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May 19, 2020

Comments

I don’t think individual people should be running their own personal experiments on the effectiveness of COVID-19 safety precautions. That’s stupid.

And yet that's what is occurring in all states that allow certain things to go on as long as there are safety precautions. So we might as well get the data as to the effectiveness of the safety precautions.

Although I trust my hairdresser to be as careful as possible, I am going to purchase a gift certificate for myself from her shop so that I can wait a little longer.

So, that's a "no". You would not take that risk.

You are, however, willing to let other people do so.

How do we determine what's socially acceptable if we don't know whether the behavior caused a problem?

"Social acceptable" is a very different thing from "scientifically shown to be effective".

So we might as well get the data as to the effectiveness of the safety precautions.

I imagine we will. But I don’t think it makes it okay for people who have reason to think they’re infected to knowingly expose other people, regardless of the precautions they’re taking. The precautions aren’t perfect. They reduce the chances of spread, and are intended for people who don’t already have reason to think they’re infectious. Masks and such are for the reduction of asymptomatic spread, not some game of Russian roulette.

You are, however, willing to let other people do so.

Yes.

The governor has opened the state's hair salons for business with certain PPE requirements. People have the choice to take that risk. I wouldn't walk on a tightrope, or ride a motorcycle, but some people want to do that.

Would I rather all people who have been put out of work be given sufficient money to pay their ongoing bills? Yes, but that won't happen soon.

It doesn't matter whether the person is symptomatic.

Surely it matters in this respect. If in the population of people with Covid, some have symptoms and some do not, the risk of transmission is surely numerically less if of that group the ones who are symptomatic refrain from contact with others. If you have no symptoms, you can be forgiven for thinking you are well, and not posing a risk, so financial need can reasonably prompt you to work, while trying to minimise any risk by wearing a mask. If you have symptoms, this reasoning is not available to you. You are knowingly doing something which risks making others ill, or maybe even killing them.

But I don’t think it makes it okay for people who have reason to think they’re infected to knowingly expose other people, regardless of the precautions they’re taking.

I've had a sore throat and been coughing on and off since March 1. I think I'm fine: it's allergy season. Maybe the hairdresser thought s/he was fine. There are a whole lot of assumptions being made.

If hair salons aren't safe with the PPE that's required, they're not safe. It shouldn't be a matter of whether a hairdresser has made a correct assessment about the state of his/her health. If a health assessment is required, there should be a standard protocol for tests.

Maybe the hairdresser thought s/he was fine.

You’d have to ask the hairdresser. But, as a general matter, do you think people who have symptoms of COVID-19 shouldn’t isolate until cleared by testing? If you’ve had a sore throat and an occasional cough for months, you can be pretty sure it’s not because of COVID-19. People may make the wrong call, but they should be doing their best. If you really suspected you were infected, would you go out and about (perhaps just to see what would happen)?

If you really suspected you were infected, would you go out and about (perhaps just to see what would happen)?

Of course not. I doubt that was the hairdresser's story either. We definitely would have to ask the hairdresser.

My guess is that, like a lot of people in other situations, the hairdresser thought things would be okay as long as s/he was careful and took the right precautions. After all, s/he wasn't so sick s/he couldn't stand there all day long and work, right? So it probably wasn't really Covid, right? And the masks supposedly protect people, right?

Opening hair salons is inherently risky. The hairdressers should not bear the blame for common human behavior that is not always ideal when the risk is inherent.

If you want to defend this one hairdresser from negative blog comments s/he will never read, knock yourself out. But it seems like it’s distracting from the larger issues and makes your reasoning hard to follow.

I wouldn't walk on a tightrope, or ride a motorcycle, but some people want to do that.

The crucial bit of context you're missing here, is that people who walk tightropes or ride motorcycles know they are doing so.

Enough of this. Have a nice day.

the larger issues

The larger issue is this:

We are opening up certain businesses. It's risky to do so. The individuals who work in these professions (most of whom badly need a paycheck) are not the people who should bear the blame for the fallout of a risky decision. If we open businesses, we should establish protocols that work to keep people safe. We should figure out how well the protocols work, and hold business owners responsible for following protocols.

People should never go to work sick. But people do, rationalizing it all kinds of ways, especially when the amount of their paycheck is directly related to their attendance. That has to be taken into consideration when policies are made.

people who walk tightropes or ride motorcycles know they are doing so.

And I know that it is risky for someone who touches people for a living then touch me for an hour or so. Which is how I weigh my decision. Not so different, really.

Have a nice day.

Back atcha.

This discussion is bogging down under inapt analogies. This is not the same as engaging in risky personal behavior (tightropes), or even individual behavior that puts others at risk (drunk driving). We are dealing with contagion, so my going out while drunk runs the risk of turning everyone else I come in contact with into a drunk driver as well.

This is a difference as profound as the difference between microecon and macroecon.

And it's not a public health question, it's an ethics question. We can learn things about our public health policy decision from this ethical dilemma, but it is still, at its heart, a question of ethics.

As I've indicated, I would like to know whether masks work to protect a customer from a hairdresser who has Covid.

for one thing, masks aren't perfect. that "95" in "N95" means it stops 95% of particles 0.3 microns across, if worn correctly, if it's new. 5% still get through.

if it's not worn correctly, all bets are off.

if the wearer has been wearing it a while, it will become saturated and particles will get through. if the wearer touches her eyes, the mask becomes is irrelevant. if she touches your head, and you don't know she's contagious, and you touch your head on your way out the door...

was she wearing it in the break room?

did she touch her face while she had it off?

all that personal service stuff is the last thing that should be opened, IMO.

We are dealing with contagion, so my going out while drunk runs the risk of turning everyone else I come in contact with into a drunk driver as well.

Perfect point.

a question of ethics.

Do I feed my children, or do I take a calculated risk of infecting people with a virus I may or may not have, and may or may not be able to control with PPE?

That's the question faced by the hairdresser. Most of us don't have to face that, thank goodness. We have to decide whether or not to get our hair done. I think I'll wait awhile.

Second stylist at same place tests positive.

https://www.ksdk.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/coronvirus-infected-missouri-hair-stylist-springfield-2nd/63-4b874ce0-17e1-4f23-a28b-fce24381fd47

Was this okay, too? Does going to the gym nourish children?

While infectious, the same individual also visited a Walmart and a Dairy Queen and made three visits to a local gym, they said.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/23/missouri-hair-stylist-coronavirus-exposure

From the article:

"Missouri’s governor, Michael Parson, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether the potential exposures of 91 people at a hair salon would alter the state’s thinking on whether salons and barbershops should remain open during the pandemic."

To me, this should be our focus, not on people who are making poor choices that public policies offer them.

(It appears that gyms are also open for business in Missouri. Why?)

The local paper had stuff about a few gyms in NJ defying state orders to stay closed...with the owner (and lots of a-hole patrons) complaining loudly that "constitutional rights are being infringed".

I'm sure those staunch patriots would be able to cite the exact clause of the Constitution that provides a right to "work out at the gym", just as The Founders™ intended.

Or maybe it's one of those "emanations and penumbras" I've heard about; except that what I've heard (from RWNJs) is that they're totally bogus. Suck it MAGAts.

We do not know that feeding her children or not was the question that the hairdresser faced. We know that some people face this choice, yes, but we cannot just accept that possibility as a reason to treat the whole issue as if that were the default.

There are all sorts of reasons why a person might be coerced by circumstances to engage in risky behavior. And there are all different levels of knowledge that might make a person's decision making process more or less ethical.

But judging the ethics of the decision is not the same thing as judging the ethics of the behavior.

This is not a theoretical question for me. I taught in a classroom during the weeks prior to the stay-at-home order under a contract that did not allow for the possibility of me taking time off for illness, and losing that job would also lose me eligibility for my family's housing.

Just because I was in that contingent position, though, does not mean that I am not ethically obligated to the students who share that classroom with me, or the other faculty on campus who share those students with me, or the staff who share the campus with the students and faculty, or the families of those people, etc.

There was a lot of hoping for the best going on all through January to March, not the least because any one of the people touched by my decision may have been asymptomatic.

But if I had had a fever or had a cough that was different from my normal seasonal allergies? Yeah, not an ethical choice to step into the classroom. Period. No matter how bad any of us might feel for my personal circumstances.

To me, this should be our focus, not on people who are making poor choices that public policies offer them.

I don’t think it’s public policy to go into public places if you’re sick. And I’m not making policy, anyway. Regardless, it’s possible to note both that the policy is stupid and that the person might not give much of a sh*t about other people.

I agree with Sapient.

Don’t blame peasants for surviving. (paraphrasing). I know members of my own family that have still not received a dime of unemployment during this crisis. As a family, we can float them, but not everyone has that.

Given that peasants have to survive, we should use the data generated to see what is working. So far as I can tell, that is the entirety of Sapient’s point.

I don’t use peasant as derogatory, but as descriptive of our reality.

that "95" in "N95" means it stops 95% of particles 0.3 microns across

lemme rephrase that.

that "95" in "N95" means 1 out of every 20 small, possibly virus-laden, droplets get through.

100,000 dead.

this is serious shit.

Sapient, I'm not really sure what is up with you, but it seems like you are just picking fights. This isn't facebook where people can't pull up your previous comments so your concern about shaming is something that seems particularly off given your extensive comments on the blog.

Maybe you are in lockdown and not going out and need the back and forth of a debate. I'd suggest you pick something more interesting that could be discussed rather than trying to shame people for shaming people. There is a lot out there to talk about. But jumping down other people's throats because you've got nothing else to do is not really making this place a place where people might want to talk. Thanks.

So the claim is don't blame your neighbor for secretly exposing you to the virus that they suspect that they have but are scared to admit to because they fear their economic circumstances.

This is not peasants and nobles. This is peasants deciding how to treat each other in the face of mistreatment by the nobility.

She wasn't cutting Mnuchin's hair.

More's the pity.

Again, the failure is not that someone showed up for work. It is that they had to show up for work while sick, or bear the entire cost of not working themselves. All sapient is saying (I believe) is the blame is not on those trying to survive, but on the system that made it so. 3 Trillion in economic debt, and hairdressers have to work or bear the price themselves. Why are we focused on the victims, rather than the cause?

nous, you are on fire, and not for the first time!

jrudkis: long time no see. It's good to see you, but I think nous really nails it on the "peasants" point.

The person went to the gym sick. What system forced that on him/her? Regardless, I don’t think anyone is arguing against a better system or gathering information on the transmission of the disease. We can manage multiple thoughts. We can discuss books and TV shows and music and architecture and languages and math puzzles and plants and birds and comedy and insects, too.

Back to my earlier point about this not being theoretical.

Say I had developed specific symptoms that suggested COVID during the spring, and that the University held to its policy that I get no sick time under my contract.

So, as a peasant, I have to go to work or suffer.

I can go teach as normal and wear a mask and not tell anyone and hope for the best.

I can send an email to the students saying that I am not feeling well, but that I can't cancel class due to university policies, but that I won't count them absent if they choose not to come to class.

I can put a sign up on the door of the classroom saying that someone with symptoms had used the room and that it should be thoroughly cleaned before anyone else uses it.

I can send an email to my colleagues saying that I have to teach despite being sick for reasons we all understand, but that I want them to know about this in case they share an office or a classroom.

I can go to the Admin building (wearing a mask) and ask to meet with labor relations and then let them know in the meeting that I came to the meeting from my empty classroom because the contract they negotiated forced me to go to class or face a loss of income, and then let them worry...

I can stay home and bite the bullet and hope for the best.

Is there, or is there not, an ethical difference between any of these scenarios?

Also, too, noting that people are making dangerous choices is what informs changes in public health policy. It’s whole f**king point of policy - to prevent dangerous behavior as much as possible.

GFTNC, thanks. I love the conversation here, but I am not in favor of some of the more militant comments that I saw before I left for a while.

I don’t agree on peasants. Peasants can’t afford to not work to help neighbors. We have plenty of history on this point. A Hairdresser today is roughly a subsistence farmer who is only paid for work, like an UBER driver. Personally I have been working with two family members for two months trying to get them unemployment benefits, and I am an attorney in the state they are seeking help and have done this before this crisis. We can’t even communicate with the board. Food and rent matters, and people will protect family before society.

So Jrudkis is Michael, not Chidi.

But who is Janet?

There are all sorts of reasons why a person might be coerced by circumstances to engage in risky behavior. And there are all different levels of knowledge that might make a person's decision making process more or less ethical.

For example, is Missouri one of the oh-so-enlightened states that have decided that failing to go back to work when you employer reopens means immediate loss of unemployment? Was there a way for the hairdresser to get a covid-19 test? For that matter, does the hairdresser even have health insurance?

And with regard to the subsistence farming comment...

Some of my colleagues are graduate student instructors. They get no sick time. They have housing on campus only because they are enrolled as students, otherwise they would be forced to pay 75% of their salary on room and board living in the local rental economy. They take home less than $20k a year. Many of them have significant student loan debt. Some of them actually are Lyft drivers on the side in order to make ends meet.

Sub them for me in the above questions.

Is there any ethical difference for them between those scenarios I outlined above, or do their circumstances make all those scenarios equal?

So Jrudkis is Michael, not Chidi

I have no idea what this means. I think it is unreasonable to expect poor people to risk their homes and children over a theoretical threat, without a clear lifeline.

"So Jrudkis is Michael, not Chidi"

Reference to The Good Place. Explanations would involve significant spoilers.

Nous, I am willing to bet your grad students on average have fewer children, and wealthier parents than the average hairdresser. So yes, I see a difference.

So the claim is don't blame your neighbor for secretly exposing you to the virus that they suspect that they have but are scared to admit to because they fear their economic circumstances.

The "neighbor" here is someone who is assuming risk by coming to a shop to get a hairdo during a pandemic, when any number of people there could be asymptomatic carriers of a virus.

Why are we focused on the victims, rather than the cause?

Thanks. Yes.

The person went to the gym sick.

We know from the article that the person had "mild symptoms". We also now know that the person was since tested, diagnosed, and there has been contact tracing. So maybe when the person realized the state of his/her health, the person got treatment and cooperated in letting authorities know what contacts had possibly been made.

Or maybe the hairdresser is a moral monster. Also possible that s/he's just clueless, a cluelessness reinforced by the policies of Missouri allowing people to get their hair done and go to gyms.

I think it is unreasonable to expect poor people to risk their homes and children over a theoretical threat, without a clear lifeline.

If we were serious about stopping the pandemic, we'd close things up, and pay people to stay home rather than turning hairdressers into ethics case studies.

My next door neighbor in grad school came from rural poor roots and was a single mom with a kid in day care and $100K of loan debt.

If you are going to personify our hairdresser here, I see no reason why we can't use my old neighbor in my thought experiment above.

If all we had to worry about were poor people feeding their families, we’d be in a much better position, but people who aren’t poor are doing things that endanger all of us and that have nothing to do with feeding their families. Whatever. We have no unifying national leadership, so we’re about as f**ked as can be.

I think it is unreasonable to expect poor people to risk their homes and children over a theoretical threat, without a clear lifeline.

Well, in more enlightened places, rent freezes (not sure precisely what they are called) are in place, and there are efforts to feed people. If I point out that this is the inevitable result of the dismantling of the government (drown in a bathtub, right?) would you agree and start complaining about the Republicans as the problem?

I'm happy you are back, and don't want to drive you out, but people expressing their annoyance with people who don't seem to understand the situation is not 'shaming', it's venting. When Russell or others dox her, we can return to this.

lj, I see that you would like me to leave, and I will do so.

No, I'd like you to participate in a way that was conducive to productive discussion. If you can't do that, then yes, I'd prefer you go.

I've updated the graphs for US and UK 6-day average deaths to today. I didn't update the comparison graph, but I've included a link to the OWID version up top.

LJ, I have not been a republican since McCain nominated Palin. My comment about why I left was about Thullen. Yes, clearly this Current issue is about religious conservatives having the reins of power.

But this thread argument is about vilifying the poor for working, which I think is bad, rather than vilifying the cause, which is why do they have to work. And then since they do have to work, shouldn’t we learn from it, which is again, all Sapient was saying, as I understand it..

Nous,

I hope they get the support from your organization to provide for their families. I bet they have more resources than a barber shop.

But this thread argument is about vilifying the poor for working...

Horsesh*t

Hsh, really? That is what I am reading. Sapient is saying don’t blame the poor person for working sick, everyone else is saying working sick is evil. Sapient says the sick person has no option, and everyone else says ‘society.’. Show me.

Who here has vilified the poor for working? I don't think anyone here has said that people who feel forced to work because they are in tight circumstances are bad, or stupid, or anything other than desperate.

That's not the same as saying that someone who is sick has no ethical obligations to those around them and should be treated as if they have no culpability in their moral decisions as a result.

Speaking of which, the War on Drugs might be a decent analogy here as well. Someone engaging in risky behavior during a pandemic due to economic pressure might be like someone who sells addictive drugs to their neighbors for the same reason. Not everyone who consumes those drugs will become addicted, but a significant number will, and many of those casual users will share their habit with others.

So the answer is "Don't hate the player, hate the game?"

Working and working sick are two different things. Yes, I will blame someone for knowingly working sick in a workplace that requires close contact. That’s not the same as simply vilifying poor people for working. So horsesh*t.

Did any of you read the Jungle? How am I on the left here?


But this thread argument is about vilifying the poor for working...

Horsesh*t

Yes. Horseshit.

If the hairdresser in this case was unaware of being symptomatic, or was unaware that whatever symptoms her or she was experiencing possibly pointed to COVID, that's one story.

Let's assume the hairdresser was aware of being symptomatic, and was aware that the symptoms possibly pointed to COVID.

First, it doesn't fucking matter whether that persons symptoms were mild or not. The fact that your particular case of COVID is mild has bugger-all to do with how that will play out for anyone else, should you infect them.

The hairdresser had to "feed his or her kids". Fine, it's not stated in the original article cited, but I'll stipulate the kids.

Did any of the 91 people who were exposed to COVID by the hairdresser have kids? Were any of the 91 people exposed to COVID working? How many people were dependent on any of those folks' wages?

How many people did those 91 people, in turn, expose to COVID? How many of those people have kids? How many of those people were wage earners, and how many other people depended on those folks' wages for their daily bread?

If we stipulate that the hairdresser was aware of their own symptoms, and was aware that those symptoms possibly pointed to COVID, that hairdresser looked at the odds of making someone else ill and balanced that against their own need to make a living.

How many of the people that were exposed to COVID as a result had the luxury of doing the same calculus? How many of them knew they were having their hair cut by someone who was infectious?

If you want to make choices like that *for yourself* and for *your family*, fine. Good luck to you.

You do not get to make those choices for other people, or for other people's families. You don't.

Talking about this like it's about "peasants" is idiotic. It's not about peasants, it's not about working people, it's not about any of that shit.

It's about the basic ethical choice of not putting other people at risk without their knowledge.

Want to go to work when you're symptomatic for COVID? Put a fucking sign up that says "I have a fever and a cough, but I'm wearing a mask and I'm willing to cut your hair if you're willing take the risk".

Short of that, you're making decisions *for other people* that involve *their health* and potentially the financial security of *their families*.

That isn't your damned right.

If you're sick, stay the hell home.

Want to have dinner someplace where the waiter is sneezing on your food? No? Why not? Aren't these just the risks we all need to be willing to take?

We're all free to take risks that *effect us* and - just possibly - our families. We *are not* free to impose risks of illness and potentially death on other people without their knowledge and consent.

We by god are not.

YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO EXPOSE OTHER PEOPLE TO POTENTIALLY FATAL ILLNESS WITHOUT THEIR KNOWLEDGE OR CONSENT.

No matter how hungry your kids are. No matter how unfair or tragic any of that is.

It's not your god-damned right.

Want to argue the point? Seriously, WTF is wrong with you people.

‘No matter how hungry your kids are.’’

I will argue that point. Bring it. What is your argument? Let your kids starve? Not what Russell says.

I’m all for paying people to stay home. That’s not much help, I know. Similarly, my blaming someone for knowingly exposing others isn’t going to hurt much.

Not everyone who consumes those drugs will become addicted, but a significant number will, and many of those casual users will share their habit with others.

Rather than the War on Drugs, consider selling alcohol. Not everyone who takes a drink will become an alcoholic. Etc.

What is your argument

Do you have any freaking idea how many people I know whose livelihoods have been fucking cratered by this virus?

Probably half my friends are musicians, for a living. They have no work.

You find a way that doesn't involve putting other people at risk.

Even from a selfish standpoint, starting an outbreak in your place of business or among your customers isn’t a great plan for securing your income.

HSH, I am too, but none of that is happening. Much of America is work or die. I understand what we want, but I see what is. I am in Kentucky, which is probably at the mid point of good governance but poor population. At best, people are going through the motions.

Russell, you said ‘ no matter how hungry your kids are.’ Bring it. Why should I care about musicians over my kids?

Even from a selfish standpoint, starting an outbreak in your place of business or among your customers isn’t a great plan for securing your income.

Yet that's a great metaphor for Trump's lifelong business strategy. And look how well that's worked out for him financially. (Although I suppose there are relatively limited opportunities for money launderers for Russian mobsters.)

And then since they do have to work, shouldn’t we learn from it, which is again, all Sapient was saying, as I understand it.

You say "all sapient is saying" as if sapient is saying one thing, and a straightforward one at that.

As someone whose thoughts have been replaced with straw since the beginning of this argument, and straw based on sloppy reading comprehension and worst-case interpretation to boot, I would contend that "all sapient is saying" is so layered with subtext and innuendo (plus a few overt jabs, and some explicit accusations that other people are doing the things that she is actually, quotably doing herself) that you would have to have a PhD in ObWi-ology to pick up on a fraction of it.

*****

Plus: wrs at 10:09, and all day.

Also what hsh and nous and lj said. With apologies to anyone I missed.

Also, our imaginary hairdresser's imaginary kids are not going to imaginarily starve. She went to the Dairy Queen.

JanieM, no idea what that meant, but it seemed like it was about me. Is that correct?

Much of America is work or die.

Ain't that the truth.

I'd say a lot of this country is effectively the third world, except in the real third world, there are usually ways to get by with no money.

Not sure that's true here.

Root hog or die. The American motto.

JanieM, no idea what that meant, but it seemed like it was about me. Is that correct?

It was triggered by something you wrote, which is why I quoted something you wrote. Insofar as it was "about" someone as distinct from being a response to someone, no, it wasn't about you, it was about sapient, or more accurately sapient's contribution to this thread.

Russell, so presumably you agree people will protect children and family over society. Which is the point here.

Ah, apologies for an ambiguity. The "you" in my 10:36 who would need a PhD in ObWi-ology (an obscure branch of knowledge etc. etc.) was meant to be the general you, not the Jrudkis you.

What people will do and what people should do are separate topics.

Root hog or die. The American motto.

License required to root. Including signing a waiver of all rights to do anything to the licensors.

Russell, so presumably you agree people will protect children and family over society. Which is the point here.

It may be your point, but really, it's way more complicated than that.

And "society," as russell has already pointed out, is actually not some blurry abstraction. It's actually other people with children and families. Who quite possibly have a right to object to being used so cavalierly, whether by "society" or their neighbor or hairdresser.

Is it okay for someone to pull a knife or a gun on me and demand my children's food, because their children are starving?

You may say it's okay. If it is, then it's okay for me to whack them right back.

Well, yes. I have the opportunity to have a pay check, that provides my family a safe pandemic. I am thankful for that, but we could easily be in a very different position. If this happened last year, this would have mattered a lot more. Russell seems to care about musicians. I care about children and parents. Russell has not answered.

No, JanieM, taking your food is generally wrong. But I suppose it depends on how you got it.

presumably you agree people will protect children and family over society.

We're not talking about "society", we're talking about somebody who wants a haircut.

Which is the point here

No, that's *your* point here. Doesn't mean I have to play. I'm not your freaking monkey.

*My* point here is that nobody has the right to put other people at risk without their knowledge and consent.

But I suppose it depends on how you got it.

Like by making other people sick?

*****

And once again, wrs @11:11, the second half of which is the bookend for my 10:36.

Ok. Sorry for intruding.

Like by risking making other people sick....thereby putting their children's food at risk?

Russell seems to care about musicians. I care about children and parents.

Here's a shocker for you - *musicians have kids*.

I'm stepping away from this before I start getting actually rude.

You don't get to put other people at risk without their knowledge and consent. If you disagree, fine, just stay far far away from me.

I will not be patronizing your barbershop, I can sure as hell tell you that.

It may be notable that nobody is talking about the folks who put their families at risk because they felt that they just had to have their hair done. Or is there some life-essential aspect to getting professional hair care that I'm just ignorant of?

I apologize for showing up. It won’t happen again.

No, it's not showing up, it's showing up with a bad argument. You really want to be right. I think that everyone would say we have to consider things, but at the end of the day, after weighing those things, people fall where the fall. You fall on the 'don't be vilifying the poor for working'. Other people has said that they think this is a poor statement of what they are saying, yet you double down on that.

I'm really glad that you have given up on the Republicans because of Palin (I can't find it, but there was an interesting article about how she was the harbinger of a lot of what has happened) but I do recall (and correct me if I'm wrong) you were part of the lock her up brigade, a membership which has only grown more ironic as time has passed. If I am remembering correctly, maybe consider that if Hilary were president, this wouldn't be such a shitshow and we wouldn't be placed in a position where you think we are vilifying the poor.

No, I voted for Obama over Romney. I voted for Hilary. So no, your memory is wrong. But I am done.

LJ: whatever memory you have that supports your indictment of me over the last 15 years, I don’t think you have it. Produce it or apologize.

LJ - I think the Palin as a harbinger comments came from Steve Schmidt, who was, after all, one of the parties responsible for handing her a megaphone in the first place.

As far as family over society goes, I think sometimes that in order to help one's family, one has to support the collective good. What little security and privilege I have, I have because I am part of a union.

I don't think anyone here disagrees for a minute that it's wrong that those living paycheck to paycheck have to bear the brunt of the financial hardship brought on by this virus, or that those who are desperate to restart their businesses are monsters for wanting to do so. They are not monsters, they are hostages. I feel sorry for them.

But that does not relieve a single one of them from their moral or ethical obligations to their fellow sufferers. And I can both pity and fault them, all while being willing to give up some of my own privilege in order to relieve some of their financial pressures.

Here's something that Tom Lutz, editor of the LA Review of Books posted on FB:

In other culture news, The Atlantic laid off 68 people, and the LA Times made everyone take a 20% pay cut, which will save the paper $2 million in a year.

Patrick Soon-Shiong, who owns the LA Times, has a net worth of $7 billion, so one year's 5% return on his wealth would cover that $2 million savings for 175 years. Or he could just cover for this year and have a net worth of $7,348,000,000, instead of $7,350,000,000.

Laurene Jobs owns The Atlantic. Her net worth is $23 billion; 5% return on that in one year would pay those 68 fired staffers $100,000 a year each for 169 years. Or she could just pay for this year, and not kick 68 human beings to the curb to face the worst unemployment in 70 years. If she did that, at the end of the year, instead of $24,150,000,000, she would only have $24,143,200,000. That difference is surely worth ruining the lives of 68 people for.

Her Apple stock alone went from $7 billion to $12 billion over the last 12 months. That appreciation could pay the fired 68 staffers $100,000 a year each for 735 years. and she still would be one of the 40 richest people in the world.

We can, I think, agree that this is more monstrous and callous than our hairdresser, but I don't know that this is any comfort at all to the hairdresser's neighbors and clients.

whatever memory you have that supports your indictment of me over the last 15 years, I don’t think you have it. Produce it or apologize.

I'm happy to apologize, but I thought that is what it means when I say 'correct me if I am wrong'.

I get that tensions are high, and people are at each other's throats. But when you enter accusing people of things that they specifically disagree in the same thread that they are actually saying, it is up to you to explain why rather than simply stating it over and over, no matter how strongly you may feel they are wrong.

I've got my own ideas as to why sapient picked this hill to charge, but I have no idea why you are so upset that some people are upset about the possiblity of being infected by someone who ignores stated guidelines to stay home.

at any rate, I apologize, so you can leave, Or stay, your choice.

nous, you might not appreciate the pressure those media moguls are under. They have to keep up.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jonathanponciano/2020/05/22/billionaires-zuckerberg-bezos/

I am upset that poor people who by all reports did their jobs by the rules given are held as perpetrators on this overall thread. I don’t understand it. Many people have tenuous homes in America.

‘I get that tensions are high, and people are at each other's throats. But when you enter accusing people of things that they specifically disagree in the same thread that they are actually saying, it is up to you to explain why rather than simply stating it over and over, no matter how strongly you may feel they are wrong.‘.

No idea what this is about. So far as I can tell, I entered on the the side of workers.

I think you are not arguing with the correct person.

LJ : ‘correct me if I am wrong’ means defend yourself. Do you disagree?

Going to work with COVID-19 symptoms for 8 days in close contact with coworkers and customers isn’t within any set of rules I’m familiar with.

Hsh, your kids have food.

LJ : ‘correct me if I am wrong’ means defend yourself. Do you disagree?

I thought it meant you saying 'no I think you are mistaken, my position is xxx'. I suppose that does mean 'defend yourself', but taken to an extreme might explain why you are being so belligerent.

No idea what this is about.
jrudkis:
this thread argument is about vilifying the poor for working
hsh
Horsesh*t
jrudkis
Hsh, really? That is what I am reading. Sapient is saying don’t blame the poor person for working sick, everyone else is saying working sick is evil. Sapient says the sick person has no option, and everyone else says ‘society.’. Show me.

Again, I don't know why you are acting like such a dick, and why you are doing the prissy primadonna thing about 'oh I'll leave, but one more thing...' I'm assuming you are under stress. But I'm not sure why we should let you off because your circumstances have you come here and argue like a dick.

So far as I can tell, I entered on the the side of workers.

So did Lenin. So leave already, I'm sure that the great proletariat is calling for you.

FWIW:

People who have nice white-collar salaried jobs that allow them to work from home are, in general, doing OK in spite of the pandemic.

People who have jobs that require them to physically be some place, less so. Especially if they have to travel on mass transportation.

People who have jobs in industries that have been shut down quite often no longer have those jobs.

Everyone understands that. Nobody here is hating on working people.

Ideally, there would be a strong public response to all of this, such that people whose jobs were ended by public policy fiat, would have sufficient public relief. That's available, but not consistently, and not in sufficient amount, and not without massive bureaucratic inconvenience and delay.

Again, everyone understands that.

There isn't anyone here who doesn't understand why somebody might choose to risk their own health and / or the health of other people, if the alternative was not having food or losing their home.

I have no idea if the hairdresser in cleek's link was in that position or not. I have no idea if the hairdresser in cleek's link even has kids, or a mortgage or monthly rent to pay. That doesn't matter, because there are a lot of people who fit that profile, even if the MO hairdresser does not.

I jumped into this to take exception to sapient's suggestion that we use the example of the MO hairdresser as a sort of in vivo experiment to see if wearing masks was a sufficient prophylactic for people who actually have COVID to work in close-proximity, hands-on jobs.

That's just a bad idea. Those folks' health should be monitored for its own sake, but if none of them get sick that does not demonstrate that it's safe for anyone who has COVID to go to work in professions that require direct contact with other people. It may just as well demonstrate that those folks were lucky.

I also take exception to the whole "family vs society" thing that jrudkis is bringing.

The way that people are going to get through this is by helping each other out. Food, money, whatever. Directly supporting people who are ill or need to isolate, so that they actually can isolate. Shopping and running errands for people who are vulnerable, so that they can stay home. If you are fortunate enough to still be working, spend whatever you can afford to spend so that struggling businesses can continue.

All of that is the opposite of "family vs society". It's not anti-family, it's recognizing that "society" is a community of people like yourself, with similar if not identical needs, assets, pressures, responsibilities. It's seeing other people as something other than your enemy or rival.

That is what makes communities resilient. That is what makes it possible for people to get through difficult times without irreparable damage.

"Family vs society" doesn't offer that.

It may be that that particular dynamic is not available to all people, in all places. If that's a chosen thing - if people are just averse to asking for or offering help to other people - maybe they need to make a different choice. If that's part of some kind of ethic of self-reliance or whatever, maybe folks need to challenge that.

In any case, I submit that it's a better way to make sure your kids get fed than putting 91 other people at risk of what can be a pretty horrible disease.

Whoah. Waking up to big events. FWIW, I do think tons of what happened last night (but not all, obvs) boils down to misunderstandings.

jrudkis thought lj was addressing him when lj was addressing sapient. jrudkis thought russell cared more about musicians than people's kids. jrudkis said about the actual hairdresser we have been considering for argument's sake "I am upset that poor people who by all reports did their jobs by the rules given are held as perpetrators on this overall thread." when as I understand it the hairdresser disobeyed the rules, and moreover went to the gym (I don't know what Dairy Queen is), thus presumably disposing of the possibility that he/she had to expose the public solely to feed his/her kids, or save his/her house.

There may have been other misunderstandings too, I'm not going back to check. I only have an MA in ObWi-ology, but I think a lot of this happened because jrudkis hasn't been around much, for understandable reasons, so hasn't seen the currents of discussion here for a while. Suffice it to say, if jrudkis is still around (which I hope he is), accusing folks here of being against the working-hand-to-mouth-poor (whtmp) could not be further from the truth. Also, in all fairness, categorising the issue as whtmp versus "society" leads you up the wrong garden path from what you lot call the get-go: it is not "society" we are talking about shielding from possible fatal infection, it is other people, and their kids.

Hsh, your kids have food.

Which has zilch to do with the rules you brought up and is nothing but ad hominem. When you’re shown to wrong on a particular point, change the subject and attack personally.

it is not "society" we are talking about shielding from possible fatal infection, it is other people, and their kids.

And there’s already the second hairdresser whom, in all likelihood, the first hairdresser infected. There’s also the salon that is now closed as a result. So the people who might not be able to feed their kids multiply. If I were to argue in another style, I would ask why certain people don’t care about those poor people.

1.

Jrudkis, you showed up after a long absence and joined a fight that was already in progress, seemingly without reading the whole thread (or at least not understanding it); telling people (repeatedly) what they were arguing about, as if they/we were too dim-witted to figure that out without your help; explaining sapient, as if the rest of us weren’t already perfectly familiar with sapient and her methods; taking sapient’s word for it that other people were “vilifying” poor people; and crapping all over said people for said “vilifying.”

Please give an example of where poor people were vilified or held as perps by anyone on this thread. Don’t bother if all you’ve got is people pointing out the guidelines that say, “If you’re sick, stay home.” That is not vilifying anyone, much less calling them perpetrators. (You, by the way, were the one who introduced the inflammatory word “perpetrators” into the discussion.)

2.

Jrudkis: “I am upset that poor people who by all reports did their jobs by the rules given are held as perpetrators on this overall thread. I don’t understand it. Many people have tenuous homes in America.”

In response, hsh wrote: “Going to work with COVID-19 symptoms for 8 days in close contact with coworkers and customers isn’t within any set of rules I’m familiar with.”

To which you responded: “Hsh, your kids have food.”

This is textbook goalpost moving and textbook ad hominem.

Goalpost moving: First it’s “you people are being mean to people who followed the rules,” and when it’s pointed out that they didn’t actually follow the rules, it’s “the rules are irrelevant.”

Ad hominem: And it’s not just “the rules are irrelevant if their kids are hungry,” it’s “the rules are irrelevant …. because your kids have food,” i.e. this isn’t really about whether the imaginary hairdresser’s imaginary kids have food, it’s about how nasty and selfish hsh is. (The chance to make this point repeatedly (e.g., “Easy for you to say”) is really what this whole discussion was for, but I fear that’s too subtle a point; see below.)

3.

Your language has been combative, sanctimonious, and accusatory, and yet you have also written:

“I have no idea what this means.”

“JanieM, no idea what that meant”

“No idea what this is about.”

Again and again, by your own admission, you don’t understand what people are saying, and yet you’re perfectly happy to suggest that they’re selfish “vilifiers” for saying it, and to metaphorically challenge people to put their dukes up and fight you about it. (“Bring it.”)

4.

Jrudkis: “All sapient is saying (I believe) is the blame is not on those trying to survive, but on the system that made it so.”

My comment at 5:20 on Saturday, which seems to have been one of the triggers for this whole adventure, said that exact same thing, although admittedly the point was embedded in a lot of snark and frustration (“venting,” as more than one person has already pointed out) that would have been perfectly familiar to any regular here, including sapient, who twisted it to make a pile of straw to start a fire with. You then came along with a can of gasoline, in case the fire wasn’t going good enough yet.

Jrudkis: “So far as I can tell, that is the entirety of Sapient’s point.”

You can’t tell very far. I tried to explain that last night, but you explicitly said you didn’t understand my comment.

You didn’t have a clue what you stepped into, but that hasn’t stopped you from telling people of what they’re arguing about and what side they’re taking (in the face of their own denial), making demands, moving goalposts, and making snotty, sanctimonious accusations -- “your children have food”; “Russell seems to care about musicians. I care about children and parents.”

That last one is so illogical I wouldn’t have known where to start. Fortunately, russell cut through the crap:

“Here's a shocker for you - *musicians have kids*.”

5.

I did vilify someone in my Saturday 5:20 comment, but not “poor people” or “hairdressers” in general or people with starving children, but rather: “those ‘my liberty entails the right to infect other people’ people.”

Otherwise, to sum up and strip the comment of snark, I vilified our culture, which is based on greed, and said that sick people should stay home.

I stand by both points.

I want to repeat the quotation in nous's 1:03 am comment:

In other culture news, The Atlantic laid off 68 people, and the LA Times made everyone take a 20% pay cut, which will save the paper $2 million in a year.

Patrick Soon-Shiong, who owns the LA Times, has a net worth of $7 billion, so one year's 5% return on his wealth would cover that $2 million savings for 175 years. Or he could just cover for this year and have a net worth of $7,348,000,000, instead of $7,350,000,000.

Laurene Jobs owns The Atlantic. Her net worth is $23 billion; 5% return on that in one year would pay those 68 fired staffers $100,000 a year each for 169 years. Or she could just pay for this year, and not kick 68 human beings to the curb to face the worst unemployment in 70 years. If she did that, at the end of the year, instead of $24,150,000,000, she would only have $24,143,200,000. That difference is surely worth ruining the lives of 68 people for.

Her Apple stock alone went from $7 billion to $12 billion over the last 12 months. That appreciation could pay the fired 68 staffers $100,000 a year each for 735 years. and she still would be one of the 40 richest people in the world.

Nothing we do is going to make an appreciable difference as long as these numbers hold true.

I don't know what Dairy Queen is

A transvestite milkman...

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