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April 16, 2020


And I suppose that I am implying that there are those that don't deserve to be remembered. I'm still wavering on that, I'm sure that for this person or this person, there is some good that should be remembered. But that's what happens in a crisis, triage.

To those thousands that yearly step on landmines but get reported only as statistics because it's less telegenic than a 9/11 (or even just an above the ordinary gun massacre like Las Vegas).

To those uncounted many that yearly drown in the Mediterranean Sea and even in death get abused for 'invading hordes' propaganda in many European countries (both by governments and non-ruling RW parties).

"...made worse by the fact that a SWAT team can't can (but won't) storm a press briefing and stop people who are making it worse."

What part of "protect the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic" don't they understand?1??

Shoot to kill:


Hopefully these guys will show up soon and neutralize all conservative republican trump vermin endangering the American people.


It is high time BOTH SIDES DO IT for once!

Read this fucking shit, conservatives:

The rest if ya, too:


This will not stop until it is stopped.

Every fucking day will be worse than yesterday as long as the Republicans are among the living.

Iceland is an exceptional country with exceptional human beings and an exceptional culture.


American is a steaming pile of conservative republican/libertarian dog shit without a human being in sight and the yipping, nipping culture of a pack predatory republican hyenas.

Truly, the ineptitude with which the White House "organized" their effort to get business leaders to sign on the "reopen businesses" was stunning. I understand that Trump wanted that kind of push, to give him cover if his demands for reopening everything blow up in his face (which is certainly the way to bet). But failing to even tell the executives what he was going to claim they wanted? Just to avoid having them come out and flat contradict him immediately afterwards.

The Trump white House: taking dumb to a whole new level!

I salute the dead. Here are the first one thousand:


It's not dumb, it's Evil.

Trump is smarter than all of us put together.

It's not human smart, it's predator smart. It's malignant smart. And these smarts are harnessed by the subhuman Republican Party to fulfill their end game of destroying all government, except the parts that can be transferred into their own pockets.

Trump is just a light bulb (an incandescent one) that went one over every republican's head when they realized his brand of Evil could further their malignant ends.

Because he and the Republican Party are malignant, murderous Evil.

Did anyone besides hartmut actually read the post?

Is this how we honor and remember the dead, by ranting useless obscenities about Clickbait?

Trump threatens to adjourn Congress, an entire branch of the fucking laughable checks and balances fucking government, if they don't approve every one of the nominated fascists.

Merrick Garland, you might arsk?

Remember when the Muslim nigger had no recourse against the subhuman racist republicans blocking every fucking goddamned thing.

Remember when Marty called our concern about Garland's and our rights being ignored "tiresome"?

Meanwhile at the state levels, Republican Legislatures repeatedly attempt and succeed in circumscribing the executive powers of Democratic Governors, the exact reverse tactic for similar ends as the filth in the White House are trying to pull.

AND, they are stealing voting rights across the board, Kentucky the latest.

They are begging for Civil War.

John Jay would damn and execute every republican pol in your vermin dictatorship, Republicans.

Sorry, wrong thread.

Move my comments or delete them, as is your preference.

Yes, they are useless .... like everything, even Russell's laments, at this point.

On the other hand, we honored the dead at Pearl Harbor by declaring all-out war, an obscenity.

Hirohito and Yamamoto were Clickbait of a sort.

I remember swearing obscenities loudly when I got the news my sister died in 2006.

Death is an obscenity that only obscenities are capable of honoring.

I honor Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick's (who he?) rising stock portfolio, made possible by hundreds his fellow Texans laying down their lives so he can return to barbecuing in public.

I'll shut up now.

Yes, they are useless .... like everything, even Russell's laments, at this point.

russell's laments are not useless. They are a reminder of what a sane, humane person sounds like. This is worthwhile, and will eventually be a small part of what bears fruit. And in the meantime, they soothe the savage breast, which is also not useless.

52 cases in my town of 20,000 as of yesterday. A friend's mother-in-law passed last week.

146 cases in my local hospital, 21 in the ICU.

All of this comes from here. Maybe your state has something similar.

Some of the harder hit places are where you would expect - Boston, but especially what are more or less rust belt cities - Lawrence, Everett, Lynn - but even some of the swanky burbs and remote hill towns are taking a beating.

A FB friend shares this "big data" analysis of what we know at this point. The tl;dr version is: between now and the end of summer, basically everyone is going to get COVID, most people won't have any symptoms, a small number of people percentage-wise but shockingly large in absolute numbers will, and many of them will pass away. I don't have the chops to evaluate the analysis.

I'll just keep washing my hands.

I'm sorry to see Lee Konitz go.

... - but even some of the swanky burbs and remote hill towns are taking a beating.

In my area, most of the known cases are in the wealthier zip codes. Perhaps an over-representation of people who travel or interact with people who do.

Where hospitals may yet be overwamed is cases from jails and prisions.

I thought the theory was that we would see maybe 2/3 of the population get it by some time this summer. Followed, sometime in the Fall, by a second surge in cases. And with some chance social (physical) distancing would lower the total for this initial surge. If not for the eventual total.

russell - I will call that a cautiously optimistic report: everyone will catch it, most won't know they have it, and the mortality rate will be less than we thought once it's all done.

A big assumption the report makes, though, is that everyone who was going to catch the virus has done so already. That argues against successive waves of contagion/deaths due to lockdowns lifting too soon, or never being put in place at all.

Is that your read? Or am I missing something?

I think it substantiates the initial assessment that social distancing and shelter in place just distributed the impact on the hospitals over time, thus lowering the mortality rate.

(short read, no better chops than russell)

We've just been told tonight lockdown in the UK will go on for at least another three weeks.

From CaseyL:

A big assumption the report makes, though, is that everyone who was going to catch the virus has done so already.


Is that your read? Or am I missing something?

I did not see that assumption. You may have seen this and thought that was the assumption:

Everyone will get the disease and pass it on in such a short time that by the time quarantine policies are introduced, it is too late to contain the disease.

What I take the to mean is not that everyone will get the disease before quarantine policies are put in place, but that the spread will have gone too far to contain it with quarantine policies because it spreads so rapidly.

Then there's this:

If we assume that everyone will catch the disease, by the end of the pandemic, the total death toll should be around 0.06 percent of the population.

So the assumption here is that everyone will catch it by the end of the pandemic, not that they've already caught it. And it not even "everyone who will catch it." It's just plain old "everyone." (To which I say, "Wow!")

But I could also be missing something, of course.

the total death toll should be around 0.06 percent of the population

= 186,000

Is that your read?

I guess I don't really have a read. I don't have the statistical background to know if what the guy is saying holds up, or not. The thought process seemed plausible, the conclusions seemed plausible, so I thought I'd share it.

I think it's realistic to expect that a lot of people, mostly older people and/or people who are particularly vulnerable for one reason or another, are going to die from this. Which is a really grim expectation. Whether it's a more or less one-time thing, after which we'll have some level of immunity, remains to be seen.

We're probably a year away from a vaccine, so whatever we can do in the meantime to mitigate all of that via distancing etc. is probably the best we can do.

Stay well, everyone.

I don't have the chops either. But neither, I would guess, does the guy who wrote the article, if in a different way.

His description of himself: Deep Learning Scientist, Repeat Entrepreneur, Supervisor, Machine Learning Architect, and Team Lead. I don't see anything in there about epidemiology or disease control or public health.

Being myself a Deep Skeptic and Repeat Cynic, and having just finished You Look Like a Thing and I Love You by Janelle Shane, where I heard a lot about the funny as well as dangerous limitations of over-hyped AI (I already knew plenty about the hype, not so much about the funny side), I would take a "Deep Learning Scientist and Repeat Entrepreneur"'s conclusions on epidemiology with a grain of salt.

Ad hom, sure. And maybe he'll turn out to be right. But (numbers + assumptions) does not necessarily = v or t (validity or truth), and AI people aren't famous for their sense of proportion about the reach and possibilities of their own expertise.

(Apologies to any AI people here. I'm sure you are not among those assuring us that there will be no jobs left for humans in a few years, because AIs are going to take over and make us all superfluous.)

All good points Janie.

In case it doesn't go without saying, my sharing the article wasn't intended as an endorsement. Please do apply as many grains of salt as seem appropriate.

We're all just trying to figure out how to deal with all of this.

In the meantime, I'll be in quarantine with my wife, washing my hands, limiting exposure to public places to the bare minimum, etc. For my own sake, and for everybody else's.

As far as names, besides Konitz, I'm aware of Wallace Roney, Ellis Marsalis, Bucky Pizzarelli, and Mike Longo, pianist for Dizzy Gillespie.

The NYT has this page of notable people who've passed from COVID. But it's hard to say that any one person's passing is more significant than another's.

No, russell, I knew you weren't endorsing. And I of all people know how much fun it is to play with numbers. (I have a big spreadsheet of COVID-19 numbers myself....)

But as you surely know, I'm irritable about certain things, and this situation is exacerbating some of the triggers, which include people spouting ideas that are, in effect, just opinions. There was one recently about how COVID-19 really attacks the blood -- that was on Medium too, and got royally debunked by someone with the credentials to tackle it.


I will not add any names of those who have left us because of COVID-19 (so far, no one in my circle of friends and family). But I will give a shout-out to several extended family members who are on the front lines, going to work in hospitals right now, at least one of them directly with COVID-19 patients.

One thing I haven't seen discussed very much is the amount of, in effect, PTSD we're collectively going to be dealing with even when (if) the fear of COVID-19 has receded by one mechanism or another.

HSH and others - This is the paragraph I was referring to:

If my calculations are correct, the pandemic will be over by the end of April and theoretically, all bans could be lifted, but the death curve will continue to take victims until the end of May, the quarantine will most likely be lifted in July and the world, most likely will resume its normal routine by August.

That to me sounds like he believes, based on his analysis, that the pandemic will be mostly one elongated wave, and pretty much done by August. Maybe that depends on the quarantines lasting through July?

That might be feasible. The Spanish Flu spiked into another killing wave, a worse one in fact, in autumn *because* the quarantines ended too early.

When I say something unclearly, it is not anoyone else's fault if they react based on my poor phrasing. At least that is what I think. That's why it's always good to double check. So...

I have to admit, Hartmut's comment sounds like what aboutism. But I'm pretty sure he didn't intend it that way.

Marty's comment has me wondering if he takes the fact that this group hasn't listed tons of people as proof that we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. He's welcome to explain that I'm misreading that, but if it is the case that this is a 'I feel fine, so how could there be a problem?' I point to Charles WT's observation which is

In my area, most of the known cases are in the wealthier zip codes.

Unfortunately, Charles takes that as a point of fact about the virus. I'd just point out this could just as likely be a fact about how we are seeing it. Given that, despite the time honored turn to tout whatever working class bona fides we have (and not dismissing it, when we are talking about life experiences and such, I think that folks here do have a lot of experiences to relate) the fact that we are on the internet talking may suggest that we are only seeing a small fraction of what is happening. Or what will happen when all those proles get the virus.

Unfortunately, Charles takes that as a point of fact about the virus. I'd just point out this could just as likely be a fact about how we are seeing it.

For the record -- since at the time CharlesWT made that comment I was still trying to leave this thread for its original intention -- I took that as just as likely to be a point about who has the clout to get themselves tested.

And I can't speak for hartmut, only about him. But his entire history here makes me agree that I doubt he intended his comment as whataboutism. I took it as a nod to other lives lost in other massacres of slow motion.

I think a lot about the dead who left us without notice. It's the flip side of my habit of visiting cemeteries in my home territory. I visit them not just for the sake of the known dead, the ones with stones that will last, but for all the others as well.

My numbers, which are mine:
As of 1? 2? 4? days ago: diagnosed cases in the US: ~500k.

ASSUME there are 10 asymptomatic/undiagnosed cases per diagnosed case (seems high, but whatev), so 5.5M total, that *might* have, or might eventually get, acquired immunity. If such a thing even exists.

Out of 330M. Lots of virus-bait left to feed the next wave after the lockdown ends.

I suspect that we need something like 75-80%+ overall immunity (immunization/post-infection) before we're out of the woods. And we're not at something like 2%.

Lots of virus-food. I have a little list of those I'd like to see at the top of the menu, also, too.

What Janie said in her first para @07.09.

And as for her second para: that's beautiful.

In my area, most of the known cases are in the wealthier zip codes.

Unfortunately, Charles takes that as a point of fact about the virus. I'd just point out this could just as likely be a fact about how we are seeing it

In point of fact, there is the detail that people in the wealthier ZIP codes are more likely to be able to afford to get one of the (extremely limited) tests done. If you can't get tested, you are less likely to be listed as having the virus, especially if you have less than critical symptoms.

GftNC wrote:

"russell's laments are not useless. They are a reminder of what a sane, humane person sounds like. This is worthwhile, and will eventually be a small part of what bears fruit. And in the meantime, they soothe the savage breast, which is also not useless."

All of that is true.

By "useless", whether they are the bleatings of my savage breast or Russell's laments, I meant that in the context of Conclusion Number 10 in Russell's link to the FB guy:

"It is in our nature to react the way we react, but numbers do not care about our emotions. A great leader should find a way to reach out to people and convince them to act rationally."

The virus' course is not changed either by Russell's humane sanity or my insanity. Neither are Trump and company's malignant actions and reprehensible behavior changed in any way.

That said: WRS

I'm struck, and this has been on my mind these last few weeks, by the fact, if Russell's link is in the vicinity of fact" many of us will never know if we carried and were infected by the virus, but asymptomatically, and most probably passed the virus on to others.

Whether one reacts sanely and humanely, or like a maniac, the conclusion must be that we really know nothing.

But Socrates KNEW THAT one thing. Thus the hemlock.

Our "Leader" doesn't. The difference between him and us is that among the masses of the unknowing .. all of us ... he can fake and claim to know all. And yet no hemlock for him. He wins.

Thus my insane, unsoothed savage breast bearing not fruit but rather thorns, and thanks GftNC for not misquoting Congreve (sooth the savage beast).

I took that as just as likely to be a point about who has the clout to get themselves tested.

My impression is that most of the testing in my area is after the fact. It's possible that people in low-income areas are getting sick and not telling anyone unless they have to have medical care. But they're also more likely to still working and in public-facing jobs.

Fair enough, Charles WT, apologies for the uncharitable reading.

It reminds me of Robert Reich's tweet

Burger King
Pizza Hut
Duncan Donuts
Taco Bell

None give their workers paid sick leave.

They should be required to post this sign on their doors:

"Because we don't give our workers paid sick leave, they may be sick when they serve you."


I think a lot about the dead who left us without notice.

Many years ago, my step-son went to high school at a prep school up in NH. In retrospect, that may not have been a good choice form, but hindsight is 20-20. And, is kind of an aside.

My wife and I would go see him, and take a walk in a nearby church-yard, complete with graveyard. We were always struck by one headstone, which had the names and birthdates of a husband and wife, but the date of death of only the husband.

The husband had died sufficiently long ago that his wife was probably also deceased. But, nobody had updated the stone with her date of death.

Why? No kids, or kids that didn't give a crap, and after she passed, nobody took the trouble to update the stone?

It struck me that it might be a blessing of sorts, a mitzvah if you will, to find out if she had passed, and when she had passed, and have the stone updated. Just, you know, to close the loop.

Because I'm a guy strong on big ideas, and short on follow-through, I never did this.

It's a regret I still carry around, 20 or 25 years later. I'm not sure I could even find the place anymore.

Seize the day, y'all.

It's possible that people in low-income areas are getting sick and not telling anyone unless they have to have medical care.

It's likely that people in low-income areas have jobs that don't afford the option of working from home.

It's likely that people in low-income areas have to take public transportation to get to and from work, or any other place they need to go.

It's likely that people in low-income areas won't eat if they don't work.

It's likely that people in low-income areas don't have access to testing for COVID.

It's likely that people in low-income areas, at least outside of rural low-income areas, live in higher population densities than higher-income people.

It's likely that people in low-income areas live at greater risk of being infected by COVID, getting sick from COVID, and dying from COVID, than people who live in other areas.

It's a crap shoot in any case, the factors that might make you more or less vulnerable vary widely. And 'the factors' are all matters of odds in any case. You're lucky or you're not.

But being poor tilts the table in the house's favor.

The virus' course is not changed either by Russell's humane sanity

Not to go all bleak and grim with this, but sooner or later time is going to take us all. The virus is just nature, having its way with us. If not the virus, something else. The only difference is timing and comfort level.

The virus is gonna do whatever it wants to do. It's a stretch to say it even wants to do anything, the virus is just going to express its chemical structure.

It's what we are, and how we are, in the time between opening our eyes on the world, and closing them, that makes the difference. As far as I can tell.

Humane sanity is an option, but really, outrage is, also. And the world has been served well by both, each in their time. I make no judgement.

It's a challenge to know exactly how to respond to all of this. Not just the virus, but certainly including the virus. God knows I bust a rant on a regular basis, just ask my wife.

We all do our best.

Stay well everyone.

"good choice for him"

Good night all.

Two cemetery stories triggered by russell's -- maybe each in a separate comment.

I once went to a workshop in rural Maine where, on an afternoon break, I drove further down the back road where the workshop was being held, which shortly turned into a dirt road and left any sign of human habitation behind.

Eventually, by the side of the road, I came upon a small, very old cemetery. There was nothing else in sight but the woods. There's a lot of land up here that has been cleared and left to turn back into forest -- some of more than once. I figured this was a bit of it.

I got out of the car and had a look at the graveyard.

Along the back row of gravestones, nearest the woods, with a little stream burbling in a nearby gully, were eight or nine graves, all from the same family. Maybe the name was Scott? (I can't remember for sure.)

There were the parents, and then six or seven offspring, ranging in age, at the time they died, from infants to young adults. If I remember correctly, the date of death of one of them (can't remember if it was the father or one of the sons) suggested a Civil War death.

I went back there ten or fifteen years later, hoping to take pictures of those graves -- and the stones had become unreadable in the interim. Maybe air pollution had gotten worse, or acid rain, or something. I've never done grave rubbings -- I don't know if that would have worked. But sometimes I think about that family and wonder how it was for them, with all that grief to carry, one after another.

My mother's side of the family -- the "English" / old American side, with a couple of documented lines of descent going back almost four hundred years on this continent, has kept track of, and treasured, lots of written family history.

My dad's family not so much.

My two grandmas were similarly distinct: one concerned, one unconcerned, about dwelling on the old days.

But once, when I was a young adult visiting "home," I got my Italian grandma to tell me some stories.

This included a quick line or two about each of my grandfather's many siblings, some of whom I knew, or knew of, while I was growing up, some of whom I did not.

One of the latter was Domenico, whom my grandma said had died "building the Lake Avenue subway."

Translated, this meant the underpass that took Lake Avenue under the railroad tracks. Pieced together with other evidence, it seems that Domenico died in 1909, in a construction accident, when he was fifteen years old. That "subway" is still there, and if you drive through it slowly enough you can see "1909" etched into the concrete high up on one wall.

On another trip home, years later, I walked through a section of the Catholic cemetery where I had never been before, which had at one time been specially set aside for children. There I found Domenico's gravestone, with a short legend on it in Italian. "Domenico ____, figlio de _____, 1909."

It was a very small stone, with the top of it shaped into a cross, also made of stone.

Several more years later, and another visit -- every grave in that section of the cemetery that had a cross or other breakable piece sticking out of it had been broken. The cross was leaning up against the rest of Domenico's stone, and I think it's still there. Like russell, but with more reason since this is a relative of mine, I've thought of having something done about it. Maybe I still will, although there are more pressing worries to dwell on at the moment.

This speaks indirectly to a dilemma I still haven't solved, which is what instructions I want to leave for when I move on. Even when there's a stone, the stories are forgotten sooner or later. But maybe the stones remind us that there were in fact stories, and everyone has one.

I have to admit, Hartmut's comment sounds like what aboutism. But I'm pretty sure he didn't intend it that way.

It's aboutism just not butwhataboutism.
It's not about diverting attention from (or relativizing) the current crisis but just a reminder that there are more 'slow motion massacres' still ongoing. And at least the refugee crisis is directly affected. Rescue ships can't do their job because all ports are closed to them as part of the lockdown. And fear of infected refugees is deliberately spread by the ususal suspects. So, we have to expect even more refugees to die as collateral damage.

No one in my personal circles is (to my knowledge) affected by Covid-19 and the only prominent case around here is the life partner of our previous mayor. So, I could not contribute specific names that meant anything to me.

Hartmut, good point. Though we have have people arguing that the costs of a lockdown in terms of suicides etc are worse than the not having it.

The Guardian had this

Maybe I should add that our previous mayor is best known for his public 'I am gay, and that is a good thing.' statement. He and his partner were together for 27 years.

About what to do at the end, this seems strange that I've always wanted to remember, parents, ancestors, family but for myself, I feel like Buddha had it right and this is another attachment to the world that you have to get rid of. Or at least acknowledge and let go. My favorite Greek myth is Orpheus going down to the underworld to get Eurydice and is told that he can bring her back, but not to look back, which he does, this being Greek myth, just as he is about to return. He then ends up singing songs so sad that the Harpies tear him apart to get him to stop. (There are some other versions of course, one where he gave up on women and turned to young boys and the women of Circe torn him apart because they were jealous. hmmmm)

I always thought that myth (the part with Eurydice) really gets at the heart of memory, how you want to hold on to it, but any attempt to make it more real is just going to backfire. Which has me think that I am not too fussed about being remembered. All kinds of strange.

I find Ovid's version interesting where it is implied that it is Orpheus' humanity that lets him look back not suspicion. In the older versions Euridice is silent and Orpheus fears that she is not actually right behind him (all being a cruel joke by Hades), while in Ovid he has no doubt and only fears that she's too exhausted from the long ascent. And it is explicitly stated that Euridice does not blame him.
The whole Orpheus episode in Ovid is built very differently from his predecessors (and the speech before Pluto and his wife is quite bold).

Somehow this reminds me of the dispute about whether Abraham actually failed the test when he blindly obeyed the order to sacrifice his son (the usual interpretation being that his willingness was especially virtuous).

I did (fake) mosaic on the scene some time ago (based on Greek vase paintings and a pinax from Croton) [check your mail]

I have to back up Hartmut here - the refugee crisis is part of the Covid 19 epidemic. They're flying in 1000s of seasonal agricultural workers from Romania but can't bring themselves to rescue more than a token number of refugees stuck in overcrowded camps at the Greek / Turkish border.

I am a militant European but sometimes I despair...

But to get back to the original question lj asked (sorry for further derailing) the name that really meant something to me was:

Manu Dibango

I remember going to a concert in Berlin and the place was rocking like nothing I'd seen before - the French diaspora, of which I hadn't been aware before at all - playing a major part... it was magical.


This is interesting, with implications in more than one direction.


lj: About what to do at the end, this seems strange that I've always wanted to remember, parents, ancestors, family but for myself, I feel like Buddha had it right and this is another attachment to the world that you have to get rid of.

Thank you for that formulation. That's right at the heart of my own dilemma, but I hadn't thought about it quite that way.

Humane sanity is an option, but really, outrage is, also. And the world has been served well by both, each in their time.

I agree with this. Outrage is a completely understandable, appropriate and necessary reaction to what is going on. I think we have talked before about Swift, and his saeva indignatio, for example. I would only ask, about specific examples, Cui bono? And (perhaps Hartmut can help me with the translation) To whom the harm?

I see it might be Cui plagalis?

Since GftNC flagged it, I will chime in about outrage.

As sapient suggested the other night, a lot of the rest of us are feeling outrage these days. I am as outraged as they come. I could, if I would let myself, spend most of my time dreaming up violent actions to slaver over, and talking about my hatred for SFJ-fka-Clickbait and all his MAGA Malevolent enablers all day long. My lizard brain is sure that stuff would ease the pain.

It doesn't. It only carries me further into a dark abyss.

The world may be well served by outrage at times, no doubt about it. But nous's point holds: it depends where you aim it.

cui malo (to whose malefit) would be the formal opposite to cui bono. Dativus commodi in its original form.

To supplement the Wikipedia link in lj's addendum to the OP: from Time, with pictures and write-ups.

From many countries and walks of life, from Leilani Jordan, a 27-year-old grocery store greeter, to Jacques Derrida's wife.

Twenty-seven years old. It's hard to take in.

Ich könnte sie ja jetzt verfluchen
Doch will ich heute nicht so sein
Um weitere Händel nicht zu suchen
Bitt ich auch sie, mir zu verzeihen,
Man schlage ihnen ihre Fressen
Mit schweren Eisenhämmern ein.
Im übrigen will ich vergessen
Und bitte sie, mir zu verzeihen

(from B.Brecht, Three-penny-opera)

(Google translator produces rubbish here, so don't try)

Edit: the previous post was on the theme of outrage and how to not give in to it.

Hartmut, do you feel up to giving us a free verse, or prose, translation?

I could curse them of course
But I don't want to be that way today
In order not to seek more quarrels
I ask/beg them too to forgive me
Let their pieholes be smashed
With heavy hammers of iron
Apart from that I will forget
And ask them to forgive me (too)

(the original stanza is aimed at corrupt policemen btw. The previous stanzas are (seemingly) (semi-)serious pleads for forgivness for done wrongs)

Thank you!

I dedicate this thread to Laura Ingraham, whose children have so far escaped death during the pandemic. She must be a wonderful mother, but wolves, hyenas, and black mambas like her are known to succor their own:


This evening, during a Zoom birthday celebration, I learned that a very good friend in NYC has COVID. He's probably going to come out of it more or less OK - he had no respiratory symptoms, just nausea and a very high fever.

His wife has a compromised immune system, so he has isolated himself in a friend's apartment. The friend's apartment is available because a lot of folks who have the choice of getting the hell out of NY have done so. My friend's son has been taking care of him, masking and gloving up whenever he goes to see his father with food or medicine or just the help out.

My friend is currently on about day 17. Fever's mostly gone now, he is able to leave the apartment for short walks. In general, his experience of COVID was a high fever that lasted about a week, and continual body ache, in basically every part of his body. The brief walks he takes now - about a mile - exhaust him. His docs tell him he is probably looking at another 4 or 5 weeks before he is 100%.

He lucked out, I guess the respiratory symptoms are what kill people.

Four people in my company have COVID. I don't know who they are, the management (wisely) isn't sharing that information. Another good friend - the Zoom birthday girl - is a practicing herbalist in my town, with several COVID patients at the moment. Another person in the birthday Zoom is, among other things, basically a private cook-for-hire, and she has clients now with compromised immune systems, and for whom she does all the shopping in addition to cooking, because they can't leave the house.

I guess MA is heading into the predicted peak at this point, so most likely more folks in my various circles of acquaintance and friendship will turn up positive. It's weird to watch the circle tighten.

I appreciate that people want and need to work, and that we're all growing tired of, and impatient with, the various lockdown protocols. I spent about a half hour in line this AM, waiting to get into a grocery store, and then another hour washing everything before storing it. But the virus is, apparently, a bitch and a half, if you are symptomatic. And maybe the death of you.

Stay safe, stay home, wash your hands, wear a mask when you go anyplace public. Call your friends and neighbors and make sure they're OK and not going out of their heads. Do some shopping for any folks you know who are older or have health issues, so they don't have to go out.

Good night all.

Don't want to pile on misery, but several of the South Korean sources that I've been reading suggest that even after recovery, lung function is damaged. Hope that's not in the cards for your friend.

Going to call my 80+ year old iaido teacher now. Stay safe.

and WHO has come out with the cheery news that they aren't sure if C19 antibodies will protect you, or if most people even make them.



Keith Richards, 74, found not dead.

He's offering grafts of his immunity system to the human race, which would exclude the viral infestation in the White House.

Keith Richards, 74, found not dead.

A sort-of funny meme running around, to the degree that anything about any of this is funny, features photographs of well-known horrifying scabrous dive bars from the punk days, with the caption:

"If you ever used the bathroom at [name of club], you are immune from COVID-19"

Not meaning to make light of anything here, I'll take my laughs wherever I can get them.

I saw this guy a few times back in the day at Ortlieb's (before the neighborhood gentrified into hipsterville, and it was the only place worth going to - or just to go to, period, over a good number of city blocks).


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