of contagion clusters beyond what we can see.
    In the absence of universal testing, the only way to predict the likely sites if pending clusters is… Modeling.
    .
    Point of information: quarantine is explicitly for those who may unknowingly be ill.
    Those who are actually ill do not require quarantine, as their status does not need to be established.

    1. They are not generating ANYWHERE near that kind of body count.
      Not even close.
      They’re cooking the numbers and even then, they are NOT accelerating.
      Also point of order: fuck off with points of order.
      Incubation period is RARELY that long and we’ve been locked in for TWENTY TWO DAYS.
      There are nno “you might have been exposed” no tracing of contacts.
      POINT OF FUCKING ORDER: THIS IS HOUSE ARREST OF THE LAW ABIDING AND AGAINST THE FIRST AMENDMENT, UNDERSTAND ME YOU VICHY?

  42. I note at this time that the odious flopping cameltron has decided that he/she/it must decree that Sarah and the rest of us are all A) uneducated losers and B) racist bigots.

    Nowhere in the camel’s analysis and defense of computer models do I see mention of the A) failure of Western governments to hold back the infection by restricting air travel, or B) the failure of socialistic countries to have adequate medical supplies for an emergency.

    The stripping of Australia’s PPE supplies -by China- is particularly absent from his blog.

    Social distancing is the worst option in reducing the impact of the virus. Social distancing is not what normal humans do. We congregate. We travel. We visit. We watch movies in theaters with a hundred other people, etc.

    But, thanks to the insistence of our Western governments to keep the airlines flying in the middle of a pandemic, and thanks to those same governmets failure to protect our supply lines for vital medical PPE, social distancing is the only solution available.

    For floppy and his band of supercilious assholes who I know are reading this, may I suggest a thought experiment? What would be cheaper: shutting down the airline industry for December, January and February when the virus first broke out, or doing what we’re doing now?

    I can hear them screaming RACIST!!! from here.

    Could we have kept the virus bottle up in China indefinitely? No, I don’t think so. Could we have kept it there long enough to generate a vaccine and get it distributed to all the vulnerable people in our populations?

    Yes. That we could have done.

      1. You should be glad you are not a Canadian right now, Sarah. Your liver would be burning from excess anger juices.

        That’s Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada. She was a big cheese in Toronto during the SARS outbreak, to which the official response was mostly putting hand sanitizer in the lobby of the hospital.

        We’re racists, you see. That’s her biggest concern.

    1. > A) uneducated losers and B) racist bigots

      Monkeys throwing fecal matter. Typical leftist behavior.

      They’ve done it so long and so often, they might as well be screeching “Calvinist!” or “Jacobin!” or “Abolitionist!” for all the good it does, but they’re screeching to show their support for the Narrative, not because they think there’s any truth to it.

      1. The only reason I mentioned it was to give the lot of them the finger without giving the camel any traffic.

        Hi Kathodus. .I.. ..I. Those are my middle fingers, in case you were wondering.

        In other news I read that there’s anywhere between 10% and possibly 50% of cases that are “silent,” where people are contagious but have no symptoms. When you see a spread of 10% to 50% that means the “science is not settled” as they say. Also, its been confirmed that many cases are contagious -before- symptoms show up.

        It means your computer models are worse than useless for tracking or prediction. One nurse with a silent case can (will, because no masks!) infect a whole ward. Even if he/she is SUPER CAREFUL and follows all the infection control protocols.

        Silent cases means you either test -everybody- and quarantine positives, or you don’t control the spread. That’s it, right there.

        Bottom line, we don’t really know the course of this thing very well, nor the transmissibility, nor the upper/lower bounds of who gets a serious case and who skates by. When you don’t know that stuff, you can’t write a decent model. Garbage in, garbage out.

        Argue with that, camel dorks.

        1. They won’t argue at all, they’ll just screech “RAAAACISSST!!!” at you.
          ———————————
          “That’s not an argument, it’s just contradiction!”
          “No it ’tisn’t!”

            1. And now he’s blogging about your mention of him in the comments.

              Our Cammy has a hide of tissue paper, doesn’t he?

              1. Oh I see that he did. And as usual he cut and pasted to his advantage, which is why I never comment there anymore.

                Hi, Delagar, hi Bonnie. .I.. ..I. Yep, those are my middle fingers again.

                floppy’s main point seems to be Orange Man Bad, and capitalism bad.

                Seems to be missing the main thrust of my argument, that a world-wide pandemic would have been prevented by shutting down air travel. Also missing in the snide talk about Orange Man Bad, is that China could have, and should have, curtailed air travel itself. They deliberately and knowingly exported a pandemic to the rest of the world.

                Its easy to forget that the likes of floppy are at best useful idiots for the Chicoms, so you have to spell out for them that Communist China is not an ally of the West, and the kind of arrangements one might make with Italy will not work for China.

                Having trouble getting masks, floppy? That’s because your bros in the Chinese People’s Liberation Army cleaned Australia out back in December. Canada too, but in Canada our government helped them do it.

                Does your computer modeling take enemy action into account?

                Incidentally, as the socialists in the Canadian federal government (Liberals) continue to A) do nothing and B) tell us Canadians we are all a bunch of racists, the provincial government of Ontario (Conservative) is working with the evil capitalist factory owners to get some local PPE manufacturing going. Day late and a dollar short, but better than the -nothing- from the feds.

                Any further reference to the odious cameltron and his band of scrofulous hangers-on will be at The Phantom Soapbox. No need to allow their slime to get on Sarah’s doormat.

              2. Meh. witness the complete lack of my caring.
                I mean, what exactly does he think we’re competing over? why can’t he and his wife go their way and do their thing?
                WHY the complete toddler need of “look at me, look at me!”

                1. Your existence is a threat to his chosen brand, Sarah. He’s even going after me, some guy who only comments here. His following post after attempting I’m not sure what with cutting and pasting my comment was yet another rehash of the Sad Puppies from 2015.

                  All this in the middle of a pandemic. Really, its very profoundly stupid.

                  Hey floppy. Imagine both my middle fingers. Yeah that’s right. They are flipping you off.

                    1. I’m going to embrace the power of And here and call it pathetically stupid. The moron actually thinks Canada is doing a better job of this than the USA.

                      I’m IN Canada, and I can tell you that we’re not. Four day doubling, just like everywhere else. I was just over at Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington a couple of hours ago. Social distancing is working so well that they’re building a very large tent ward in their parking lot. Because they know that in eight days there’s going to be two more doublings of cases, and they’re going to need that tent.

                      Without the social distancing the doubling would be faster. Much, much faster. So we are stuck doing it, even though its not really working. The alternative, business as usual, will be worse.

                      Thanks, China! Thanks, airline industry!

                    2. In his mind Canada is doing a better job addressing the pandemic because it is not enhancing Trump’s stature. That is the only metric about which he really cares.

      2. Monkeys throwing fecal matter. Typical leftist behavior.

        Granting the devil his due, they are pretty much full of it, so some throwing of excess is unsurprising.

  43. The comments on social distance are interesting. Because different cultures have very different notions of what is a comfortable distance. I’ve seen people who wanted to be about 18 inches away…when my own personal bubble is about three feet. At 18 inches, I’m backing away…and quite possibly preparing for a fight.

    1. Several of my coworkers have commented that I flinch when people get too close behind me* in the workroom, even when seated and eating (in a chair with a high, solid back). I just shrug and say, “Old habits die hard,” and leave it at that.

      *I am NOT responsible for what happens to you if you try to sneak up behind me and tap me on the shoulder or hug me. I react first and identify later.

      1. Every work place. I don’t care how awkward it was, my Desk did NOT face away from the entry point, be it an office door, cubicle, or open space. I had a wall to my back. As far as I know, there is no reason for this reaction. I mean other than when programming I tended to get super focused into the zone. Coming up behind me and getting my attention, whether it be a tap or a sound would get a reaction, not a good one, even it it was just a scream. After the first “Oh Holy $*&%#%” in the official arrangement, no one complained when I rearranged.

        1. I don’t do desk in middle of room. I only do desk in corner. Open concept offices where people are supposed to sort of group together would kill me.

        2. As far as I know, there is no reason for this reaction.

          Sign of sanity?

          Seriously, this goes right up there with folks who point and laugh because someone acts like black widow spiders are fast, can be aggressive and can kill you.

          Slightly less insulting, what sane person assumes every dog is well trained?

          My at home desk does have a door behind it…but not leading outside. And I frequently shut the curtain on the window by me if the kids aren’t outside, because it’s a vulnerability. (Most of the time, the back of my chair ends up towards that closed window, too.)

          1. As far as I know, there is no reason for this reaction. Sign of sanity?


            I can live with that.

            Slightly less insulting, what sane person assumes every dog is well trained?


            Not one of them. My dog is. Always have something to work on, but, yea. Doesn’t mean I let her meet & great every dog when we are walking around. I don’t know if they are safe or not, & I’m not taking their handler’s word for it unless I know the handler.

  44. a million comments telling me how well the WHO ranked Italy — which is great, except the WHO ranks a single payer system above everything else, including outcomes

    Their health care system is TOP RATED!

    EVERY patient gets a personal witch doctor at no fee, and receives the same ju-ju dance without discrimination by gender, race, faith or economic status.

    The Left (and international bureaucracies – BIRM) rarely distinguish between form and function, preferring the former over the latter. none of that hard to predict nonsense like results for them; they prefer a nice, easily measurable metric like who pays and is all the paperwork filed properly.

  45. their tests are THIRTY PERCENT accurate (a coin is more accurate)

    It’s a roll of the dice – China is playing D&D with real people’s lives.

  46. As I write this China has gone into lockdown again, which will send the Western hysterics into convulsions and give those like my governor who hanker for well polished boots and a Hugo Boss uniform in red and black another excuse to stomp on our inalienable liberties.

    Ahem …

    Former Supreme Court Justice Warns of a British ‘Police State’
    [SNIP]
    In the U.K., local police forces have interpreted government restrictions to prohibit even outdoor exercise. Derbyshire Police have used drones to identify and shame dog-walkers and dyed a picturesque blue lagoon black in an attempt to deter visitors. Other police forces are encouraging people to report on those who break the rules. …

    When human societies lose their freedom, it’s not usually because tyrants have taken it away. It’s usually because people willingly surrender their freedom in return for protection against some external threat. And the threat is usually a real threat but usually exaggerated. That’s what I fear we are seeing now. The pressure on politicians has come from the public. They want action. They don’t pause to ask whether the action will work. They don’t ask themselves whether the cost will be worth paying. . . The symptoms of coronavirus are clearly serious for those with other significant medical conditions, especially if they’re old. There are exceptional cases in which young people have been struck down, which have had a lot of publicity, but the numbers are pretty small. The Italian evidence, for instance, suggests that only in 12 per cent of deaths is it possible to say coronavirus was the main cause of death. So yes this is serious and yes it’s understandable that people cry out to the government. But the real question is: is this serious enough to warrant putting most of our population into house imprisonment, wrecking our economy for an indefinite period, destroying businesses that honest and hardworking people have taken years to build up, saddling future generations with debt, depression, stress, heart attacks, suicides and unbelievable distress inflicted on millions of people who are not especially vulnerable and will suffer only mild symptoms or none at all, like the Health Secretary and the Prime Minister.

    Jonathan Sumption, a former U.K. Supreme Court justice

    1. It appears I neglected to put a slash in front of the concluding BLOCKQUOTE, thus forcing “Jonathan Sumption, a former U.K. Supreme Court justice” into a subordinate bloc.

      Oh well.

  47. I do believe we have a new entrant for governor of Maine:

    ‘This Is Not Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia Where You Are Asked For Your Papers!’ Says Maine Sheriff
    Maine’s Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols has a strong message for the Governor of Maine, Janet Mills, who issued “stay-at-home” orders with threats of police punishment if not followed. Sheriff Nichols issued a statement on the Franklin County Facebook page saying in no uncertain terms he will not follow the unconstitutional order.

    “We will not be setting up a Police State. PERIOD,” he wrote. “The Sheriff’s Office will not purposefully go out and stop vehicles because they are on the road or stop and ask why people are out and about. To do so puts our officers at risk. This is not Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia where you are asked for your papers!”

    [SNIP]

    Nichols made it clear that he only intends to arrest for matters of law-breaking, and nothing else. Executive orders aren’t laws. He finished his announcement with words of encouragement for his constituents: “Most of you are doing a fantastic job – we appreciate that! Please look out for one another, especially the elderly and shut-ins. Please be a good neighbor/citizen always showing compassion. Please be kind especially on social media, negativity online only adds to the stress people are currently experiencing.” …

  48. on the doctor-only thread on some early-release page for one of the first Hydroxychloroqine could work like Tamiflu on this thing studied (I know, sorry) several docs reported that nebulizers were also effective in keeping the Chinese Herpes in mild, annoying temporary rash form.

    There w As some speculation that saline nebulizer + fomentation was also effective in heading off severe lung effects.

  49. I like that picture of the spherical cow. Very nice. I’m okay but my sister from Arizona (and her seven children) came up to spend the quarantine with us so things are crazy here. I hope all of you are well!

  50. Interesting. For those wondering why they recognize the author’s name, Betsy McCaughey was the researcher who did excellent work torpedoing HillaryCare, got picked as Pataki’s (first) Lt. Governor and then dropped for not being a Team Player. This is a good assemblage of links and some reasonable arguments about what is influencing things:

    Best guesses on when corona cases will peak and when lockdowns can end
    President Trump is extending the nation’s shutdown until at least the end of April. He’s largely basing his decision on predictions from the University of Washington that even if the nation sticks to the shutdown, 83,967 Americans will likely die of coronavirus by early August. Possibly 240,000. In New York state, an estimated 15,788 could die.

    Blame coronavirus for the deaths — but dithering federal health officials for the shutdown. For two decades, they ignored warnings to stockpile enough medical supplies for a pandemic. That left hospitals unable to handle the surge of coronavirus patients.

    The University of Washington’s daily death toll is predicted to peak April 15, then drop off sharply by June. The graph of coming deaths looks like a steep mountain we’re about to ascend. That’s with the shutdown continuing.

    You can track the same UW predictions the president is watching at [SNIP – only one URL per customer] …

    … For two decades, government experts warned Congress and federal officials about inadequate supplies of masks and ventilators. Ten federal reports sounded that alarm, even as the nation witnessed SARS, MERS, avian flu and swine flu circle the globe. Health officials failed to act.

    [SNIP]

    When Ebola threatened several years ago, hospitals again complained they lacked personal protective equipment. The feds spent nearly $5 billion to fight the disease, but nearly all of it overseas.

    Even afterward, the Department of Health and Human Services’ annual budget requests for the Strategic National Stockpile were far too low to buy both medications and personal protective equipment, explains the stockpile’s former director, Greg Burel, who retired in January.

    HHS requested a mere $595 million to $705 million a year. That’s less than 3 percent of the $16 billion Congress allocated to the stockpile in the legislation enacted last week.

    The lack of masks robbed the United States of the option of asking the public to wear them, though research indicates widespread use can curb infectious disease spread.

    Once hospitals are stocked and masks are available, the shutdown should be relaxed.

    Preparedness is the lesson for surviving the next pandemic, or the return of coronavirus in the fall without a shutdown. Thanks to American ingenuity and impressive mobilization of the private sector, we will likely have tests, drugs and a vaccine near completion. But most important, we’ll have lifesaving medical equipment ready to go.

  51. I’m an incurable optimist but I think the tide is turning. I heard the word denominator on the TV last night. Expect there to be increased hysteria from the media about models good facts bad gradually shifting to use of the words “over reaction.” That’ll be the end. The narrative will shift from we’re all gonna die to Trump over reacted and now look where we are. The hair on fire will continue.

      1. And with any luck, that tactic will have the same degree of success they have enjoyed with each of their other ‘let’s reverse the 2016 election’ tactics.

        A proletariat boot up their intellectual arse.

  52. Why blame the Feds? I think that the news is too focused on the national stockpile and this is hiding, perhaps deliberately since its political, that there was systematic failure to prepare at the local level. NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation has been a cesspit since before I was born, and I’m not a young man. It’s the public hospitals in NYC that are overwhelmed, which is why Cuomo is starting to loot the hospitals that are prepared.

      1. I’m reacting to the article since all the press seems to be about the Feds and they ignore where the problem really is. I think Trump overreacted but it was the states that rolled over.

        NYC Health and Hospitals is a cesspit and the public hospitals here are as fubar as Italy.

        Did you see the FDNY parade past NYU Langone? They were applauding the nurses. Makes you cry with pride. I married a FDNY daughter and have never been allowed to forget it.

        Those are our people, not those useless clowns on the TV

      2. He doesn’t really have any other tools to use right now. Remember the ruckus from the Dems when he -finally- shut down airline flights from Europe and China? Imagine the shit-storm if he’d done that in December.

    1. The devils advocate argument would be that the stockpile was what a lot of hospitals were relying on for the first surge. But don’t think we would’ve been extremely different from where we are. It wouldn’t be enough.

    1. Except he’s working with numbers that make no sense whatsoever.
      He doesn’t have a growth rate. he has a TEST rate. Most people simply aren’t tested. These are ALL made up figures.

      1. Exactly. They test the sickest 5% or 10% and then spin out statistics assuming they were a representative sample. I knew better than that in high school.

        Of course, I went to high school before Jimmy Carter’s Department Of Education spent $2 TRILLION ‘improving’ the public schools.
        ———————————
        Wing: ”Have you ever heard the phrase, Living well is the best revenge?”

        Miles: “Where I come from, someone’s head in a bag is generally considered the best revenge.”

      2. I’m with Nate Silver on this that there is so much uncertainty around the parameters that any modeling is at best misleading. Honesty among the modelers would have been nice.

        To all that say A bad model, and they’re all bad models even mine, is better than no model I say pffuuii. Can anyone honestly say that these models have added Value?

        Global warming was a tell. I’m pretty sure that we’ve had large “adjustments” to the historic data in WuFlu too.

      3. That’s why I said “based on the data he has.” The approach was what appealed to me, not so much his actual data points.

        Oh, yeah, WP? Why don’t you like me anymore when I come here from my own site? WPDE

        1. For about a year it wouldn’t let me comment on MGC from the computer I’m now using. If it let me comment at all, it was with a long string of numbers as my handle. Then the problem went away overnight, which is good since this, the travel computer, is now the only one of my computers that actually WORKS. The other three rolled over to “I don’t wanna boot.” One of them doesn’t boot AT ALL, the publishing computer does, after you curse at it for an hour or two, and the other one …. well….s ometimes it does.
          No, we have no clue why. Husband has ordered parts to build me a new, more powerful computer on which I can do art, write and publish.
          Eh.

        2. IHME was going to release their model update yesterday. As of now, they’ve dropped any indication.of when, if ever, they will update their model. Now, the only question will be which governor is the first to roll over the other way. Judging by the situation in Florida where the hospitals are half empty and new admissions dropping and the rest of the country where they are laying health workers off because there’s no work, it’ll be a race.

          God willing, this is over. I suspect there’ll be another flare up somewhere to cause a panic, but I really think the tipping point has been reached.

          Trump knows this. He says this will be the hardest week and deaths will be 1500 a day, but that totals to ca., 20k or a normal flu season. I watched his presser yesterday and some of his bounce was back. Now they build the legend of the great patriotic war against covid and the reckoning for China may begin. Talk of it in the press at least has started in Europe.

      4. Canada is currently only testing front-line medical and the extremely sick. Canadian numbers for who’s got it are 100% horse shit. They have no idea.

  53. Oh, and it’s MeanEvilBad that writers are putting their ebooks on sale during this time. You should have solidarity with writers who aren’t putting their ebooks on sale!

    (headdesk.)

    That one I heard in person. Possibly too stupid for being put online.

      1. It may just be cover, because I advised this person to put all their ebooks on sale, something like last month or before. And the person did not do it, and now is unhappy about sales rank going down. (Sales have been steady even so, which is more luck.than this person deserves.)

      1. The parking pass requires four to six weeks for delivery.

        There’s a box of decoder rings over there. Only one of them is the correct ring, though.

        -Evil Administrative Assistant

  54. Ok, it doesn’t make sense, but scrolling past the title today, the following came into my head and kicked over my giggle box;

    Describe Joe Biden…

    Assume a spherical head of uniform density surrounding frictionless vacuum.

    1. I don’t know why people keep harping on Biden’s manifest mental incompetence so much.

      On this day, he is effectively better educated and better able to apply his intelligence than Barack Obama.

      1. Obama Rama ding-dong was at least PLAUSIBLE. He could speak without stepping on his schwantz, even if he didn’t manage it every time. If he made a habit of sexually harassing women, he kept it quieter than Bubba Clinton. And he didn’t look like death warmed over until AFTER eight years in office.

  55. Ref ‘one size fits all’ rules, just left a Cabela’s a bit ago: “We can only allow 50 customers in the store at one time, so give me your phone number and I’ll text you when you can go in.”
    For a store the size of a friggin’ warehouse…

    1. Can top that – on Friday I got read the riot act about maintaining six foot distance, from the manager of a local Walmart. I was standing next to my daughter (with whom I live, and with whom I had driven to the Walmart to purchase fabric for surgical masks!) who was wiping a sanitary wipe on the shopping cart.
      Yeah, I think she followed us all over the store, since I protested that loudly. It’s not my rule, she said – it’s the city.
      I did not point out that conferring petty authority on an ignoramus turns him/her into a swine; I generally do not go around picking fights, although this time I was tempted.

        1. But there do seem to be a lot of them, don’t there?

          Its like cockroaches. You don’t see them often, but where there’s one there are a hundred more hiding in the woodwork.

          These are the same assholes who made our Odd lives hell in high school. Events like this bring them out into the light, eager to exercise their little morsel of power.

          Just keep track of who the little hitlers are, and don’t give them an inch of slack for the rest of their lives. Because what goes around, comes around.

        1. And Cuomo has decided that only hospitals can have access to the drugs for treatment. Your family doctor cannot diagnose and prescribe, because the drug stores are forbidden to stock the stuff. So you have to be sick enough to hospitalize before you can get the appropriate treatment! Grrrrrrrrrr.

          1. So Coumo is either a hysterical ninny, or the situation is mild enough that he feels comfortable deliberately trying to exacerbate things. And NYC is a cesspit.

            1. I’d put money on “is a hysterical ninny” who wants to cover up for his own failures. DeBlassio is just . . . yeah. Not using those words here.

              1. I’ll be honest and give him benefit of doubt and say just ninny. He is, however, acting like there is no other place but nyc. He wants to be able to say that he saved the day by being prepared (vents, docs, etc) even if it means that it exhausted supplies elsewhere (in a healthy body politic the requests for vents from upstate would be a minor thing but we are not a healthy body politic. At all). Plus his administration contradicted other states that asked for or ordered nys residents to self quarantine, honestly resulting in some of the spread. That meant that states that might have been ok now had to be paranoid that they would start getting hit in 2 or 3 weeks. So the simple option of taking lets say 2 vents from hospitals nationwide and hospital staff to support to build a cv19 strike force was no longer there because everyone had to hoard.

                On another plus note I will say for him, ny at least waived licensure laws for medical professionals in some circumstances.

                1. He is, however, acting like there is no other place but nyc.

                  Have you MET New Yorkers? 😀

                  1. I’m from outside boston, originally. So plenty. But had small hope the governor of state actually would govern the whole state. Very very small but there.

                    1. Mr Cuomo is using the traditional Demcrat strategy, control the cities and ignore the upstate hicks. NYC is 8.5 Million of NY States 19.5 million. Pick up a few districts in OTHER cities (Buffalo, Rochester, Maybe Albany) and he’s there. Tick off NYC and he’s almost certainly toast. So for him the upstate folks are uninteresting.

                    2. Washington is the same way: with the three counties around Seattle you can literally ignore the rest of the state.

                    3. In Oregon it is Portland Metro. Whomever might need Salem. But even Eugene, Corvallis, even Ashland are really just a drop in the bucket bonus.

                  2. Don’t make me have to search out and post that New Yorker cover portraying how New Yorker’s view the nation!

                    I believe that in terms of residents per square meter NY City is considered the densest city in America.

                    In other ways, too.

                    1. Acknowledged … New York (and California) suffer as destination communities for the nation’s disgruntled, those who take seriously the song’s message:

                      This little town blues
                      Are melting away
                      I’ll make a brand new start of it
                      In old New York

                      If I can make it there
                      I’ll make it anywhere
                      It’s up to you
                      New York, New York

                  3. *cackles* The straight line is irresistable, isn’t it?
                    That might be partly exposure to the milder form of the same in the…oh, what WAS that slang…. 206ers? Seattlites.

            2. Choose and. Cuomo is a ninny. The situation is stabilizing (I think it peaked on March 25) and NY is a cesspit.

              I would except myself of course and the doctors, nurses, firemen, cops, and lots of others who walked toward the fire.

              1. My ‘Cesspit’ thoughts are about 30% high population density 60% the influence of the ‘disneyfication of times square is bad’ political activists and 2% ‘diversity is our public health crisis’ sounds like a fun troll.

                And I don’t have grounds to bitch about the population density choices others make for their lives so long as the public health impact on me is managed well enough to be reasonably minimal.

                1. Outside public housing the density is not as high as some think, but it is a city so the density is high. For me, the cesspit is in the government. Our mayor and health commissioner had people going to Chinese New Year to show Trump they were in the resistance. As usual, other people, mainly poor or immigrant, paid the price for it.

                  I chuckle at the nostalgia de la boue for the old Times Square because I share it myself a bit. The old New York working class has been priced out and few of us live in NYC anymore. All that’s left is the rich and those who service them.

                  Those cops, firemen and nurses all live outside the city or way out in the outer boroughs and travel at least an hour each way to get to work.

                  1. The cities in my state are smaller than NYC, and a bit more than I really care for.

  56. Sarah, it’s time to steal your cats’ medicines…. Apparently ivermectin, from Heartgard and a lot of anti-bug medicines, is also good against coronavirus.

  57. One of my favorite scientist jokes :

    A biologist, a chemist and a physicist are each tasked to produce an improved racehorse.

    The biologist comes in for his presentation and describes an elaborate breeding program.

    The chemist comes back with a proposal for a new drug to enhance a horse’s speed.

    The physicist steps to the podium and opens with “Consider the horse as a sphere….”

  58. Pingback: THIS IS HOW THE PEOPLE MAKING THESE DECISIONS VIEW YOU. AND WHAT THEY’RE OVERLOOKING: Assume a Spher… – The usa report
  59. The following is a message brought to you at the request of the Federal Social Distancing Task Force:

    You haf been varned!

    1. I saw a joke about the new CDC theme songs being “Don’t Stand so Close to Me” and “Don’t Give Me no Lines (and Keep Your Hands to Yourself.”

  60. Amidst the idiocy and insanity let us pause to pay respect to those who are doing things to ease the suffering.

    Hail the heroes of NYC’s coronavirus struggle
    Most New Yorkers are doing their part, social distancing to protect elderly and vulnerable friends and family, in the struggle to flatten the curve and keep the coronavirus from overwhelming our hospitals. But some are going far above and beyond.

    The Post’s profiles of some of these heroes tell of their inspiring work on the front lines, a testament to the never-sleeps New York attitude.

    Take respiratory therapists Bryan Zabala and Jennifer Cubero. The 30-something couple have 1- and 3-year-old children at home — and she’s eight months pregnant. But they keep on running ventilators at Brooklyn’s Maimonides Hospital (her) and NYU Langone-Brooklyn (him). “Given the circumstances, it’s crazier than usual for us. So then, being pregnant, it’s a challenge,” Cubero admitted — but she hasn’t given up.

    Emergency-room technician Megan Benjamin, 32, goes days without seeing her kids, aged 9, 4 and 2. The mom works 13-hour days in an overnight ER at Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center, clocking 50 to 60 hours a week since the crisis began. “It takes a little bit of an emotional toll,” she . . . well, understated.

    [SNIP]

    “This is more death than we are used to seeing, and the death is totally indiscriminate,” said Rocky Walker, a chaplain at Mt. Sinai Hospital. He delivers the final words of patients dying alone in glass rooms to their family members.

    Only chaplains sent by the Catholic Archdiocese of New York cross the threshold of patients’ rooms, getting as close as they can to make eye contact and hear confession. If they can fully suit up in protective gear, they give Communion.

    [SNIP]

    Chaplain Walker likened the battle to a real war: “It reminds me so much of the time I spent in Desert Storm,” he said. “It’s not a natural thing to go toward the sound of a gun that’s trying to shoot you. That’s what health care workers are doing every day when they get out of bed and come into the hospital.”

    How blessed, this town, to hold such heroes.

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