The Mark of COVID by Dr. TANSTAAFL

corona-4970836_1920

The Mark of COVID by Dr. TANSTAAFL

We wear masks at work.  Surgical masks were originally used to keep us from contaminating a surgical wound.  Nowadays, we wear surgical masks to supposedly keep us from unknowingly passing on COVID while we are not having symptoms.  I wear a mask for a few patients, then get a new one, because it gets moist and contaminated.  Masks do not keep me from getting the virus, it’s too small for the common surgical masks.  N95s possibly could keep me from catching the virus, but there is no study confirming that.  Again, they are used for one patient, then changed out.  I have to take a fit test each year to prove that the N95s fit correctly.  What I don’t do, is wear the same mask all day, leave it in my car, stick it in my purse, touch it over and over, and get whatever is on there on my fingers.  (Don’t get me started on wearing gloves all day.  How do you pee and wash your hands?!?)   People wearing masks around outside are unlikely to have changed them several times a day, and washed them, or wear them properly (cover both mouth and nose, and don’t touch or adjust them once on, and wash hands every time you put it on or take it off, or touch it for any reason).

So why are we pushing masks on everyone?  There are no definitive studies showing that it stops the spread of the virus.  We have differing recommendations from differing “experts”.  I’ve searched the medical literature to find any good studies that show it stops the spread of the virus.  Most studies are quoted from Wuhan, and we know what that information is worth. (Don’t believe China.  China is asshole!)  Some studies suggest that wearing masks in a family if one member is infected, decreases the rate of transmission in the family.  That’s the most definite one I saw.  Says nothing about masking in public, or outside of the house.

There must be another reason for the mask fetish.

The Mark of Cain was placed by God on Cain after Cain killed his brother, to prevent anyone from killing Cain.  It is assumed that the mark was easily visible and gave information about the person it was on.

Masks are being mandated to place the Mark of COVID on all of us.  It is an easily seen mark that says we are compliant with what our betters tell us is good for us.  They have no scientific evidence, but they can force us to wear one to show that we will do what they say.  If we want to go to the grocery store, wear the Mark!  If we want to go to exercise, wear the Mark!   We are to take it on faith that a smarter, more omnipotent person who is employed by our government knows best.

The Mark of COVID is the warning that we have no rights.  We walk around feeling the mark. Others can see that we are adhering to the mark.  We walk outside and are defiant because we are not wearing the mark, or we are tacitly or actively agreeing to the mark rule if we wear a mask. Do we dislike or despise the person next to us who is not wearing a mask, or do we nod in agreement and feel more comfortable with not wearing a mask?

We have the right to make our own decisions.   If a 95 year old grandmother wants to go to her great grand daughter’s wedding, she should have that right. And if her choice results in her illness, it was a known risk which she chose freely, and she will pay the price.  If someone comes to the Emergency Room with chest pain that looks like a heart attack, our role is to give them the best advice we can based on the science we know.  And if they tell us they disagree and want to leave, we do the best sell job we can.  We try to be very persuasive, including telling them death and disability is a possibility.  If they still want to leave, they are free to go and free to face the consequences.    I don’t want to live in a world where its my choice, not theirs.

With no good studies to show that wearing a cloth mask protects others, we are left with a mandate based on faith that someone deemed important feels it might help lower the risk of COVID spread. In medicine our choices are based on risks and benefits. Does the benefit of what we are doing outweigh the risks? We are told the possible benefits of wearing a mask outweigh the negligible risks of covering our faces for a large part of the day in various environmental conditions is worth it. For an unproven benefit, and at least some risk, why should we listen? Can we at least look into the risks and benefits before mass masking?

“When you wear a mask, whether you’re walking on a busy street, whether you’re inside a grocery store or riding transportation, that is a sign to the whole community that we are in this together.”  Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania Health Secretary.  This is the actual reason for the masking orders.  They want the community to all buy into the story.  Having to wear that mask, at least outwardly, says there is no dissent.

The Mark of COVID is psychologically damaging.  Every time we sigh and pull on a mask, it is a reminder that we are not allowed to decide for ourselves or disagree with the “best and the brightest” (GAG!).

How did we get here?  And most importantly, how do we get out of here?

282 thoughts on “The Mark of COVID by Dr. TANSTAAFL

        1. China has been snowing the West since Marco Polo; “The Middle Kingdom” oldest civilization, faugh! They are still stuck in feudalism with a thin veneer of industrialization. They aren’t TRIBAL, like most of Africa and the Middle East, but it astonishes me how many idiots BELIEVE the statistics coming out of Beijing.

          Of course, it astonished me how many idiots looked at the ‘economic collapse’ of post-Soviet Russia, and didn’t instantly understand that that was the benchmark for how much the USSR had been LYING.

          1. it astonished me how many idiots looked at the ‘economic collapse’ of post-Soviet Russia, and didn’t instantly understand

            It is a well-established tendency of Doomsday Cults that, when the day of doom does not arrive o schedule the faith of many adherents is strengthened.

            1. Yup look at the Millerites (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millerism). The second advent failed to happen in 1843 and so what it created was a bunch of splinters on how Miller’s calculation was wrong NOT that perhaps we should look at the whole of scripture including statements by the incarnate Jesus saying “Only the Father knows the day and houtr”. People Like to think they can predict/ control their Deity. Part of this is why eschatologies like communism make people so interested because it grants them “control” over something in which they obviously have none

              1. They didn’t *all* fall back on repeated schedule resets in 1844; after October ’44, it was mostly agreement with “only the Father knows …”.

          2. We live in a culture where most of us expect most people to automatically tell the truth. We are high-trust people. So many of the people who were surprised had just assumed the Soviets were telling the truth, because that’s what they would do.

          3. Yup. I kept trying to explain to people that industry in the Soviet Union was often subtractive, i.e., the value of the end products was less than the value of the inputs. If you say “but that can’t last,” please note that it didn’t. The “economic collapse” was the required obedience to the first law of holes – stop digging.

  1. Maybe it was a science fair project of some kid whose daddy works for the gov too. Has convinced the timid Gov of Texas–now has the whole state masked so (he thinks) we won’t infect him

  2. Indianapolis has instituted a mandatory mask ordinance. I will comply because I just cannot afford to pay a fine, let alone any jail time. However, I’m going to do it my way:

      1. I’m cosplaying flash dance when absolutely necessary. I can’t wear a mask, so I have this face shield mounted on glasses frame that goes over my glasses.

        1. There’s a market opportunity.

          Get a fox mask and manage to put holes for glass supports.

          Even fits most of the characters who wear them….

          *pushes glasses up nose; lenses flash*

    1. Protest this weekend. Sunday at the Capitol.

      I strongly doubt they have any legal validity to a fine or jail, and as soon as I claim a medical exemption they’re going to be fighting with the DoJ.

  3. Here in TN it’s county by county, so far as I can tell. My county has said in essence, “Do whatever seems best to you.” No enforceable mandates to wear masks anywhere. Good for me, because I refuse to wear one.

    Knox County, where Knoxville is, has some mask mandate going. I haven’t paid attention as I don’t have any desire to go there most days (weeks) anyway. But I expect there are a bunch of folks up that way who will also be refusing.

    1. We’re statewide in Oregon, and people are hating it. Despicable Kate Brown now has OR OSHA and the Oregon Health Authority checking stores (heard one of the farm & ranch supply stores got hit yesterday) looking for compliance. As best as I can tell, the store can get into trouble ($10K fines) if too many customers are free-breathing, and of course, any employee must be masked.

      Had to do a special order today at [redacted]. One of the worker bees was at chin-guard level, the other was not masked, so I took mine off. Then one of the next level types came in with a plastic visor for the unmasked guy, so I figured I better cover my mouth.

      Loading lumber at Home Desperate with a mask is awful. I switched to beard-snood so I could survive the experience. I have to dig out the visor and see if it’s usable. If not, I’ll pick up something. That wire mesh chainsaw facemask is looking really attractive right now.

      (It’s tolerable, barely, because if I don’t have to go into town or “downtown” $TINY_TOWN, I don’t need a mask. So, it’s once a week for general marketing, plus the occasional other trips. I don’t mind when it’s a medical trip. I *do* mind when I’m going to be exerting myself. OSB sheets can be heavy.)

      1. I early on went with a clear face shield (if it’s good enough for the pharmacy and local clinic types…), as fogging my glasses on each breath, etc etc etc just wasn’t doing it. Certainly not for a full day of work in hardware. It took the company almost four weeks further to ok using face shields, but I seem to be a fashion trend setter for some at work, and an increasing number of repeat customers. Admittedly, seeing someone come in with a macrame’d mask, or one folded neatly so it covered her from nose to the edge of her upper lip (“I can breath better this way”) can be a little amusing.

        “Virtue theater” is overrated.

      2. Oh, you get to deal with Comrade Governor Asterisk too?

        I never thought I’d say this, but: Thank God for the Feds — as Asterisk and Wheeler have flagrantly ceased to do their jobs (and are in fact allies of the Terrorists)….

        1. There are a number of us here from Oregon dealing with you-know-who … Signed the recall petition yet?

          I keep expecting to get called on pulling my mask down & up. My voice does not carry. Now I wear a mask the masks my voice. I have to take the dang thing off for anyone to hear me talk to them. My sign language skills are lousy to non-existent …

  4. David, your image just got edited with a post, “We’re sorry. This preview is unavailable.” Amazon is getting paranoid.
    I have to hit a hospital facility at least twice a week. One sees people proudly wearing masks that clearly, if looked at with any kind of technical apparatus, would look just like the microwave in the community break room.

    The Elitests sure are working hard to get us deplorables under control. It’s getting harder, too many folks think it’s just political.

      1. Same here – MacOS Catalina 10.15.5 Safari Technology Preview Release 109 (Safari 14.0, WebKit 15610.1.17.2) browser shows the mask image for me.

    1. Nov. 2016 Was a resounding vote of “We’re tried of you” (Hillary won the ‘popular vote’? What makes you think so?). Nov. 2020 is going to be a resounding vote of, “What part of sit down and shut your pie hole didn’t you understand?”

        1. Not – quite – there yet. Yet. If, as I suspect will happen, 2021 is wall-to-wall exposure of crooked Democrat vote manufacturing and the Fascist Left is STILL blocking highways and burning and vandalizing, THEN there will be “Next time we really open the can of whop-ass” incidents.

          If the local Democrat Panjandrums are being forced to resign, and local special elections are being held, I think the Antifa baboons may find the world has grown much less tolerant of their antics.

          Black Lives Matter is another issue. Yes, a lot of the incidents the Black Quislings who run it focus on are hogwash. BUT inner city poor are dealing with far too many blatantly unfair interactions with police. Cops MUST stop trying to evade or expunge video. Asset forfeiture is a crock. The power of Police Unions to get bad cops reinstated MUST be broken. And if we sweep that under the rug in the process of dealing with the (mostly) White Lefty Privileged Antifa idiots we are Asking for real trouble.

          1. Fortunately, I gather the prisons currently have plenty of room available for the protestants.

            1. My dear wallaby I hope you mean protesters not protestants else I am in deep trouble 🙂 .

              I sometimes wonder if these protesters ever read Thoreau or paid any attention to Gahndi or Dr. King.
              going to jail is part of what can happen and is part of the strategy.

              Thus to my taste these are not protesters but merely destructive toddlers having a fit because they didn’t get their way in 2016

              1. Not Protestants. protestants: people who protest. Those who protest civil, not religious, order.

                Religious protesters can believe whatever they damned well please, so long as they do not impose it on me nor do it in the streets, scaring the horses.

          1. IF the treaty does indeed say that that much of Oklahoma belongs to the Indians, more power to them. Governments should not be encouraged to go back on their word. They do it quite often enough WITHOUT encouragement.

            1. I only skimmed the reviews of the decision but what I recall amounts basically to:

              1. The decision only affects Indians, charged with crimes in those parts of Oklahoma which had once been treaty lands, who are now able to demand judgement i Tribal Courts rather than Oklahoma criminal courts.

              2. The treaty lands had been “resolved” at the time of Oklahoma receiving statehood, somewhat over oe hundred years ago.

              Here is (sorta) summary of the case and link(s) to analysis:

              “The case was brought to the Supreme Court by Jimmy McGirt, a member of the Muscogee Nation who was convicted of raping a 4-year-old child in 1997. McGirt argued that the case should not have been in the jurisdiction of Oklahoma courts because the incident happened on tribal land. In most cases, crimes that take place on tribal land fall under the jurisdiction of the federal courts.

              “The state argued that ruling in favor of McGirt would result in ‘cleaving Oklahoma in half.’ The state’s attorneys claimed that the Creek Nation’s historic territory is not a reservation and argued that siding with McGirt would be the “largest judicial abrogation of state sovereignty in American history.”

              “The Muscogee Nation acknowledged that it was not involved in the ‘genesis’ of McGirt’s case, but the tribe told the court that the state’s argument left them feeling their reservation was “under direct attack.” The tribe said the state was ‘exaggerating’ its claims about Oklahoma’s jurisdiction being cut in half, claiming the state had been overextending its reach since the 19th century.”

              [SNIP]

              “Gorsuch wrote that the government must be held to its agreements even if it results in Oklahoma losing jurisdiction over significant portions of its land.

              ” ‘Today we are asked whether the land these treaties promised remains an Indian reservation for purposes of federal criminal law,’ Gorsuch wrote. ‘Because Congress has not said otherwise, we hold the government to its word.’

              “Gorsuch said the land has been reserved for the tribe since the 19th century and that it must remain ‘Indian country.’ ”

              [SNIP]

              “In the dissent, Chief Justice John Roberts noted that the ruling would give tribal courts authority of land that includes the city of Tulsa and a population of mostly non-native people.

              ” ‘Not only does the Court discover a Creek reservation that spans three million acres and includes most of the city of Tulsa, but the Court’s reasoning portends that there are four more such reservations in Oklahoma. The rediscovered reservations encompass the entire eastern half of the State — 19 million acres that are home to 1.8 million people, only 10%–15% of whom are Indians,’ he wrote.

              ” ‘Across this vast area, the State’s ability to prosecute serious crimes will be hobbled and decades of past convictions could well be thrown out. On top of that, the Court has profoundly destabilized the governance of eastern Oklahoma. The decision today creates significant uncertainty for the State’s continuing authority over any area that touches Indian affairs, ranging from zoning and taxation to family and environmental law,’ he wrote, adding, ‘None of this is warranted.’

              “Roberts wrote that ‘a huge portion of Oklahoma is not a Creek Indian reservation.’ He claimed Congress dissolved these reservations prior to Oklahoma becoming a state.
              [END EXCERPT – Emphasis Added]

              Source:: washingtonexaminer . com/news/supreme-court-rules-eastern-half-of-oklahoma-is-tribal-land
              See Also: washingtonexaminer . com/opinion/supreme-court-rightly-upholds-native-american-tribal-sovereignty
              [EXCERPT]
              “The larger issues here weren’t about the conviction itself, but about the extent of autonomy on reservations. One big issue involved the actual extent of official Creek land in Oklahoma. The 5-4 court majority recognized wider borders for the reservation than the state government argued for. ‘Congress has since broken more than a few promises to the Tribe,’ says the decision’s syllabus. ‘Nevertheless, the Creek Reservation persists today.’

              “Throughout the country, court disputes arise concerning the interplay between partial sovereignty for Native Americans and the reach of state or U.S. laws within their territory. Today’s decision should have the effect of bolstering Native American privileges nationwide. Good. Native Americans were horribly treated, and they merit respect and fairness.”

              1. “The decision only affects Muslims, charged with crimes in those parts of the United States had Muslims imported until they became the majority, who are now able to demand judgement in Sharia Courts rather than United States criminal courts.”

                And now there’s a binding precedent for using a different law code in different “tribal areas”.

              1. But, of course, actual child molesters are perfectly okay if they support all the correct left-wing causes. Or if they’re LTBGQWTFO. Or if they’re Moslems. Or if they ‘identify as’ children themselves. Or something. The leftists ALWAYS manage to find some excuse for their own.

          2. Before statehood, a number of the indian tribes carried out capital punishments for certain offenses. They considered confinement cruel and unusual, and so crimes tended to be punished capitally or corporeally.

            Two interesting hypotheticals that it would be interesting to see tested.

            a) Tribesman appeals to tribal justice, is sentenced to death.
            b) Tribesman kills an LGBT or criminal black, whether by dragging behind a pick up or simple self defense, and is acquitted.

            I’m not certain any of the tribes even have any prisons.

              1. Might not really result in anything.

                That isn’t one of the bigger, wealthier tribes, to the best of my knowledge.

                Thing to keep in mind, Isaac Parker’s court in Fort Smith, Arkansas judged the law against white criminals in the jurisdiction of indian territory, with the enforcement provided by lawmen like Heck Thomas, etc, and at that same time the various tribal constabularies enforced tribal law against indian criminals.

                Oklahoma, a fair amount of Oklahoma’s economy is oil/energy. Which is an industry with a serious boom/bust cycle. During a bust, the state government looks at cutting the budget, or raising funds. Last I heard the Oklahoma government was in fundraising mode, the Democrats had pushed hard enough in 2018 that simply cutting education wasn’t on the table, and the state government was sniffing around the Indian casino money.

                Now, the indian tribes were seriously poor before the casino businesses were started. A lot of them are trying to use to money for self-sustaining businesses, defense contracting, and the like. So letting the state grab a bunch and spend it is not an attractive idea.

                So for once, this might be an ordinary sort of dispute, with a low chance of escalating to serious violence.

    2. I’m getting “Requests to server have been blocked by an extension.” Probably the DuckDuckGo add-on I’m running in Chrome.

  5. Thank you for this piece. It is indeed a fetish and nothing more. I resent having to wear a useless mask — useless because I am not sick — to be in a public building. I cannot afford to lose my insurance, so I wear it and have trouble breathing and seeing. At my workplace, in a staff conference call, several employees asked how they could report non-mask-wearers they saw in the building, who are not employees of our organization, to the building manager. It was enthusiastically received and it made me sick. At the same time, our on-camera talent NEVER wear masks over their pretty little empty heads. It’s a great idea to inform on your neighbors while publicly flaunting the rules, isn’t it?

    This whole thing is driving me down. As the health situation gets better, the restrictions get worse.

    1. I’m with you man. It’s gotten to a point where when I see some good news about the virus I say to my husband “so what new restriction do you think we’ll wake up to from Newsom tomorrow?”

      And I’ve mostly been accurate.

    2. One of my largest and most well-fed pet peeves from the first wave CCP19 panic was the instant blanket assignment of all “media” as “essential workers” exempt from the lockdown here in the glorious Bear With Mask Flag Peoples Republic. No questions, no discussion, of course the local rural TV station weekend AM weather female is essential, you denialist!

      Sorry, but the abuse that on-camera newsbots trying to shoot their standups up in CHAD received made me laugh. I did feel sorry for their camera operators.

  6. Well here is something to cheer you up! (With apologies to Barry Manilow)

    Her name was ‘rona, She was a virus.
    With pink florets like a crown she is set to burn you down.
    Much worse than dengue, not quite ebola.
    And you will catch it if you don’t do just like they told ya.
    So Social dis-tanc-ing
    Has got quite a ring.
    It’s young and like no other
    It might just take your Mother
    At the COVID!
    COVID-Cabana!
    The fear of it will just about un-man ya!

    At the COVID!
    COVID-Caban-a!
    Chaos and terror is never an error

    At the COVID!
    COVID ca-ba-naaaaaa!!!
    Chaos and treason are always in season
    COVID CAAA_BANN_AAAA!!!

  7. One correction: I don’t think the Mark of Cain isn’t the correct metaphor here but the Mark of the Beast from Revelations. It’s what we all must have in order to participate in commerce, and most of us have accepted it, even though we know it costs us something ill-defined. I don’t wear mine outside or while I’m driving or pretty much any place that doesn’t require it, but if I have to stick on the face diaper in order to take my daughter swimming…I’ll do it.

    1. My understanding is that it might be more of a Protestant take than an Orthodox or Catholic take.

      1. Yes to me too. Even though I’m generally prone to NOT take anything in The Revelation of John literally. It is a dream and as literature is of a known 1st century type known as an apocalypse where everything tends to be symbolic.

    2. I’d guess it uses a similar psychology to the Mark of the Beast.

      I know I’ve seen similar bullying/social pressure method patterns as in fiction based on trying to show how the Mark might work.

    3. New game, similar to “is she on her earbud, or off her meds?”: you see a piece of colorful cloth with some strings attached lying in the parking lot. Is it a mask, or a thong?

      1. Hmmm. I been thinking about a “Trump 2020” mask. Maybe instead a thong? (new of coarse). That or a middle finger … Choices, Choices …

        1. Want to wear is a Benny Beaver mask … I’m in the middle of Duck country. Hey, if I’m going to push buttons, why not really push them?

        2. I have seen a few “Trump 2020” masks up here in north-central MN.

          A few people that noticed them seemed to have some blood pressure issues. Most people had no trouble with them, so I guess we’re not in the Twin Cities up here. (But we can identify some vacationers from down there, you betcha.)

  8. Yeah, I’ve thought of several options that it would be unwise to state.

    I would really appreciate it if others were willing to go “Your insistence on a mask policy means you will support me in flagrantly violating the local Anti-KKK laws, correct?” I would really want to see the injuries resulting from putting that cat among the pigeons. But not enough to do it myself (I still oppose the KKK as being too much of a Democrat institution), or to want to involve everyone it could involve.

    1. Living in Georgia it is very tempting to sew a Klan hood and claim it is my mask.

      Maybe out of some children’s pattern so I can claim it is a Harry Potter thing.

      1. Make it out of purple satin; you can claim it is for the Gay Black Jewish Klan For Tolerance and Understanding (do a search, the image is priceless). Maybe you could carry a sign saying “Nuke the Baby Seals for Jesus) and thus piss off EVERYBODY.

        1. I’m tempted to get a plague doctor mask. Hey, I’m a historian, na ja? Although one in plain black, not the multi-colored home-made one.

          1. I have gotten disgusted enough to buy the ‘NECHARI steampunk plague doctor mask’ from Amazon. It looks outrageously cool, AND shows my contempt for this idiocy. I’ll let you know if the hat is included.

        1. Amusing masks are amusing, but what’s really needed is a widely-recognized signal for “I am only wearing a mask under protest, because the Oberstaatkarenfuehrers require it under pain of bureaucratic torture.” Something simple that doesn’t require a lot of work to create or wear. Something that can (*ahem*) go viral. Something to let people know “You are not alone.”

          Like tyrants throughout history, the Oberstaatkarenfuehrers are relying on psychologically isolating dissidents, making each one think that it’s him against the world, and that if he openly rebels or even protests then every hand will be raised against him. We need to break this. We need to deliberately provoke a preference cascade.

          1. How about a mask formed from chicken wire or window screen? Chicken wire might prove uncomfortable but I believe most window screen fabric these days is plastic-coated cotton thread.

            1. That’s not simple enough; it requires too much work to make. It also may not be obvious enough.

              I’m thinking in terms of a symbol that can be drawn on an ordinary mask with magic marker. Or a #MUP (#MaskedUnderProtest) hashtag. Or maybe turn wearing a red armband into a “protest against mandatory masks” symbol.

              The idea is to get as many people as possible to participate, so it needs to be very easy to do, as well as something that everyone quickly comes to recognize as an anti-mask protest symbol. That second part will need to be arranged and promoted; wearing an amusing mask as an anti-mask protest without this will mostly backfire by being an “It amuses me to wear a mask” signal.

                    1. Okay, then you’ve made a start to establishing a symbol, all you have to do is start putting it on the mask along with the words. I like the # because it represents the mesh of the mask through which goes all the viruses.

      1. This. There’s a $50 on first offence for not wearing a mask in public over in Mobile, AL, and it goes up from there. Somewhere in Mississippi has just instituted a $500 fine. It’s insane.

      2. That’s why I am willing to mask briefly, when shopping at a local small business. I want them to stay open and make money so I can keep buying from them. The places I shop, the vibe I get is very much “please mask enough that we can stay open” (i.e. at paying). I don’t want to alienate the small business owners. I want them to be mad at the governor with me, not at me.

        1. I’m trying extra hard to be the anti-Karen; telling store cashiers and clerks that I appreciate them, and stopping to tell the manager on duty they (s)he has good people. It ain’t THEIR fault the government has gone nuts.

  9. I could have written this post. In fact I was considering it, I had almost this word for word conversation with Spousal Unit this morning, except I instead referred to the mask as currently displayed is for most people a Talisman. Dumbo’s lucky feather that lets him fly and automagically keeps him safe from COVID while absolving him of the responsibility of actual effort in social distancing and handwashing that are far more effective than the very modest additional benefits that could come from perfect masking. But it is never perfect masking, not because people are stupid, but because it is just plain hard sometimes.

    So instead we have well-intentioned folks, trying so hard to be good and wear a mask because we have asked them to, who are nevertheless actually causing more spread with constant face touching than they would if they just skipped the mask altogether (and hopefully stood six feet away). I am actually convinced to about the 50/50 level, that the way I just caught my recent bout was from a patient trying their best to do the right thing with a mask who contaminated something in my office that I carelessly then brought home with me through indirect contact. And certainly not from someone skipping the mask at the grocery store, where I could easily see them coming and stay 6 feet away.

    I can’t wear a mask anymore, not with these COVID lungs. My sats drop into the 80s if I even try to wear one at rest. And the rush to judgement and the feeling of moral superiority is making folks feel empowered to confront anyone who feels that others are not respecting their Talisman. We are even starting to see this expressed as actual physical violence. So frankly, the mask Nazi’s are putting me at actual physical risk by encouraging that behavior.

    This may all be a little wonky, still on steroid brain (THANK GOD FOR DECADRON!) but you probably get the point.

    Brief update I was released to home-based care yesterday on Hospital Day 4, did make it up to the step-down unit at one point, but within 72 hours on the Decadron I went from being within 12 hours or so of fully crashing into the inflammatory stage (I was starting to cross over upon arrival) and having the end-of-life-care chat with the hospitalist to completely normal D-Dimer and other markers and able to come home without blood thinners. Although I really probably should still be on O2. And if there were ever good evidence to not listen to China the Decadron results at it. We spent 3 months being told to *avoid* all steroids in COVID patients because China said it would killing them. Within the last 4 weeks it has become standard of care here locally and death rates have plunged, it even kept me off the Remdesivir, so I could get home sooner and am much less likely to have inflammatory sequelae. Not out of the woods yet, still very risky for PE for the next two weeks. But I am very likely going to do very well long-term.

    But damn I’d like to breathe again!

    Sorry still rambling. Steroids! Whee!

    1. Great news! Congratulations on waiting to get sick until they figured some of this stuff out.

      1. My patients of all people sent me an amazing dish garden full of live plants. It was then delivered at the very reasonable hour of 2am. 🤷

        And the tech just knew I needed to be woken up right then to have them. I was grateful, really.

        1. I do not think I have ever encountered a plant at 2am that I wouldn’t have been just as glad to see in the actual morning. But it does sound like a very nice gift.

          1. Yes, I believe it could have at least waited until 4 am when I was next scheduled for vitals anyway. Particularly as that was the only night of my hospital stay that is actually managed to fall asleep.

    2. Glad to know you’re home. I’ve been praying for you so I get all the credit.

      They say that God in heaven is everybody’s God
      I’ll admit that God in heaven is everybody’s God
      But I tell you, Jane, with pride, God leans
      A little on the side of wallabies, wallabies of Australia.

  10. I went to the clinic with my wife earlier this week. The nurse insisted I pull my completely useless cloth mask up to fully cover my nose instead of just the nostril area, which left my chin hanging out to the point that if I opened my mouth my bottom lip would be uncovered. We also had to sit on opposite sides of the room, because living together isn’t a risk but sitting in a room together is? She even moved my wife’s chair over a few inches so that she wasn’t within 6′ of her. But that became problematic when she tried to take my wife’s blood pressure as the wall hookup wasn’t close enough anymore.

    Considering that before all this started a few months ago the studies on masks in hospitals showed that there was no statistically significant reduction in illness for staff forced to wear masks all shift vs those that didn’t it’s quite obvious that this masking policy isn’t based on science but politics. I have my own check up in a couple of weeks. I’m considering cutting some eyeholes in a pillow case and walking in like that.

    1. “But the studies show—!” that when you combine one or two studies on masking up before a nurse goes in to work on a patient who is actively infectious, does proper cleaning before and after leaving the room, and doesn’t mask at all, she’s got lower risks of infection with a bunch of really bad studies that are at best a mess, you can make for really bad science.

      One of the summaries of a study in one of the meta studies even mentioned that the small number of home-made masks seemed to increase infection rates, but it wasn’t large enough to be statistically notable. I think it was in Africa in the 90s? Which was rolled into a meta-study…..

      1. It’s a lot like the early studies that proved hand santizer stopped disease. If you read in depth it was part of basic food service cleaning procedures and hand washing in roadside fruit smoothie stands that previously had none.

        But yeah, the hand sanitizer was the magic bullet.

    2. The masking policy is driven by A) the desperate need to be seen to be DOING SOMETHING during this Awful Crisis and B) ingrained contempt for The Masses. Yes, some small number of Fascist Left swine are hoping to tank the economy and thus Trump. But more are just going through the reflexive spastic jerks their stupid Political Class mindset demands of them. And then they get all huffy about people challenging them, because they know damned well that “I couldn’t think of what else to do” is a lousy campaign slogan.

      1. The latest research indicates that a major factor in COVID transmission is stagnant indoor air, Thus the obvious prophylactic measure is to wear a headband with a mounted pinwheel, or perhaps a beanie copter.

        One of those small, battery (or squeeze operated) fans would probably help, especially if you vigorously thrust it in the face of anybody talking toward you. Gotta keep those aerosolized virii away, after all!

    3. My reaction would be “Um. You know the bed isn’t wide enough for us to have 6′ between us? Right?” and “We don’t have another bed and we both refuse to sleep on the coach!”

        1. Good for him. For past couple months, I haven’t been allowed to sit with my wife when she goes in for one of her procedures (usually draining excess fluid from a lung; lung cancer is … words fail me), but today she was notified that I can come in with her starting next week. Both wearing masks, of course, and probably at social distance. Good luck with that, minions.

  11. they mandated non surgical disposables here at work, but not if in your office, or eating in the lunch room, or here unelss you need to be in a group and are closer than 6 feet from time to time (10 people and 2 acres of building) and while they provide them, they went with elcheapo China made masks that, if you were lucky, last the day (one only supplied as you came in) and after a week broke down and allowed home made masks too, Anything that might work, in reality is not approved. We have N95 on hand for certain areas or work (I need one occasionally, but more often need a full face canister filter mask) both like the pictured useless version (the flapper valve does protect you a bit, but you breath out unfiltered virus laden exhalations if you are the one who is sick, spreading it for others to collect in their saliva and moisture soaked over-worn mask) and the ones without the flapper, but both of those are on the unapproved list (yet company policy is to allow those who want those for dust protection to have one when they feel they need one . . . head, desk, some assembly required).

  12. How do we get out of here?

    Well, hopefully, in a lot of places we suddenly “get out of here” in November.

    If not sooner, of course.

    1. I wouldn’t count on it.

      Via Ace of Spades: http://ace.mu.nu/archives/389117.php

      “We’re in the middle of a chicken game, where the Left tells us they’ll let this go on as long as Trump is president. The liberal media will ignore the riots, the liberal mayors will tell the local police to stand down, the liberal prosecutors will promptly release anyone arrested. Try to defend yourself, and you’ll find yourself prosecuted.

      The message is: this is what you’ll get, America, if you reelect Trump. Elect our guy, and the madness will stop, pronto. A Democratic president would forcefully suppress the riots without a peep from the press. But until then we’re held hostage.”

      1. Tracks with what I’ve been thinking. I admit when it comes to things this bad I tend to believe in active malice AND stupidity (Gray’s Corollary to Hanlon’s Razor – Sufficiently Advanced Stupidity is indistinguishable from malice.)

        Never negotiate with a gun to your head.

      2. The bit from Ace only applies to the riots. The media can go ahead and misreport about those.

        What the media can’t misreport on ate the restrictions that you’re currently working living under. The media not reporting that your activities are heavily restricted doesn’t mean that you’re not aware of it. If people get fed up enough with the restrictions, then a lot of incumbents might be applying for unemployment in January.

      3. Try to defend yourself, and you’ll find yourself prosecuted.

        This part can only last so long and go so far before some people expand the definition of self-defense to include against insane prosecution. That can be direct (do unto others before they do onto you) or 3S theory. Probably a mix of both as a mod makes 3S hard.

        But it will not last. They might succeed in putting us down when we try, but that will end it as well.

      4. Americans don’t respond well to threats. At least, it’s not well from the perspective of those threatening Americans. Just ask Al Qaeda, Iraq, Iran, the Soviet Union, Germany, Germany again, Japan, pretty much every Amerind tribe on the continent, South Carolina, Mexico, Britain, the Barbary States, France, and Britain again.

        The riots and tumult of the ’60’s got Nixon elected twice, and we know that the media isn’t going to be bringing Trump down or they’d have done it already. In fact, a guy at a far-left think tank did a study pointing out that peaceful protests move the American electorate to the Left while riots move it to the Right. He was fired for his trouble.

        Ace used to be a several-times-a-day read for me, but shortly after the cobloggers came on the site drifted to a mix of “we’re all DOOMED!” and mean girl sniping at the media and pseudo-cons.

      5. That may be their strategy, but I don’t think it’s going to work out well for them. As Sarah has pointed out, pushed beyond a certain point, Americans get REAL contrary. Even with the vote fraud scandal and housecleaning I expect, there will still be Democrat enclaves, but I think there will be fewer of them, and I think their local Panjandrums will be looking over their shoulders.

    2. I don’t think November. A lot depends on the election . If it’s a squeaker and there’s not a major shift in congress I think it stays deadlocked until after inauguration. And even then Trump will basically let the left cites wallow in their own filth and just use Executive orders to make their lives worse. If there is a big change in congress maybe the hammer comes down after the new congressional session or maybe after the inauguration (Think Iran in 81). If Biden wins or if he loses and the Dems (even the vaguely sane parts) win congress then we are White fish product (Schrod). My main concern is until congress accepts the election results formally weird stuff can happen. Honestly I fear we just keep trudging along like this here in the blue states.

  13. I’ve made the family a bunch of pretty cloth masks, but, if I’m being honest, it’s more theater than anything. Physical distancing is doing the trick, for the most part, and I’m only having to put them on in the store. Not treating them as a medical device, and neither am I wiping everything down that comes in contact with the Outside World. And when we go on hikes, I just carry the masks along, because even our popular bike trails only have fleeting contact with other people. This isn’t smallpox, folks.

    1. Nationwide, the death toll is still trending downward. The death count, the hospitalization count, and the number of people who actually have Covid are all proxies for each other. Over time, you would expect the fraction of those with the disease who wind up dying from it to decrease, probably quite a bit, as those responsible for treating the disease get better at that treatment, but it’s still roughly proportional to the total number of cases, diagnosed or not, and the total number of people who get it bad enough to need to be hospitalized for treatment.

      The advantage of using a death count is that in order to get included in that count someone did, in fact, have to die. That means that the actual count is relatively high quality. Yes, the cause of death requires a judgement call, but you don’t have to guess about whether or not someone has an infection as opposed to an allergy or something. You don’t have to worry much that they’re counting someone who did not die as someone who did die. You also don’t have to worry about whether the hospitalization is due to something else and that the person was included in the covid hospitalization count because they got a positive case, as some have claimed.

      The main disadvantage of using death counts as your proxy for everything else is that it’s a lagging indicator. Also, it takes an astonishingly long time for those statistics to be collected. Looking at this page:

      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid_weekly/index.htm

      I conclude that the CDC data is probably complete up until about May 23 and everything after mid-June is obviously incomplete. They say that the data is only delayed one to two weeks, so going by that then the spike that supposedly started a couple of weeks ago, well, it didn’t happen. Or it hasn’t happened yet. I would guess that we’ll know in three weeks or so whether or not the spike was an artifact of the data gathering, as some have said, or something that indicates a real increase in the number of cases.

      What I’m trying to say in this long-winded message is that I think that neither masks nor physical distancing is appropriate at this time. The disease has run its course and it’s time to go back to normal. Oh, and C4C.

      1. Alas that the CDC’s orders have fouled up the death rate, since anyone who tests positive postmortem gets counted as “died of” instead of “died with.” Trying to disaggregate that . . . mess . . .is so far outside of the media’s skill set that it’s not funny. Assuming they wanted to try.

        1. They’ve been playing that game with ‘killed by smoking’ for a long time. Seriously, the number of ‘smoking related deaths’ reported is entirely pigswill. When a 90 year old Num, who lived a cloistered life since she was a teenage novice, but died of a condition Teh Narrative links to smoking is counted, you know they’ve essentially given up on telling the truth.

          1. Husband was 37 when his dad died, and 40 when his mom died. Both had smoking as cause of death. Not only did I not know that either had smoked, we’d been married over 10 years when his dad died, but neither did he. They had quit smoking after the birth of their first child. TEN years before my husband was born.

            Dad’s cause of death was listed as smoking even tho he hadn’t smoked in 22 years (as far as we know). OTOH he didn’t quit until the stoke forced him to at age 50. Ultimately the arterial damage caused his death. Smoking with hereditary tendency. Most the males in his extended family, his uncles, and cousins have died of this hereditary complication, didn’t matter if they smoked or not, nor how heavy they were. So have most the women. Difference between male & female? Females last longer even if they smoked or were overweight.

            Personally? I’m hoping influences from mom’s side. They all live into their 90’s or 100’s. Mom is 85 and not slowing down.

      2. You also don’t have to worry about whether the hospitalization is due to something else and that the person was included in the covid hospitalization count because they got a positive case, as some have claimed.

        ????

        You do have to worry that they died because of either totally unrelated things (such as the gunshot, hit by a truck, terminal cancer and alcohol poisoning cases that have popped up) or because of the reaction to the kung flu (such as New York’s policy on refusing to treat people unless they could be revived on site or that recent study that assumed all excess deaths were “caused by” Covid-19.

          1. It was enough of a change that I wanted to point it out, even though I was pretty sure we’re on the same page. 😉 You phrased it as a judgement call– wanted to make it clear some folks’ judgement was utterly insane, on par with if they’d shot someone for being outside without a mask, then declared it a COVID-19 death because they COULD have been infected. (Which is basically what New York DID, especially with the involintary DNRs….)

          1. I heard the same for the 30-something year old soccer player.

            They didn’t mention that he was several months past his “terminal cancer” termination estimate.

      3. It does limit the amount of fudging possible though, definitely. Even compared to tests. Some of the guys in my husband’s office have been tested four or five times.

      4. > I conclude that the CDC data is probably complete up until about May 23 and everything after mid-June is obviously incomplete.

        There are so many thumbs on the scale, I have zero trust in any “official” figures.

        1. This is by intent. Somehow the left thinks making you distrust all institutions makes it easier for them to rule. They fail to realize that means we will distrust their rule and rule by the gun only lasts so long. It wasn’t the people of the USSR getting guns that brought it down, but Gorby letting them talk to each other about how much of a sham it all was.

          1. Honestly, the problem is they think they’re the underdog revolutionaries. Even was they control/try to control everything. if I can get the office unpacked before nightfall, there will be a piece on PJM

          2. One of my favorite comebacks to Fascist Left ‘wisdom’ is my response to their scorn for the idea that a populace armed with guns could overthrown a tyranny with tanks:

            “Tyrannies are not run from tanks. Tyrannies are run from desks.”

            1. “What will your AR-15 do against a tank?” the authoritarian boot-licker asked.

              “Shoot the driver of the tanker coming to refuel it.”

              or as the old saw goes: amateurs talk about tactics, professionals discuss logistics.

              1. A friend of mine once saw an old Nagant rile at a gun show, being sold by a Middle Eastern gentleman. Curious, he asked about the gun. “great anti-tank rifle!” was the reply. “Anti-tank?”. “Little man in tank got to come out and pee sometime!”

              2. Somewhat more to the point; tyrannies, especially Fascist Left tyrannies, are run by bureaucrats. Bureaucrats do not live in tanks. Tanks are uncomfortable; they are cramped and have no space for, say, desks from which to issue regulations. Nor will a Leftist tyranny run to enough armored limousines for all the bureaucratic vermin. Oh, a very few Top Men may have them, but Top Men like to give their Third Wives an airing now and then. Tanks are good for dispersing mobs, not so good at dealing with assassins.

                And the Left is the side with the mobs.

    2. Mom has made over 2 dozen t-shirt quilts for the grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and some special requests for extended family by family (like BIL’s sister). She’s kept all the non-graphic part of the t-shirt that was leftover. She was talking about designing a mask to use up that material. I found one online for her to use. All of us kids, our spouses, our children, and grandchildren, to start, plus herself. That is 18, with a couple extra. Then there is her siblings, and inlaws, their children, and grandchildren. Another 4 dozen or so. That doesn’t count the ones she made for the neighbors, friends, and others from organizations she belongs to. Not everyone has gotten one, because she knows a lot of people who are also making the masks, if not using the same type of material. There is a lot of overlap of those who are making masks in her social circle. Other than her, I don’t know of anyone making masks & handing them out.

      Sure I use the one she gave me, especially when she is with me (not stupid). But I also use the hanky scarf bandit type masks. I have more than a few. They are great washable hanky for cold runny nose days (if I’m outside on a cold day, my nose drips). They are great souvenirs from locations we frequent, and they are usable souvenirs.

      1. There are a few scouts and adults from our troop who are going to the vastly different summer camp. (We declined, because it sounded like no fun for my kid.) I’ve ironed up a LOT of bandanas for the adults to use, since they’re going to need to be swapping them out, and if summer camp still happens, they get a big bag of them. I was not particularly interested in making that many masks.

        1. ironed up a LOT of bandanas for the adults


          I have a lot of bandanas myself. Tried to get mom to leave us off the list as sure there are other of her friends that need them more (over 70 crowd). Granted hubby & I are in the over 60 crowd, but still …

          I have:
          1. Two Yellowstone (map, animal paw prints)
          2. One Yosemite – Wildflowers of
          3. Scouts – First Aide, Star Consolations, Knots
          4. The standard farmer/rancher types count – I give up.

          I might be missing some from the list …

          Plus Costco & other places hand them out. Like I’m going to use once & dispose. Please. Rolls eyes. Not.

          Mom’s are a lot sturdier than they sound as they have pocket for disposable filter, each side of the pocket is lined with quilt/hem stiffener backing. Much sturdier than the disposable ones handed out.

          What type of camp are they going to? Local council camps are closed. I know the high adventure aged youth from my son’s old troop were going to a camp in Hawaii (not high adventure camp, just for Oregonians & the over all trip, it was), they were cancelled.

          1. There’s one council that had a couple of summer camps they were going to open with a heavily modified program—basically, the camp goes to an area as a unit, eats meals at the campsite, and whatever. My kid is ASD, but while some structure is good, he doesn’t like being told what to do every minute of the day, and that’s how it goes.

            I ironed up at least 25 bandanas, most of them from Camp Smokey at the California State Fair. A couple of them I was able to iron in a fashion that has Smokey staring straight our at the viewer.

  14. Still thinking of getting a mask with either the Hydra symbol or the one for Cobra from GI Joe.

          1. Some of my rifle bags have embroidered patches, fairly small. They say “Weyland-Yutani Corp.” with their logo…

            My wife’s bags have “Tyrell Corporation” patches.

            Hey, gotta tell ’em apart somehow…

            1. I was thinking of “made by Wyeland-Yutani.” See how many people recognize the name by counting the number who pause, read, and then flee. 😉

    1. Go with the logo for The Division.

      Ubisoft not offering this as branded merchandise is a massive missed opportunity, imo.

          1. Not exactly.

            One idiot included a picture with it in the stupid, racist, genuflect to BLM “training” thing on overt vs covert “white supremist” indicators.

            There’s a decent chance that whoever did it didn’t even CARE, just grabbed any pictures that were listed as supporting BLM and associated junk, or imported the whole training as a single unit.

            Also listed were basically anything that wasn’t black supremist.

              1. Big Army seems pretty embarrassed by it, or at least they’re pretending to be. Congressmen are making noises about it, which generally means that things will happen (not necessarily effective things).

                And it’s possible that Foxfier’s right and some clown copy and pasted without looking carefully. It might just be an honest mistake.

                1. Less “mistake” than “lazy moron.”

                  Although the image was so obviously horrifically stupidly bad that I have to wonder if it was included to make the “training” obviously moronic.

                    1. Just remember: “white” people– whatever that means this week, is Justice Thomas still white? — have never faced being judged prejudicially for being “white.”

                    2. You could replace the bottom portion of that triangle with “breathing while White” without doing any appreciable damage to the meaning.

                      At which point, f’em.

                    3. I always figured “POC” was a denigrative term all by itself. It will become that, soon enough. The only people I see using it are SJW nutcases.

                      Hey, if “all lives matter” is now hate speech, how about “white is a color too”?

                    4. how about “white is a color too”?

                      Many moons ago (September 1968 to March 1971) there was a TV series “Julia” notable as being the first weekly series staring an African-American woman in a non-stereotypical role. The main character is a widowed single mother who was a nurse in a doctor’s office.

                      I could never say I watched it..just didn’t interest 7-10 year old me, but it was occasionally on while I was home. There was one exchange where a white woman asked the title character what it was like to be colored. Julia looked back at her puzzled and responded, “You tell me. White is a color.”

                      I think part of why I remembered that was I had recently been learning about the spectrum and that white was all colors while black was the absence of color so in my head I was “well, actually….” 😉

                      How things have changed. Once “white is a color too” was a comeback to a potentially racist comment (don’t remember enough to say whether the original question was condescending or just curious). Today it would be considered racist in and of itself.

                    5. I think this was rather before “POC” became preferred terminology, but I seem to remember an editorial whose author zinged both… ummm… traditionally identified racists and condescending self-proclaimed supporters over “colored” with something like “I don’t see any cellophane people.”

                    6. I recall this zinging of both sides, from when I was in single digits or just easing into my second decade …

                    7. This BS has seriously messed with my kids’ heads.
                      They were trying to figure out why Drow or Shadow People were rioting in the streets. -.-

                      They didn’t consider their friends whose folks both immigrated from the Caribbean to be “black,” they didn’t even notice we were the only “white” family in the homeschool group (…in fairness, neither did I, but I know that I don’t think that way, and since everybody else was, well, decent and responsible we’d all be classified as “white” anyways)

                      The idea that people say “black” when they mean dark brown, or African American, and that this is hugely important but them being Irish and Italian is just evil… I am doing a lot of “people are weird” type explaining.

                      They did get the idea that we’re “white,” though, and thus uniquely evil. I THINK we’ve mostly stomped that out.

                    8. They didn’t consider their friends whose folks both immigrated from the Caribbean to be ‘black,’

                      In fairness, those friends were not “Black” as the Left defines it. Most obviously, by insisting on obtaining (working to get) an education, they were “acting ‘White’.” In all likelihood those friends also strove to speak grammatically correct English, another “non-Black” trait. Nor, I suspect, did they dwell at length on the oppressive history of slavery and racism even though those were far more heavily felt in their home islands.

                      I am sure Joe Biden would happily correct those friends, instructing them on the duties (and privileges) attendant on being “Black” in America.

                    9. *gets the giggles* Oh, heavens, now I’m picturing some guy trying to tell the Polynesian guys that they’re threatened or abused. Their average 12 year old girls were bigger than I am…..

  15. My big problem can be summed up like this-

    However stupid it might be, the People In Charge have made it clear that wearing masks in public places, social distancing, etc, etc, etc, is the New Rules that we have to follow. And, while quite a few government authorities are not punishing people directly for not wearing masks in public, you can bet that a lot of the “soft” enforcement is being done behind the scenes. Business doesn’t make sure that the mask rules aren’t being enforced? Business being fined, threats of pulling their license, etc, etc, etc. Our local ABC (Alcohol Beverage Control) has been busting restaurants that have been doing the “set tables outside on the sidewalk” thing, because the area are not clearly separated from the sidewalk and general public, etc, etc, etc…

    At least one person that I talk to on a semi-regular basis as a RN has told me that her hospital has been doing daily contact tracing questioning. She’s deliberately living in her house’s basement (that has a separate bathroom/shower) so that she can avoid having to turn over all this information. She’s heard FOAF rumors that at least two nurses that engaged in “risky behavior” were fired. The only one she has details on was that she had immediate family from out of town over for her birthday.

    And, since I’m in the People’s Republic of California, it’s not going to change any time soon.

    I’m trying to look on the bright side-I bought some masks from friends that can use the money, I am exercising my ass off, I’m saving as much money as I can, writing when I can, and learning a great deal of self-control.

    1. Re: contact tracing, just frame any social activity you did as a BLM protest or event. In NY they won’t track it and everywhere they have granted COVID indulgences for BLM activity.

      If you are afraid that is too much of a lie, just have another $BWORD $LWORD $MWORD acronym for what you are doing: Basic Life Management (any shopping) for example.

      1. Over at Ace’s blog, the comments are mentioning some group called ‘Burn, Loot, Murder’.

        1. That does seem to be the direction the Black Quislings are pushing things. Probably because if they push the productive middle class far enough there will be an enormous backlash, which they can Frame as Institutional Racism, effectively ensuring them being on the gravy train for life.

    2. … the People In Charge have made it clear that wearing masks in public places, social distancing, etc, etc, etc, is the New Rules that we have to follow.

      At least until the next election.

      I have taken note of shops which post signs declaring wearing a mask is “the Law” and those who credit it as “by order of the government.”

      Big difference there.

  16. I’m wearing a promotional mask I got at an AnimeIowa con party at ICON in 2018. It has the biohazard symbol with Buu-chan’s nose superimposed upon it (Buu-chan is the anthropomorphized pig mascot for AnimeIowa), and when I get compliments, I can point people to our website, where we sell our emoji masks.

    Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten any sales so far, and the 90-day free trial period on our Shopify account is running out. I’m thinking I’ll soon have to pull the plug on it, but I may try listing them directly on the website and set up PayPal buy buttons, since eBay is still being so super-strict. At least it’s better than not having them up at all, and it’s looking more and more like we’re not going to be having any cons this year.

    I’ve been starting to wonder if the CCP Flu might be stage one in a Cry Wolf gambit. It’s just nasty enough in the bad cases to be Scary and cause an overreaction, so we get all this Health Theater. In time it dies down and goes away. Then they send the real attack, knowing that the media and health experts blew their credibility overreacting and now people won’t comply with any of their recommendations until things get Really Truly Bad.

    I hope I’m wrong, and those thoughts will end up just being fiction fodder. But with the weirdness of this whole business, it’s just a little too plausible for my comfort.

    1. It’s almost like they’re already testing the waters, since we have reports of bubonic plague in China and Mongolia now.

      When people freak out over this news, I just point out the Southwestern US has a couple of cases of plague a year.

      1. And the Chinese are reporting a super-duper viral pneumonia in Kazakhstan. *rolls eyes* Pardon me if I’m a wee titch bit skeptical.

  17. I just keep thinking what next? What will they force on us next, after masks? These people are trying to control my life and there is nothing I can do about it.

    1. Next will be no travel. NM has just said that they don’t want Texans visiting until “a vaccine is available.” So . . . two years (being realistic for a safe and effective vaccine) until Texans can go west unless it is by airplane. Oh, you can go if you quarantine there for at least 14 days, but the NM governor would prefer you didn’t visit at all.

      1. I’d like to quarantine all new Californians in Arizona until after the deadline to register to vote passes.

      2. Go look at the KHON news videos on youtube – Hawaiians are conflicted about opening up travel into the state again in August even though their case rates and mortality is very low, in spite of the mass unemployment and vast wave of business failures already. They are discussing confining visitors to their resort grounds, or just not reopening travel from outside the state at all yet.

        The last time I went to Hawaii I was not in a resort but rented a condo, so I guess I’d be under 14 day house arrest like the folks who’ve made it in during the plague.

        But overall it’s really not a good look for the Aloha state – What makes them think anyone will want to spend hours locked in an airliner so they can go spend money if it becomes the “Hoʻopaʻa ʻIa Behind Razor-Wire” state.

          1. Here’s another one from this morning – note the main driver for possibly reopening is the extra Federal unemployment expiring:

        1. Friend has a house on the big island. She went over to get maintenance done so she can sell it. 14 days quarantine, then she could finally get things rolling beyond phone contact.

        1. There are some governors who will probably think Soviet-style internal passports would be a grand idea.

          If it wasn’t for Trump upsetting things, we’d probably have them now.

        2. Ft. Carson. 14 day quarantine before anyone coming from out of state can enter the post.

          Of course,if it’s a silly bureaucratic rule the military is going to go for it. “Chickenshit” is army slang for “because I said so.”

  18. “So why are we pushing masks on everyone? There are no definitive studies showing that it stops the spread of the virus. We have differing recommendations from differing “experts”. I’ve searched the medical literature to find any good studies that show it stops the spread of the virus. Most studies are quoted from Wuhan, and we know what that information is worth. (Don’t believe China. China is asshole!) Some studies suggest that wearing masks in a family if one member is infected, decreases the rate of transmission in the family. That’s the most definite one I saw. Says nothing about masking in public, or outside of the house.”

    Going to have to respectfully disagree here. Back when all this started in March, the Canadian government came out with guidance that said masks were not necessary. That was political. They had sent 16 metric tons of our PPE to China, and our hospitals were short. They were trying to look less like idiots.

    Of interest is the fact that they used all the same arguments you just did. People don’t wear it properly, the mask doesn’t filter 100%, they don’t wash the mask, they get a false sense of security, there’s no studies… Yeah. I was not impressed.

    But then it was finally admitted that yes, masks do reduce airborne transmission. And yes, there’s a large cohort of people infectious with Corona without symptoms. And yes, you can probably catch it more than once. So wearing a mask when you feel fine couldn’t hurt.

    Obviously there are no definite studies on Covid-19 transmission, there hasn’t been time to do one. If you wait for the gold-standard before ever doing anything that’s not medicine, that’s a cook book.

    Bottom line, a cloth or paper surgical-style mask while out and about is not the worst idea. Given that people can be infectious and show no symptoms, its prudent to mask in enclosed spaces like grocery stores. It is insane not to mask on subways, buses, in taxis etc. However on the street or driving in your car, it isn’t useful.

    Why bother? Because it is better than nothing. There are no guarantees in life, and there is no filter in existence that will get every single particle. Even N-99s are only 99% at the tested particle size. But any form of mask cuts down on particle transmission and therefore the number of viable particles in the air. If everybody wears one it will be easier to avoid catching Corona Chan.

    It’s an airborne virus. Cover your face. Pretty simple.

    Why are public health officials doing what they do? That is a completely different issue. That is 100% politics, and varies from state to city to county. None of it is working, of course. Too late, the bug is here now. Mass public programs aren’t going to get it done anymore.

    Here in Hooterville Ontario some people are wearing their masks inside the stores, some aren’t. People are mostly careful about keeping distance, that message seems to have been delivered very forcefully. I see a lot more masks now than I did back at the beginning though, that’s for sure. Nobody is looking at my full-coverage respirator funny these days, where they were rolling their eyes in March.

    In Toronto they’re going mandatory mask for the TTC, public offices etc. and no public events are allowed like concerts. Again, pure politics because they’ve got political agitators staging parades, sit-ins and riots all over the city while the cops ticket soccer moms for improper mask in the park. All bullshit, all the time.

    Social distancing helps a little. Masks help a little. Hand sanitizer helps a little. Wearing gloves helps a little. People cooperating with the program and not being d*cks about everything helps a little.

    Add that all up, that’s not so bad. We can get along with that. Doing my part, I don’t go out much. When I do go out I wear my big stupid looking mask, and my stupid looking throw-away gloves, and I sanitize when I get back to the truck, and I don’t complain. Because that’s what ya gotta do right now. I encourage others to do the same.

    1. I’d have to disagree. Much of what you said about Canada off and on about masks was nearly a verbatim Fauci quote and he is virtually wrong by default. But that reinfection business was from a flawed and recanted Korean study.

      1. Dr. Fauci is a disgrace and I don’t listen to anything he says. My opinion is based on my own reading and assessment of the situation.

        My first blog post on the subject was April 4th, at that time the Canadian government was coming out strongly against wearing masks. I said they were f-ing lying.

        The very next day, April 5th, it was announced in the Toronto Sun that the federal government stockpile of PPE was -missing-. They didn’t replenish it, and the cupboard was bare. That’s why they came out against masks.

        Three days later on April 8th, I posted a link to the National Post: https://nationalpost.com/news/despite-what-you-may-have-heard-you-should-wear-a-mask-for-covid-19?video_autoplay=true

        Which article recapitulates what I said on April 4th, but with less swearing.

        Fast forward to now, July 10th, and we see masks are mandatory in Toronto, just as I predicted. Would have been nice if they had grown a clue back in January, a bit late now that the horse has left the barn.

        I was wrong, thank God, about the severity of the virus. So that was a pretty great thing to be wrong about. It is far less deadly than we were originally told. But, we also know that Sweden’s “don’t worry about it” approach was an extremely bad idea, I blogged about that on May 5th. “Don’t worry” = “Let them die.”

        Its an airborne disease. Masks work. Idiotic protocols and government over-reach do not work.

        For a hilarious irony look up the “Anti-Mask League” that was active in California during the Spanish Flu. 102 years later, the same argument is taking place as if no time had passed at all. The same Karens demanding masks be mandatory, or demanding they not be worn at all.

    2. Why bother? Because it is better than nothing.

      Except that it isn’t.

      We tried masking in public.

      Spanish Flu.

      It didn’t work, at all.

      The doctor that headed whatever California called their public health back then even wrote it up.

      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18010229/

      Masks can help prevent infections between a known infected person who cannot be masked and someone who has to be in close contact with them for a short time, when used as part of a comprehensive infection prevention setup. Wash before, mask, protective glasses, glove, take care of the infected person, get out of room, remove gloves, remove glasses, remove masks, wash up.

      1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Mask_League_of_San_Francisco

        Which is why mandatory mask orders are a bad idea. It pisses people off and they won’t do it. 1918 vs. 2020, same exact argument as if nothing happened between and science had not advanced one inch.

        Personally I have always found the “people are stupid and they’ll do it wrong” argument not persuasive. Things like the very low number of accidental shootings at gun ranges argue against it. Show people what’s going on and what’s at stake, they will figure it out very fast indeed.

        1. I am aware of the anti-mask league.

          That is how I found out that they had actually looked at the multi-layer cloth masks being used in mandatory masking, and discovered that the masks were the same or better, the excuses they used were identical— right up until they figured out that “those idiots are doing it wrong, an expert would make it work” didn’t work when you were applying it to nurses.

          They ran that experiment.

          On a large, grand scale.

          The results show that it did not work.

          Not even a little.

          1. Incidentally, I gotta give the doctor credit– he spent a lot of time and influence fighting the antimask league, insisting they were antiscientific idiots, just wear the mask, and when it was all done he actually looked at the data and admitted that the masks did not work.

            They literally had some places that followed the best science, which happens to be the exact same stuff that the modern mask argument is saying, to the point that I thought the first quotes I was running into were a modern parody, and it FAILED. Not even a fig leaf of minorly better outcomes.

        2. My rebuttal to “People are stupid and they’ll do it wrong.” has always been, “history shows us that governments are, if anything, stupider, and will get it wrong even if they get the best possible advice, and then enforce the wrong with brutal effectiveness.”

    3. I’m just going to point out that I too am a medical professional, and have done a fair bit of research as well. Its a debate. There are different opinions each with their own evidence. In the final analysis several years from now, we will likely find we were both wrong and both right about different things.

      I will also note that in my mother’s care home there has been scrupulous use of mask/gown/gloves/sanitation since this thing began, and they have had (knocking on wood now) zero Covid-19 cases at the home. Long may it reign. Other care homes in this area have lost -dozens- of patients to Covid-19. Because no mask/gown/gloves and poor sanitation. To the point where the provincial government had the Canadian Army come and take over the worst hit homes. Hundreds of seniors died in Ontario, Quebec had hundreds more.

      Just sayin’. I find those numbers compelling.

      Also we’ve had the bug in the family, and that experience was not funny. All I’m going to say is that while it seems that lots of people seem to shrug it off, some don’t.

      But no, wearing masks should -not- be made mandatory. You can’t do hospital level sanitation and infection control at the city level. Its impossible.

      However having said that, as individuals we can chose to protect ourselves and other people as much as we can, using our own resources. Absent some overriding medical complication, IMHO its worth the trouble to at least try. People with other opinions are free to do what they think is right. Because free country, and other opinions have evidence to support them.

      1. I think we agree on one point. It’s a free country and people get to make their own decisions. I agree that masking the way you describe it in the hospital is helpful and that is what I do in the hospital; wash, mask, eyewear, gown, glove. Take care of patient, take off in order and wash again. Do it all over again to go back in. This has NOTHING to do with masks in the general public and home made cloth masks.
        Absent overwhelming evidence that it is necessary, you can request, and try to convince, but it’s my choice.

        1. “Absent overwhelming evidence that it is necessary, you can request, and try to convince, but it’s my choice.”

          Yes, absolutely. And it would be worth re-examining WHY the choice is important for improving public health, which I am convinced that it does.

          In a free nation people are free to cooperate, and people naturally -like- to cooperate. Its enjoyable. You get to be on the team and other fun things like that. You’re included. Win win win.

          In an un-free nation only a sap would cooperate. The rule on slave ships is “don’t row.”

          1. In a healthcare setting, masking up makes sense because you CAN’T maintain distance and provide care. For the general public, it seems far too many have decided that constant mask wear is a substitute for hygiene and distancing.

            Me, I maintain distance and wash my hands and carry a package of tissues for contingent face covering.

            Mind, I also constantly have my fingers in my mouth, which may be one reason why a mask over my mouth drives me bugnuts.

    4. “Why are they pushing masks on everyone?” Because the bastards can’t quite force us to wear ball gags yet. But that’s precisely the effect they’re going for. Our Democrats have weaponized the ChiCom coronavirus in precisely the same way the ChiComs themselves did: They used it to quash domestic dissent and economically cripple their enemies.

      1. And to instill blind panic. Had a ninny tear down an aisle in HEB whining “I AM scared, 10,000 a day”. A totally bogus number issued by the Texas Public Health Dept. Bogus but great scare tactic by a Gov being sued for essentially hiding under his bed and holding the state hostage until a magic vaccine appears to protect the doofus.

          1. He is also being sued for issuing a very questionable $300 million contact tracing contract to an out of state company that has never traced one contact. We appear to have suddenly had our AG leave the reservation and/or lost his copies of the Texas and US constitutions

  19. There must be another reason for the mask fetish.

    The masks aren’t for us, except as cover for Them. Yes, it is a talisman, every bit as important and futile as a New Ager’s crystals, an Amerindian’s medicine bag, a Voodoo adherent’s chicken foot. Yes, it is an exercise of their power, forcing us to comply with their demands. Yes, it provides cover for them wearing masks, which leads to the the real reason for the masks.

    They think if we cannot see their lips moving we won’t spot them lying.

    1. I can assure you that at least five of the people pushing the wearing of masks believes it to be completely effective at preventing the spread of disease because I’ve had no fewer than five people express that thought to me directly.

      1. People often adopt publicly acceptable beliefs to avoid recognizing their suppressed reasoning. It is psychologically far more comfortable.

        That does not make their proclaimed belief their true belief.

  20. The mask thing is the classical political “do something” response – the elected politicians would be blamed for “doing nothing” if the current case statistics were to happen while they did not put out any official edicts, so they select masks as their nonsensical do-nothing edict as symbolic proof that they are not do-nothing idiots.

    As with everything in politics, it’s all positioning for the next campaign.

    1. It’s also a magic talisman to ward off liability lawyers, in the case of “must mask” businesses. I can’t go into details, but I’ve heard it “strongly implied” that if a place does X, and everyone also wears masks, then the business has got a stout liability defense as well as a public health department blessing (additional protection from said liability lawyers.)

      1. Re liability shield for businesses, oh absolutely yes – in addition to a positive defense against getting business licenses pulled and becoming the subject of enhanced enforcement for health inspections and such, the “We did what the .gov told us to do – here’s our compliance plan, here’s our periodic training records, and here are our internal inspection results” would be a really stout defense against Karen lawsuits.

        That’s why I don’t blame the businesses at all. They have to stay open in a punitive regulatory environment, so naturally they will do what they need to do.

      2. Which play has Shakespeare giving us the line: “First thing we do, kill all the lawyers.”?

        1. Henry VI part 2 act 4 scene 2. Cade’s punning in the next line could be applied to university diplomas

      3. Iowa just passed a law to prevent that kind of BS.

        ….the local Dems screamed loudly enough that even the folks who are insanely fixated on being middle of the road had their eyebrows going up, wondering exactly how much the screamers had planned to make on “I have COVID19, you must give me money” lawsuits. Especially as weaksauce as the law is.

        Has the manipulation name of “COVID-19 Response and Back-to-business Limited Liability Act.”

        https://www.legis.iowa.gov/publications/search/document?fq=id:1137736&q=sf2338

    2. Listening to a bit of Great Courses, the professor mentioned how Romans didn’t care if you believed so long as you followed the rituals because the gods cared about correct rituals not belief and would punish every one via natural disaster when displeased. So community observance was important. There’s a bit of the same implication with claims about needing complete masking or else we’re all going to, what die? We know that’s not true, now. If only those Christians would just wear masks, or is it burn a little incense, we’re going to be fine.

  21. On the bug – see this page – scroll down to the map and hit play: https://nextstrain.org/ncov/north-america?c=gt-S_614&l=radial&p=full

    There was a mutation in the CCP19 bug that is trackable at genotype S 614, with the initial flavor in blue, which was/is less severe, and the second flavor in gold, which is nastier for patients.

    The initial bug spread on the US west coast was the less-severe blue flavor which explains why overall mortality was lower out here than it was on the east coast where the first spread was the worse gold flavor. It also explains why Los Angeles was not that bad initially and then the death rate took off when the gold flavor made it there.

    It’s really fascinating to watch the animation of the spread and see how CCP19 clearly jumped around through travel.

    It will also be interesting to see the genetic source analysis for the current significant increases in case rates that mysteriously and totally randomly are currently only being seen in states that are on the US border with Mexico.

    And as a totally absolutely unrelated aside, news stories, quickly buried, were briefly reporting how CBP and ICE have been instructed to transport anyone they apprehend showing symptoms to local hospitals, those border region hospitals have been swamped with patients who we are assured are totally green card holders and US citizens that staff reported do not speak a lick of English, and those swamped border hospitals have been transferring loads of these patients by air to hospitals further from the border region. And there are reports that staff further north are counting those transfers as new CCP19 cases, so they are getting counted twice.

    1. Curiously, the first gold circle shows up in Wyoming. But you can only see it if you focus on North America.

      Did that mutation originate in the US? Did it get missed elsewhere and only get first noticed here? Or was there a mistake with the data collection for this particular sample?

      1. Re the early Wyoming gold dot – I think the latter, with that dot being not geospecific but “somewhere in North America” with the first test sample that features that genetic signature. If you watch the radial chart of genetic variation above that map while playing the timeline, the gold lines showing the spread to Europe start in China (gold lines) even though the Asia pie does not show any gold slice at that point.

        But It’s an interesting question.

        A conspiracy theorist would posit that evil genius Chinese evildoers, knowing China was the known source of a worldwide pandemic with the blue bug, took the opportunity to genetically weak that blue bug to make it more virulent and export the resulting gold bug to damage those external barbarian societies under cover of the prior lesser blue bug.

        But back in reality, it’s clearly George W Bush’s fault.

        1. Sorry, fist para not clear: Look at the radial chart while playing the timeline and you will see the gold genetic branch branches off while the first gold lines on the map are showing gold spread to Europe from China.

  22. Multiple businesses have decided to require a mask meaning I have made my final trips to:

    1. Half Priced Books
    2. The Book Nook
    3. Infinite Realities (games and comics)
    4. Gigabytes (games) – who also have someone at the door to force you to use hand sanitize. It might be juvenile, but the last trip I just squirted a bunch into one palm and smeared it on a glass display case.

    HPB and Book Nook, I had chest pains after. Nothing else but extended mask wearing does it so I don’t think it is heart. If it was a full 18 holes of disc golf requiring 6000+ steps would as well.

    None of them provide anything I can’t get elsewhere except browsing. Hell, I don’t need more physical books anyway.

  23. I am sick of this masking. Was working in retail and we had to wear masks and shields. Hated every minute of it. Would finish my shift with a massive headache every day. Not to mention the issues of wearing a face shield in a bakery as the baker. talking about five temperature variants I had to deal with along with high humidity factors. Took a leave of absence to care for the Squire.
    Went to the hospital this week with my wife and him to visit a pediatrician. Only one adult was allowed to go in and I and my five year old son had to wear masks. Stupid… Son has just been diagnosed as an autistic and trying to explain to him about wearing a mask. *eye roll*
    Now everywhere in our public health district is requiring us to wear masks out in public. Even my gun range is requiring it. Doesn’t matter that only three people at a time are allowed in the range, or that every time I have gone I have been the only member there.
    My mom who’s 85 and suffering from COPD (caused by severe scoliosis) is also required to wear a mask when she has to go out. Doesn’t matter that she has breathing issues, she was practically refused service at an eye clinic.

    I have been sick of this crap since about April. Now we are worried about the coming school year and how we are going to deal with my son and working. Not to mention that day care is hard to get into around here even during normal times with normal kids. Make this all end.

    1. In my most recent interaction with a place that had to use shields in addition to masks, all of them were wearing the shield like a sun visor and looking out underneath so they could see what they were working on.

      Since what they were working on with requirements for fine motor control and precise use of tools was me, I approved.

    2. *hugs*

      I hope the autism diagnosis helps.

      My kid who is flipping over this was helped by the explanation that people were scared, and we can help them by doing this stuff, even if we think it’s a bad idea. It’s a matter of choosing a battle for when it will do the most good.

      ….the Duchess is kinda military minded, so she is delighted to be able to help with strategy, and likes the idea that I am being some kind of a general who does elaborate plans to persuade folks.

      1. Diagnosis helps. Now we can start getting all the help we need. He’s level 2, so not horrible. Still the past couple years have been difficult.

        1. *nod* Good!

          If you need a sympathetic but not in the same situation (our kids have variations of “if they were in public school would probably be diagnosed, coping stuff from online support groups help, might just be bratty kids” level stuff, so I can empathize but am not going to be doing the “oh yeah, well bigger badder faster higher!” thing that sometimes happens. But warning, I DO tend to yammer on, so that may not be helpful. 😀 )

        2. younger sun caught the tipy tip of the spectrum. NOT autistic, but has the sensory issues.
          Recently some idiot told older son those are psychological only.
          I need to invent new swear words.

          1. Even if that were true, so what? That doesn’t make them any less real.

            Says the person who has issues with sticky tacky stuff on her hands, and multiple auditory inputs, and mouthfeel/food texture issues and an oral fixation. Even if it were all psychological, it is still real and affective.

            1. *ears perk* The chewing on stuff thing is associated with the spectrum?

              ***********

              I gotta laugh, THE most famous mental condition that doesn’t involve being axcrazy has “psychological symptoms.”

              Gosh, thanks, I thought that the walking around on tip-toes thing was because his feet were shaped that way!

  24. I got a package earlier this week with 4-5 face masks, cloth things that don’t even fit, from my employer despite being on indefinite work from home orders.

    After that it was hard not to call my manager last time I defecated and ask him to come wipe me. If they are going to treat us as children, I’m tempted to engage in malicious compliance.

  25. “How did we get here? And most importantly, how do we get out of here?”

    One thing I’ve noticed regarding many polarizing issues is that, on one hand, the left loves what I’d call the “indefinite emergency”. That is, a problem billed as having an unprecedented nature, no clear resolution, even in theory, and an absolute urgency. Be it climate change or social tensions, it’s all apocalyptic, all the time. And yet, for some reason, there’s invariably a slew of widely advertised token efforts, from grossly inefficient energy sources to increasingly destructive protests, that not so much solve the problem, but serve to state one’s stance on it. A secular testament of faith, if you will. Or simply put, a virtue signal.

    Wearing masks is kinda like that. The kung flu pandemic is already billed as a nigh-biblical plague rather than a different or even supercharged flu virus – one for which the best defence is a strong immune system, and the personal responsibility to try and maintain it. Or, for that matter, an increasing number of already known drugs and vaccines (the BCG vaccine for tuberculosis, apparently) with statistically significant effects on infection and progression of the disease. So in turn, the trendy thing to do is wear a mask, like a secular hijab, not to protect oneself, but to show one’s allegiance to the cause.

    Conversely, the right (in more than one sense of the word) response would most likely be the opposite – for problems to be regarded in a practical manner, with at least a clear theoretical endgame. This bug might not be “just the flu”, but it is a flu – and that means it’ll get an appropriate treatment, a social mentality that treats it like an actual disease rather than the evil eye, and media coverage turning to indifference when the next indefinite emergency is found… or more likely, invented. After all, who would let there be light, when cursing the darkness is an industry in itself.

    1. I’ve noticed a BIG push to make the Second Wave seem bigger and badder and worser and horrible-er than the First Wave. We’re supposed to forget all that #BLM/Antifa stuff, it’s so very last week. This week is WE’RE ALL GONNA DIEEEE!!!” again.

      But I think they realize that they have a pretty big problem, because they’re pushing so very hard. The masses ain’t buying. Last time, we didn’t really know what was coming. Stocking up, buying more ammo, oh year they scared us. This time no one is listening.

      1. If there is another spike in deaths the blame lies entirely at the feet of those who demanded and implemented the shutdown. People are not machines (I know this confuses Leftists, but the fact remains) you can’t just turn them off until the crisis passes and then turn them back on. People will put up with massive disruptions for only so long before they start trying to get back to normal. We knew in February that Wu Flu was very specific in its victims. We could have passed the word that this disease is basically no threat to healthy people under the age of 45, told those who were at risk to fort up for a couple of months – which would have been easier to support since the economy wouldn’t have been kneecapped – and let the disease burn through the rest of the population. Then, when May rolled around and those who had been hiding got sick of it and came out, there would have been much more herd immunity to protect them.

        I said back when the mantra was “flatten the curve” that we needed to flatten the curve into a specific shape. Ideally the peak of the disease reaches right to the maximum health system capacity. That minimizes the time to herd immunity while avoiding putting anyone at excess risk. Every new case is a victory, not a failure. Deaths are a failure, but thousands of Americans die every day.

        1. This.

          “Flatten the Curve” does not reduce the area under the curve, so until there’s a vaccine that works to impart sustained immunity, those who were going to get sick are still going to get sick – the only argument for any reduction of any aspect from “Flatten the Curve” was the prevention of anyone dying stacked like cordwood in hospital hallways due to overload past capacity – see what I understand is the current situation in Mexican hospitals.

          And in the other direction, the damn bug might mutate like seasonal influenza and make both the hurried new vaccines and any immunity gained from CCP19 version 1 (or 1a – see my blue and gold bug discussion elsewhere in comments today) infections to date moot.

          1. A brand-new vaccine being rushed to market. Imagine my enthusiasm to be a [sacrificial sheep|guinea pig|unwilling beta tester]. My first flu shot soured me on the topic for 2 decades. No, not gonna, not until Fauci and his family go through with it, preferably on camera with a 3 month followup on live TV.

          2. Well, it’s not going to mutate like influenza, it’s genetic code is more stable.

            Influenza is a reverse sense RNA virus, so its genetic material has to be transcribed in the host cell before replication can begin, which introduces errors. It also stores its genetic material in several strands, so if a cell is infected by multiple viruses the daughter viruses could have a mixture of genetic material.

            Coronavirus has all of its genetic material in one strand, so there’s not really any mixing, and that strand is positive sense so it can start replicating without an additional copying step. It will still mutate, but at a much slower rate than influenza.

      2. Note that the current highly spotlighted “woopwoopSecondWave” locations either had major demonstrations / looting / riots, or have a porous border with Mexico, or are Florida.

        I’m not sure what’s up in Florida other than it has an R governor and had previously been press-pilloried even though NY was vastly worse. Maybe their demographics are finally catching up with them given their prior success at that “Flatten The Curve” thingie.

        1. I just went and looked for “Florida bad” stats and didn’t really find any – Florida is still something like 23rd in total deaths per 100k population, and sorry, # 1 and #2 are still New Jersey and New York and that’s not going to change.

          The new deaths per day per 100k pop for FL or AZ or CA or TX is so small a number that I’m not sure anything statistically defensible can actually be said about it.

          But the totes essential from day one media units have their notes from their controllers, an by golly they are going to implement those notes no matter what the actual data says.

          1. Gov. Abbot says he’s waiting until the positive test rate falls below X percent of those tested. BUT, since you have to be sick to get tested . . . You can see the problem.

            1. That’s not, strictly speaking, true. Around here (I’m in the Houston ETJ) the big news a couple of weeks ago was the number of “hospitalizations” along with the number of occupied beds in the hospitals. There was a big spike in the number of people hospitalized with Covid and the hospitals are something like 90+% full with the ICU beds more than 95% full.

              It was bad enough that a hospital administrator came out and said that was due to automatic testing when people entered the hospital for other reasons, mostly various treatments that had been temporarily postponed, and that the people weren’t actually sick with Covid, but had just tested positive when in the hospital for those other reasons. They also said that hospitals normally run 90+% full of normal capacity with ICU beds closer to 100% than that and that they weren’t anywhere near the ultimate capacity of the hospitals because there were contingency plans that they could put in place if it seemed necessary, which it didn’t. All of which reassured me that the folks in charge in the regional hospitals were reasonably competent. Additionally, they flat out accused the news people of fomenting panic when none was warranted.

              The next time I donate blood, they’ll test it for Covid antibodies and we’ll see if I’ve ever had it. I wonder what will happen when the next flu season hits and people start getting tested for Covid because they have the flu. That might get the positive rate down below whatever percent.

        2. Folks are noting that while the cases are way up, deaths (which were following by about 3 weeks) are not up. SWAGs run in a few categories:

          1) We’re testing the hell out of everything.
          1a) TPTB are declaring things to be COVID without a test. Financial implications abound
          2) The virus is weakening
          2a) There’s a different strain of virus that’s not fatal.
          3) The susceptible groups are being very cautious
          3a) The idiots and/or unfortunate among the susceptible groups are already pining for the fjords

          I suspect it’s a mix of all of the above.

  26. You know, ADA says stores have to make a reasonable accommodation if you have a medical condition that prevents you from wearing a mask. HIPPAA (sp?) means they can’t ask for details or proof. Also, if you carry, it’s a felony to obstruct your face. So when you walk in, you just say that you are exempt, and they have to let you in, no questions asked.

    1. The Oregon Governor’s [spit] order says “a business must accommodate an exemption for people with disabilities”, but one gets the idea that businesses that are too free with exemptions are going to be dinged and/or fined. I don’t know if the 9th Circus has been cleaned up enough to declare it unconstitutional, but it sure looks like a kafkatrap for businesses.

      1. As someone with a SD, good luck using the ADA when declaring your medical reasons for not wearing a mask. It is a roll of the dice. AND even the SD communities on FB are Karening about wearing masks. That if those with the disabilities and phobias, who require their medical SD can deal with it, so can everyone. Saying being the “mask police” is as bad as being a “SD police”, gets you silenced if not banned from the private group. Pointing out that “Sure person A with COPD can tolerate a mask doesn’t mean person B with COPD can” anymore than “Person C with diabetes wants a DAD, but Person D diabetic won’t have a DAD” gets the same banned or silenced treatment.

        SD – Service Dog/Horse
        DAD – Diabetic Alert Dog

      2. I walked into to the BORG the last couple times with a gaiter covering my lips – pulled it down the moment I was in. No fuss. Local Thriftway was a sign that says pre-existing conditions exempt. No hassles there, only got stopped once (early morning) at the local Fred Meyer – mentioned medical issues, no problem. Lowe’s, a couple local lumberyards, tool shops, etc – no issues. Only place with an issue was the 7-11 a block from my flat – told me I needed a mask, I said pre-existing condition, they said mask due to businesses also setting their own rules, I’m not going back for a while. I support the businesses making their own decisions – doesn’t mean I’m gonna support someone who is a wanker about it.

        1. I like the vet practice/supply’s approach. If you can’t wear a mask, they’ll do curbside service. That started when Kate had everybody on lockdown, and except for dogs with serious separation anxiety (looks at border collie sleeping nearby), works fine.

          I had to get a 30 pound bag of dogfood and a half dozen cans under this approach. Annoying, but it worked. Now, I’ll mask up and avoid growling at the staff.

    2. Also, if you carry, it’s a felony to obstruct your face.

      Unless there’s a federal law of which I am unaware, that would depend on the State. Indiana, for instance, has no such law. Illinois does, but the claim is that COVID masks are being exempted (true or not, I can’t say).

  27. If you’re telling me that a bandanna over the face is an effective mask, you’re telling me that masks aren’t effective at all.

    Anything short of a properly fitted and worn N95 mask doesn’t filter air, it just redirects it.

      1. It would be one thing if they were offering it as a placebo. That’s what the CDC guidance really is, they’re saying that it can’t hurt most people and might help. But the idiot Dems (BIRM) have turned it into a damned tribal signal and are using whatever power they have to force it on to people.

  28. Speaking of Pie:
    A long, long time ago, in a country far, far, away a smart man lived. He liked solving puzzles. The problem was, the jig saw hadn’t been invented yet and making puzzles out of clay tablets was a poor substitute. One day he was fooling around (No, not THAT way!) and made up some triangle-shaped puzzle pieces. As he began to fit them together he realized that if he had oh, about eight pieces and he arranged them so the pointy ends all came together it made a circle. He was right proud of himself then. He showed his new puzzle to the guy next door and he was truly impressed. Soon the whole town was talking about it. The next week the man was asked by the King to come to court and explain his invention. All the courtiers and courtesans gathered on that day to see the new wonder. The Man, nervous as anyone would be in the presence of that August body, brought his puzzle pieces with him. As he strode through the streets of Athens though a horrible thing happened: He raised his leg to step over a dozing dromedary and the poor beast awoke, sending the man and his puzzle hurling through the air, arms akimbo. He landed flat on his, well -back and was unharmed but the poor puzzle lay in a thousand pieces on the street. What to do? If he appeared in court sans puzzle the King might be inclined to carve a puzzle out of him! Thinking quick, he spied a baking dish set in a window nearby to cool. With guile, and cunning, he raced up and snatched the dish out of the window and ran off down the street. At the Kings palace the man was presented to the court. Using a broken shard of his original design, he quickly carved the contents into eight equal pieces, and drew them out of their clay pan to demonstrate to the King. It was a masterful success. And to this day in his honor, as we draw our triangular pieces from their pan, we hail the man who invented pie. His name?
    Pythagoras.
    Piethagorean Theorem: If a pie has eight pieces, and I don’t let you have any, that means so much more for me. Go away!

  29. Sheriff Andy here in Kentucky issued a mask order but a judge put a hold on it. The sheriff of Logan County said he wouldn’t arrest non-mask wearers because he has better things to do. Some stores in Warren County have a must wear mask sign, others don’t. It’s hard to know what is what but I can tell y’all one thing – I am NOT putting on a mask outside. It’s 90+ degrees and very humid.

  30. “We are told the possible benefits of wearing a mask outweigh the negligible risks…”

    Except…
    OSHA Regulations Section 1915.12(a)(3)

    And, for a laugh – Remy nails it:

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