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April 22, 2021

Comments

When the blue stripe peels off, it reveals a Nazi flag, so I've seen.

The people perceived as doing the asking must be thwarted at all costs, even unto the death of the neighbors.

Even unto the death of self -- see the reports of people who were still insisting that the whole thing was a hoax, even as they died of it. Belief can be powerful.

Magic whiteboard software = draw on a glass board that’s between you and the camera then horizontal flip the video after you’ve shot it.

WRT the OP, via LGM I come to this. It's behind the WaPo paywall, for which apologies. If you subscribe or know how to work around it, it's an interesting read.

For folks who can't see it, it's an article about Mary Ann Vecchio, the young woman (15 at the time) in the famous photograph from the Kent State shootings of May 1970. Kent is always evocative chez russell because my wife grew up quite near Kent, went to Kent State, and was there on the day. One of the people killed was a young woman she knew slightly.

It's an interesting article about Vecchio, and an interesting snapshot of the time. Among other things, the threats and other calumny heaped upon Vecchio, her family, and the guy that took the picture will seem more than familiar.

Everything old is new again. Some things never seem to go away, they just hide under a rock until it's safe to come out again.

Some people are unguided missiles just waiting for their social environment to feed them targets to strike.

What I think is the same article has been published in several places, here for example.

Thanks, russell. That's a very moving article. I had high school classmates at KSU at that time, and my sister later studied and eventually taught there. There are plaques in the pavement of what is now a parking lot, marking where the four victims died. Very hard to be there, even forty-plus years later (which is the last time I was).

You have repeatedly answered, by implication and differently from me, a question that my son asks now and again. Is it "worse" now than it was then? As our earlier comments indicate: I have casually thought yes, it's "worse." This is a reminder: maybe not. Or rather, yet another bonk on the head reminding me that as you say, everything old is new again. "We" never do learn from history, or even if we do, we don't know what to do about it.

I read that WaPo article a few days ago, and was also struck by the similarities to today (the pilings-on etc). The Kent State killings were an unforgettable event; I was at an impressionable age, and things felt very different after that. It's one of the things that has never allowed me to feel (like some of my social circles then and now felt/feel - only possible for the white ones of course) that "the authorities" are necessarily on my side.

Is it "worse" now than it was then?

I do think it’s better now, than then. Mostly because decades of effort have made dent in the law. People can’t *legally* be persecuted or discriminated against, at least as easily, for most human characteristics. “Inclusivity” gets a bad name, but at least more people have a way to exist, as themselves, in public life.

Digging hostility and suspicion out of people’s hearts and minds is harder, takes longer, and likely will never be complete.

Members, don’t get weary.

One notable difference at Kent State. It wasn't the police who fired the shots. It was a bunch of Ohio National Guard troops. That is, not militarized police, but actual military. Military armed only with rifles. As a result, the National Guard, and the whole military, conducted major reviews of how they handled crowd control.

I also seem to remember comments to the effect that the National Guard troops involved were basically the same age as the students who were shot. I wonder how they have come to terms with it, all these years later. And I wonder if the identity of the individual who gave the order to fire has surfaced.

Long time reader first time poster. I've always enjoyed reading the posts and comments on this blog, you have a very interesting group of "regulars". My sentiments lie more with Marty an McKinney. I live in the center of the states, rural, mostly conservative area. I wear a mask when it's required and try to get along with people. Covid swept thru my family , including my 80 yr old parents and my 105 yr old grandma. We all survived with symptoms and severity pretty much as you would predict. As I've talked to people in our area, it became apparent that more people have probably had the bug than have been tested and added to the positive numbers. This is especially true in my youngest kids age group, mid 20's. Just an unscientific observation, I think in our area herd immunity is very close. I understand some of your opinions that people don't care enough about their fellow man to where a mask, but there is more to life than just surviving. Be well and please live your life, not just survive.

Welcome, Ron! We can always use people who have experiences beyond what the regulars can provide.

Is it "worse" now than it was then?

It was worse. But in a world before the Internet and social media, most of us felt the impact of events less than we do now.

"We" never do learn from history, or even if we do, we don't know what to do about it.

What we learn from history is that we don't learn from history.

Looks like, in my area, people are starting to ignore mask requirements. I was just in a convenience store for about five minutes and saw two people without masks in spite of the "masks required" posted on the doors.

there is more to life than just surviving.

Hi Ron, and welcome. Thank you for chiming in!

I’m not opposed to the idea that there is more to life than just surviving. Our views depart at 2 points, I think:

1. I can legitimately only make choices about risks are tolerable for myself, not others
2. Wearing a mask just doesn’t get in my way all that much. It doesn’t compromise my enjoyment of life.

I’m more than glad your people all came through it.

Don’t be a stranger!

i just got back from the hardware store, and despite the governor's mandate, and the signs all over the store, one of the employees wasn't wearing a mask. standing there, helping some old guy pick of a new shower head, not even trying to stay distanced, no mask.

might be the last time i go there.

Is it "worse" now than it was then?

Well, it was different. And it was remarkably the same in other ways. So it depends on what specific thing you have in mind....

Welcome Farmer Ron. You write: "but there is more to life than just surviving."

Well, sure. But do bear in mind that if you die unnecessarily due to a disdain for some rather rudimentary and not all that intrusive measures that constitute sound medical advice in a pandemic, then you are definitely not surviving, and that "more to life" stuff, good as it may well be, is kinda' sorta' out of reach.

Could be one of those cart and horse things.

At any rate, welcome. wj needs all the help he can get.

might be the last time i go there.

I wiped a frequent stop off my list last summer for this reason.

Plus -- the restaurant across the road from me had a sign out front last fall saying that it was the governor who was killing them, not COVID. Not that I ever went there much in the first place -- if I'm going to eat out, I like to get away from home, plus I'm also not that big of fan of their food. But it was convenient sometimes.

Quoth the raven....

Despite being home to many lovely people I know, much of Michigan has yet to come to terms with the Great Migration. The spirit of McVeigh lives on.

https://www.metrotimes.com/detroit/welcome-to-maga-country-white-angst-keeps-trumpism-alive-in-macomb-county/Content?oid=26946615

As contingent faculty in an expensive state, we always keep an eye on places to land should our jobs turn unsustainable. I love the natural environment of Upper Michigan, but the social environment scares the shit out of me. Minnesota has its own problems it's dealing with, but it seems a bit less far down the Q-and-white-identity rabbit hole.

What bobbyp said.

But apart from that, I too lay out the welcome mat, Farmer Ron. I reckon the insights of a farmer from the "center of the states" could be interesting: let a thousand flowers bloom (if you can forgive the misquotation, and the source).

Also very glad (and impressed) all your family made it through, despite their ages. May we all enjoy a life which is more than just surviving.

Farmer Ron, which state? What are your crops? I farmed decades ago in Missouri. Around Joplin.

An irony of the times is that there are farmers making more money from making YouTube videos about their farming than they're making from their farming.

might be the last time i go there.

In my town, the guys at the dump seem less than committed to the whole mask thing. Sadly, I can’t avoid going to the dump.

It’s outside and it’s easy enough to give them a nice wide berth, but it’d be nice if they’d take one for the team. IMO.

Farmer Ron, which state?

based on his accent, I'm guessing Iowa.

might be the last time i go there.

your hardware store and the landfills in Massachusetts may be abject failures when it comes to taking on COVID, but here's a place that succeeded.

Undoubtedly there will be those who say "we could not possibly have done that". My response? We didn't even really try. Even a glimmer of a more or less distant proximation could have prevented hundreds of thousands of easily preventable deaths.

But no. It was supposed to disappear by last Easter.

Conservatives claim to be "all in" when it comes to the collective sacrifice deemed necessary to invade small countries in the Middle East, starve social welfare programs and give all of our wealth to the already wealthy, but when it comes to a real gut check....like looming climate catastrophe, or deeply embedded racial disparities, they are MIA.

We can thank our lucky stars they weren't running things during the Great Depression or WWII.


I don’t really know how to square the “more to life than surviving” thing with mask-wearing. It’s not like we’re living in the tube during the blitz, nor is it that not wearing a mask is a profoundly fulfilling experience. It’s an absurd formulation, IMO. Just not funny like Monty Python.

And what hsh said (no offense, Farmer Ron, just trying to puzzle out the life/surviving thing as it relates to the mask question).

I should admit that I’m pretty sure I’d have become one of the world’s greatest living mathematicians over the last year if it weren’t for this stupid mask.

An irony of the times is that there are farmers making more money from making YouTube videos about their farming than they're making from their farming.

Not just farmers either. Tow truck operators, too!
https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCwdVOry0oNF9WIe_3uCfz9Q
Probably helps that southern Utah is so picturesque.

I’d have become one of the world’s greatest living mathematicians over the last year if it weren’t for this stupid mask.

as an upside, it does help to thwart the paparazzi.

We could have a whole thread about improbable YouTube channels we have discovered. Like the Finn with a hydrolic press that he squeezes unlikely things with. And then moved Beyond The Press.

Wild and wonderful, the businesses people have started that would have been simply inconceivable, even in science fiction, in my youth.

An irony of the times is that there are farmers making more money from making YouTube videos about their farming than they're making from their farming.

If it keeps them solvent and on their farm, great!

I subscribe to two of that kind of farmer. One up in Vermont is just getting started - still has a "regular" job, in fact - and YouTube revenue is an essential part of his business plan. Another family are essentially subsistence farmers: not interested in growing enough to sell and make money, the purpose of their farm is simply to grow their own food. Not sure how important YouTube revenue is to them, though it surely doesn't hurt.

The idea of making any money from YouTube at all was startling enough to me at first; the idea that people can make enough to actually have it be their primary or sole source of income blows my mind. Everyone's a mini-media-mogul! I have a lot of respect for those folks; cannot imagine doing it myself. (I lack not only the essential cinematography skills: that level of privacy loss gives me hives just thinking about it.)

Another potential outcome of the pandemic: we may get more serious about looking at DNA factors in susceptibility. For example, there's this fascinating article
https://www.economist.com/science-and-technology/2021/02/24/dna-from-neanderthals-affects-vulnerability-to-covid-19
on how gene sequences inherited from Neanderthals apparently gives increased (or decreased, depending on which one) vulnerability to covid-19.

Two long sections of DNA, both inherited from Neanderthals, appear to confer resistance or susceptibility to severe covid-19, depending on which is present.
... one Neanderthal DNA string, known as a “haplotype”, is associated with a higher risk of serious illness. Having one copy of the haplotype, which is found on the third of the 46 chromosomes possessed by humans, doubles the chances of a trip to intensive care. Those unlucky enough to possess two copies—one from each parent—face an even higher risk.
...
That genetic bad luck is not evenly distributed. The gene-sequence is most common among people of South Asian descent, with 63% of the population of Bangladesh carrying at least one copy; and among Europeans, where the prevalence is around 16%. As expected, it is virtually absent from Africa. More strikingly, it is also very rare in large swathes of eastern Asia.

i absolutely must carry a 2-pound pistol on my hip at all times in case i need to deliberately a bunch of strangers. but wear a .25oz mask so that i don't accidentally kill strangers?

TYRANNY!

I distinctly remember ordering two “kill”s for that last comments

Thanks USPS

Blame DeJoy. He's slowed down deliveries -- and not just for mail ballots.

We could have a whole thread about improbable YouTube channels

The twins who post videos of the first time they are listening to classic songs have brought my day to a standstill more than once.

gene sequences inherited from Neanderthals apparently gives increased (or decreased, depending on which one) vulnerability to covid-19.

According to Geno, I have an unusually high percentage of Neanderthal DNA (insert joke here).

I don't know which kind it is, though.

I"m going with vax and mask.

The first results I got from 23AndMe said that I had more Neanderthal factors than 94% of everyone else. Then they updated their Neanderthal data and downgraded me to 34%.

The number of men self-identifying as Neanderthal is far outstripped by the number of women claiming to be married to one...

We have no idea about the political preferences of Neanderthals or their views on equality but nonetheless we make 'Neanderthal' an insult.
I assume, if they were still visibly around (not just in traces in our DNA), there would be a 'one drop rule' and anti-miscegenation laws.

GftNC, no one here is going to give anyone a hard time about wearing a mask. It may seem inconceivable but much of FL is back to a pretty normal,precovid, state. And I mean simy that people go to restaurants, bars, karaoke night, the beach etc. People who aren't vaccinated or feel at risk simply avoid those places.

In grocery stores, etc which people cant avoid everyone is quite courteous and wear masks, social distance in line, avoid face to face contact. It is not a horde of murderous people willing to kill each other.

As the deaths further decline I suspect more people will venture into riskier venues. People over 65 accounted for 80% of deaths, but 81% of people in the US over 65 have received at least one shot. 65% fully vaccinated. So in six weeks or less 80% of the highest risk group will be vaccinated.

The hospitals here have, all along, offered vaccines to high risk people from a comorbidity standpoint on a doctors referral.

It doesn't seem unreasonable for life to begin to be more active if not normal. I understand the hesitations to participate in that, I don't understand the hostility toward others doing it that some express.

I don't understand the hostility toward others doing it that some express.

People aren't hostile toward others participating in life being more active. If you've been vaccinated, there are a variety of things you can do now, safely, that you could not do before. Nobody here has any issue with anyone doing any of those things.

They are hostile toward people not wearing masks in public places, and in particular indoor places or crowded outdoor places. Why? Because it's not clear at this point if it's safe to do that, even if you've been vaccinated, and certainly if you have not.

The odds are probably better. How much better? Not known at this point. Not by you, not by McK, not by me, not by anybody. Still trying to figure that out.

And that assumes that everyone walking around without a mask has been vaccinated, which is not known and, depending on where you are, somewhere between unlikely and highly unlikely to be so.

So, speaking for myself, not wearing a mask when you're around other people - even if you've been vaccinated - seems like an indulgence that runs the risk of putting the time when we can *all* return to something like normal that much further off.

You, personally, are highly unlikely to get COVID at this point, and are vanishingly unlikely to be symptomatic even if you do. It's less clear that you are incapable of transmitting it to others, whether you are infected or not. That is the state of the science. It's unknown.

So not wearing a mask around other people presents a risk of continuing the spread of the disease. Big risk? Probably not. Small risk? Negligible risk? We don't know. And the risk is not really to you, it's to folks you come in contact with.

Everyone is entitled to take whatever risks they want to take with their own life and health. Nobody is entitled to make those choices for other people. Right?

And what's being asked is that you wear a piece of cloth over your mouth and nose when you're around other people that aren't part of your household, and that you don't know to have been vaccinated. That's the ask. It leaves room for a very wide range of normal activity.

So on the whole, to me and I guess people like me, it seems selfish to not wear a mask around other people, just because you are likely to be immune.

It's not hard to understand.

As the deaths further decline...

Both Covid cases and deaths in Florida are substantially higher than they were a month ago.

The reason for the rather mild hostility some of us have expressed is that doing your own thing in an epidemic results in the deaths of other people.

The 7 day moving average of deaths was 60 a month ago and 61 today and the overall trend is still down. I suspect it will continue down with plateaus.

Nothing I am doing is resulting in the deaths of other people.

Nothing I am doing is resulting in the deaths of other people.

That you know of. I can't say for sure that nothing I am doing is resulting in the deaths of other people. I surely hope not, and take efforts to ensure that I don't spread COVID - like wearing a mask in public spaces even though I'm fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, you tell tales about people in bars being freaked out if someone wears a mask, Marty, and that it's actually harmful to them for you to wear a mask while sharing indoor space with them. It's difficult to figure out what your point is in this discussion because you say contradictory things depending on which way the conversation is going.

GftNC, it wouldn't be the least bit polite to walk in the bar on the corner with my mask on. It wouldn't be kind or good manners. There would be 40 or 50 people wondering if I was sick. None of them would have masks on.

GftNC, no one here is going to give anyone a hard time about wearing a mask.

These aren't literally contradictory, but close enough.

hsh: It's difficult to figure out what your point is in this discussion because you say contradictory things depending on which way the conversation is going.

Marty's point exemplifies a version of Cleek's Law. With some contrarian "you people are all idiots" flavoring thrown in.

hsh: also, thanks for this: It’s an absurd formulation, IMO. Our two hearts beat as one.

They are not contradictory at all. The point was I would be making them uncomfortable. So I would not be being polite. Nothing I have said is contradictory.

In places where masks are required/requested I wear a mask. This ensures that people that go there can count on mask wearing and social distancing.

In those places where it is not I don't wear one. Those same people can avoid those places.

I am pretty normal in my mask usage so if I went to a place where masks weren't required, or the norm, I would be making them uncomfortable for no good reason if I wore one.

This divergence of places was almost certainly going to exist once bars, restaurants, beaches etc were reopened.

Marty, I have zero interest in giving you, personally a hard time. I want you, and yours, to be well and stay well. But (as hsh, Janie, russell and Pro Bono have pointed out) when you say:

Nothing I am doing is resulting in the deaths of other people.

you cannot be remotely sure of this, given the current state of scientific knowledge. By going maskless into indoor venues, peopled with 40 or 50 maskless people (many of whose vaccination status you don't know) it is perfectly possible that this is resulting in the deaths of other people.

They are not contradictory at all.

Sez you.

Those same people can avoid those places.

How fun!

This has been the attitude all along: we're going to keep "the economy" and all our fun stuff going, and too bad for the rest of you if that means the virus will just keep spreading, and spreading, and spreading some more, and it takes all that much longer for the collective to get to a point where everyone can be safe again. It's a perfect distillation of the words Marty once put into my mouth for wanting the right to get married: IGMFY. (Logic is for sissies.)

The virus could have been controlled within a couple of months if everyone pulled together. But enough people just don't give a shit, or are actively hostile to measures taken for the public health, so that it's going to be more like two years than two months.

Secondhand, no links, from someone teaching a genetics class: we're going to be very, very lucky if this doesn't turn out to be just the opening act for a much more contagious/lethal virus. If only it could be engineered to target only the people who think it's no big deal how many people die....

"Normal" is not normal if people are still dying from COVID in significant numbers.

I guess I'm unclear on what you're looking to get out of the discussion here.

Nobody is going to make you wear a mask. You are free to wear a mask, or not, as you wish.

If you're trying to convince everyone here that all of that is OK, you probably will not succeed, because apparently most of us, including me, disagree with you about the level of risk that you incur toward other people by not wearing a mask around other people.

If what you perceive as 'hostility' distresses you, you are probably going to have to live with it, because by our lights, you are contributing to this whole mess going on longer than it needs to.

You don't see it that way, because of your understanding of the evidence available to you. We do see it that way, because of our understanding of the evidence available to us. Our point of view happens to align with CDC recommendations, so maybe we get a bonus point. But nobody here expects that to be persuasive to you.

Do what you want. Some of us find it irresponsible, and given the stakes, that makes some of us angry. If that matters to you, consider wearing a mask. If it doesn't, don't.

But if you're looking for some kind of approval, or have some expectation that you are going to convince the rest of us that your actions are OK, that's probably not gonna happen.

Regarding this:

Nothing I am doing is resulting in the deaths of other people.

You don't know that, because the information you'd need to have to know that is unavailable.

It may seem inconceivable but much of FL is back to a pretty normal,precovid, state. And I mean simy that people go to restaurants, bars, karaoke night, the beach etc. People who aren't vaccinated or feel at risk simply avoid those places.

Just want to put this out there explicitly again. Abnormal numbers of people still dying, and large numbers of people having to avoid places because other people won't take the simplest precautions

IS NOT FUCKING NORMAL.

The self-congratulatory assertion of normalcy is mind-boggling.

Yeah sez me. Who is the "rest" of us? I haven't taken any unnecessary chance to infect anyone.

The virus would not have been controlled under any circumstance, and I was isolated for a year. The first 8 months in a one bedroom apartment all by myself.

The only people calling names here are you and hsh.

we're going to be very, very lucky if this doesn't turn out to be just the opening act for a much more contagious/lethal virus.

It's one of the challenges to achieving herd immunity: if enough people refuse to get vaccinated, they provide a pool where the virus can mutate. Quite possibly into something both more contagious and more lethal. Hence the comments (which have occasioned complaints from some of those who are already refusing to get vaccinated once) about the possibility of needing follow-on vaccinations for new versions of the virus.

I am pretty normal in my mask usage so if I went to a place where masks weren't required, or the norm, I would be making them uncomfortable for no good reason if I wore one

Ok, a couple of points. I think some who've read my comments are misreading them. OTOH, the CDC has sent a lot of mixed signals and has failed to address/accommodate the millions and millions of people who simply cannot bear self-isolation for more than a couple of months and for whom self-isolation is overkill. Rigidly adhering to shelter in place is not a viable strategy if people have quit listening. Plus, the CDC is not clear in advising which cohorts are more and which are less at risk from CoVID. I said "from" CoVID, not "of" CoVID. Most people barely know they have it and bunkering in makes no sense if that is their frame of reference.

But, just because the CDC doesn't message well doesn't mean that indoor venues, particularly bars and whatnot and particularly those with relatively low ceilings and lots of air recirculation are not high-risk areas. Not wearing a mask--even if everyone at that location agrees to not wear masks--is unwise. Hell, choosing to enter that kind of establishment strikes me as risky business.

Gov't doesn't do nuance well at all. People who are not sick can be around other people who are not sick. People who have been vaccinated or who, prior to vaccines, limited their public outings and take precautions are not likely to get sick. Healthy people do not infect other healthy people. Hanging out with people who are vaccinated or, previously, who took prudent precautions is reasonably safe.

Anyone who wants can stay home and bar the door. We found that to be unnecessary for the reasons outlined above. What would have been truly problematic would be the uber-enforcement we read about (how much is hyped, I have no idea). Gov't seems to have been plenty heavy-handed in many countries and in various areas around the US. Our personal fix would be illegal in many places. I have a problem with that.

We have friends who went maskless and spent a lot of time indoors with others who think very little of CoVID. We quit having them over or going to their house. Reasoned observation and conclusion, coupled with a due regard for strangers in public, is a perfectly fine compromise.

normalcy

'normalcy' here seems to mean 'I can go to a bar if I want to'.

which, to be perfectly honest, would be not far off of my own personal definition of normal. especially if live music and a cheeseburger were thrown in for good measure.

but it'd be nice to have a version of normal that meant we *all* could go to a bar. or, do whatever floats our boat.

we'll get there, if Not-So-Sleepy Joe our national ham sandwich keeps rolling out the vaxes then it might not even be that far off.

if everyone would just get with the freaking program it'd be that much sooner.

we're going to be very, very lucky if this doesn't turn out to be just the opening act for a much more contagious/lethal virus.

Current reporting on active cases worldwide is almost 19M. That's certainly an under-count. Who knows by how much? Daily new cases worldwide are also as high as ever and rising. That's a lot of virus replicating and mutating around the world. Probability is not on our side because too many people are playing host to the virus' rapid evolution.

The only people calling names here are you and hsh.

Gotta quote? I can call some pretty good names, so it would be easy to find if it happened.

wj and hsh: this comment that was quoted to me wasn't about COVID, or COVID mutations, at all. It was about the possibility of other viruses emerging, let's say with the lethality of Ebola and the contagiousness of measles.

The reaction of homo sapiens all over the world to COVID doesn't bode well for what would happen then.

I haven't taken any unnecessary chance to infect anyone.

Just going to let that sit there.

the CDC has sent a lot of mixed signals

A brief comment on this.

I don't disagree that the information from the CDC and other official voices has been inconsistent. I personally don't ascribe that to incompetence, I simply think that there has been, and continues to be, a lot that is simply not known about COVID.

I also think it's quite possible that the direction given by the CDC and other official voices will turn out to have been overly cautious. Charlie Baker here in MA wants people to be masked when they're outside, full stop, even if they aren't remotely close to anyone else. That's overkill.

But people who are responsible for public health are probably going to err on the side of caution. And they should do that, and we should be glad that they do that.

The list of things the CDC says it's safe to do once you're vaxed is not very far off of McK's list. There's a lot you can do, that you couldn't do safely before, once you're vaxed. I encourage everyone to get vaxed and to enjoy every single moment of whatever it is they are then free to enjoy safely.

I just don't think we know enough to say it's safe to go un-masked around other people who we don't know, and whose health and vaccination status we don't know. So I don't do it, and I think that people who do are contributing to all of this going on longer than it needs to.

For the love of god, just wear a freaking mask when you're around other people. If there is a simpler, less onerous thing to be asked of you, I can't imagine what it is.

I'm not even gonna get into the whole vax avoidance thing.

SMFH, as usual.

Ah, I see. Thanks for the clarification, Janie, even if it isn't the rosiest of pictures.

The virus would not have been controlled under any circumstance

Funny, didn't someone have a link to Vietnam in this thread?

I guess it just means "any circumstance" where bars and beaches had to be populated, and weddings had to take place, at any cost to the neighbors.

I haven't taken any unnecessary chance to infect anyone.

I'm having a little trouble with this assertion. Is not wearing a mask a necessary chance? (Because clearly the chance involved is not zero.) How is it necessary? Not really following something, obviously.

And I know others have pointed this out, recently Janie @10.25 above, but even ignoring the risk of currently carrying the virus to others despite being immune oneself, the longer covid-19 is enabled to circulate in significant numbers in any population, the more likely it is for more deadly, more transmissable variants to develop and then outstrip available vaccines. And wherever in the world these variants develop, they spread throughout the world (it was astonishing how fast the Kent variant, with its greater transmissibility, spread). Which is why those who actually know and understand the science keep saying "None of us will be safe until everyone is safe."

It kind of sounds like Marty didn't go around coughing in people's faces, just for laughs, when he had COVID. Thank goodness for that!

Sorry, I see Janie's 10.25 was not about covid. But the point I make holds nonetheless.

I should take a break from being my usual wise-ass self to say that I don't think Marty is some kind of extreme COVID villain. We disagree on a few points, even if they're significant. But if Marty's was the worst example of lax behavior with regard to COVID to be found, we'd be in much better shape than we are now.

I see the problem here. I didn't and wouldn't go to a bar, restaurant etc.before I was vaccinated because I believe those places can't be made safe. Stupid place to be if you are still at risk. An hour sitting at a restaurant or a few hours at a bar listening to a good band and having a cheeseburger is not a place people at risk should be. And mask wearing in between bites or drinks ain't gonna make it safe.

So my calculus is that if you're there you have decided you are safe.

So wearing a mask there or on a beach is theater at best. Or while I am eating at aa restaurant is just theater.

I think absurd is the word you used hsh.

Seconded.

Sorry, seconded referred to hsh's 11.08.

IANAL, but it seems to me that deliberately coughing in someone's face meets what I understand to be the legal definition of assault. Might even, if you know you are infectious, reach "assault with a deadly weapon."

If charged, no doubt the offenders would be as astonished as some of those who stormed the Capitol were. My sympathy knows bounds.

somebody attempts to coughs in my face, i'm Standing My Ground, winkwinkknowwhatimean.

ffs. my left hand clearly wants there to be more esses in the world.

my left hand clearly wants there to be more esses in the world.

Hey, ya do what ya gotta do, to get them out of your system.

I also think it's quite possible that the direction given by the CDC and other official voices will turn out to have been overly cautious. Charlie Baker here in MA wants people to be masked when they're outside, full stop, even if they aren't remotely close to anyone else. That's overkill.

Second guessing, like hypocrisy, is the preferred lubricants of political intercourse. So, in my world, near term over-reaction is better than near term under-reaction, and we should make allowances for near term caution. However, I insert a big "BUT" here and Mr. Baker is Exhibit A. If there isn't a very strong bias to getting the info needed to mitigate the early over-reaction on a timely basis, if the default is "full on (or nearly so) DefCon 4" until there is simply no risk whatsoever, then credibility goes out the window along with compliance.

Some expert words (and links) on the need for wearing a mask even after you are vaccinated.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/04/26/vaccinated-wear-a-mask/

New Jersey had its steepest decline in daily new cases heading into last summer, with minimal new cases lasting from the start of August until the first third or so of November. My speculation is that people gathered outdoors because the weather allowed that. People generally like being outside and, I don't think they feel like their liberties are being taken from them when they're doing something they've been waiting months to be able to do, anyway.

Florida had one of their peaks in the summer, I'm guessing because it's too damned hot to be outside.

Masked or not, if people had been limiting their gatherings to outdoor venues (an ideal assumption given less-than-ideal weather), we'd be in much better shape.

I'm having a hard time following what the arguments are here, so I'm going to just point out what thing. When Marty says
So wearing a mask there [at a bar] or on a beach is theater at best. Or while I am eating at aa restaurant is just theater.

I read that as meaning 'something unnecessary that only harms people'. I'd suggest a rethink of what 'theatre' means. It's more like an encouragement to some standard of group behavior. Research shows that at crosswalks, for example, people generally follow the rules unless someone transgresses them and crosses against the light, which then gives other people license to do the same.

The 'theatre' is actually what drives social behavior, so failing to understand that there is a performative aspect in doing these things, just like the parent who behaves in front of their children.

Is masking behavior important enough that 'theatrical' use is needed remind people to keep their masks on? Obviously opinions differ, but I hope that Marty might consider that a bit more "theatrical" approach to all this might have saved more lives.

to mitigate the early over-reaction

except, it wasn't an over-reaction.

it was a vast, contagious, iu>under-reaction that has lead to the deaths of 600,000 Americans!

and if it wasn't for the goddamned President of the US and his entire dingbat party playing like this whole thing was some fucking joke, a good number of those people would still be alive right now.

American "conservatives" might just be the absolutely least-responsible and most selfish people, ever.

just look at the absolute constant need for "conservatives" to blame the CDC for what they refuse to do in any case.

"oh i'm just so confused about the mask wearing - even though i am suddenly an expert in communicable diseases. guess i'll just have to buy a fake vaccination card and go back to normal. all you vaccinated people can protect me from it, right? freedom!"

"oh i'm just so confused about the mask wearing - even though i am suddenly an expert in communicable diseases.

Yeah. It would be LOL if it weren't for the death toll.

Here's another article on the MIT study Marty brought up earlier.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/staying-6-feet-apart-indoors-112732760.html

A website made available by the researchers shows how this model works in different scenarios.

For example, if an infected person walks into a classroom hosting 25 people, none wearing masks and all speaking, everyone would be at risk from the coronavirus within 36 minutes, the website says. It doesn't matter if they follow the 6-foot rule.

By contrast, if all 25 people in that room were wearing a mask, the air would be safe to breathe for 20 hours, it said.

If they were all singing without a mask, they be at risk from the virus within three minutes.

This seems to contradict Marty's assertion that wearing a mask is theater (at best!).

American "conservatives" might just be the absolutely least-responsible and most selfish people, ever.

There are a lot of things wrong with your position. To begin with, it was several uber liberals who poo-poo'd the notion of isolating travel from the PRC and avoiding public places early on, along with DT. Next, reactions are local and state wide, not national. There is no national authority to tell people to stay home. Beyond that, the outcomes were mixed. Andrew Cuomo covered up his own malfeasance and it looks like he's going to get a pass. Cuomo, Newsome and Whitmer were noticeably and notably "do as I say, not as i do". Most places in the country adopted masking, social distancing and limited gatherings. Some places were more draconian than others. The science supports returning kids to school but look where the opposition is. Your knowledge of conservatives is actually pretty ignorant. I was at Lowe's yesterday. A lot of Biden voters are going mask-free. The vast majority of people I know--conservative and liberal--wear masks. Generalizing and politicizing every single damn thing doesn't advance any discussion. Do you really thing sustained over-reaction is a good idea? Do you really think years' long shelter in place/no bars or restaurants is viable?

Shelter in place/stay at home was reasonable only in the short term. Yet, many still advocate for it, despite the evidence. Which is why I specifically referred to actual evidence, i.e. the MA outdoor mask thing.

So far, despite partisan efforts to play it otherwise, FL and TX seem to be doing fine with lifted restrictions. We'll see how that plays out. But I don't hear anyone echoing JB's Neanderthal accusation.

From the current top of the page BJ post:

In a similar vein, this weekend I heard a story from a young woman who had just returned from a family trip in Utah. Unknown to them, the mask mandate in that state had expired during her trip. She and her parents walked into a gas station with their masks on and were angrily refused service unless they took them off. What are the odds that the clerk refusing service was vaccinated? I put them somewhere between zero and none.

Yeah, "normal."

If there's been a mandate issued that people not wear masks, I haven't heard of it.

Your knowledge of conservatives is actually pretty ignorant.

my knowledge is data.

FL and TX seem to be doing fine with lifted restrictions

FL: 5K+ new cases per day.
TX: 3K+ new cases per day.

huzzah.


"This seems to contradict Marty's assertion that wearing a mask is theater (at best!)."

Actually it supports my point that restaurants and bars aren't safe, since no on wears a mask while eating and drinking. So 50 people sitting in a restaurant at their tables 6 feet apart from 11 am until close probably contaminate the whole place pretty quickly.

More data.

Do you really thing sustained over-reaction is a good idea?

we haven't even approached an overreaction. our reaction has been thoroughly inadequate, in large part to the GOP's sustained efforts to minimize, distract and politicize it. the data shows the effect it had. the fact that the only people here arguing against actually trying to defeat this fucking virus, and actually make it possible to get back to "normal" without another 600K dead, are "conservatives" shows the effect. the GOP did this. scientists working with the data they had did not do this. mean liberals trying to destroy American business did not do this. Trump and the greater GOP did this. don't even try that bullshit gaslighting here.

[and no, pointing out the source of the politicization is not politicization.]

Do you really think years' long shelter in place/no bars or restaurants is viable?

know what would be viable? not having 600K dead from this virus.

I was at Lowe's yesterday. A lot of Biden voters are going mask-free.

Um.......are Biden voters required to wear special insignia in Texas? Because I sure can't walk into Lowe's and know who voted for whom.

My mantra: maybe I've written this here before, but...

I wonder what people would have said, or which people would have said what, if, a year and a half ago, someone had proposed a lottery. For every wedding, night out in a bar, party, church service, basketball game, etc., people had to designate someone close to them for the lottery. Then, before the specific event, someone's name would be pulled from the hat, and that person would be shot dead in front of the gathered revelers.

That's what the incessant calls for "opening the economy" have amounted to from the very beginning. Only there has been no requirement that the people whose death other people are willing to risk are people close to them.

Not that that might have made much difference, as wj has pointed out in mentioning those who persisted in calling it a hoax on their own deathbeds.

Of course, my lottery analogy is pretty weak tea in a country held hostage by 2A zealots.

Since Marty has come out as Floridian, I’ll add the perspective of a moderate Dem living in a blue metro-area here.

Regarding overreaction, can’t we say that there was, at least initially, an overreaction to surface spread and transmission while outside? It’s not damning to admit that there was some overreaction.

For the entirety of the pandemic I have not even put a mask in my pocket when I walk the dogs. I can easily stay six feet away if someone wants to speak to me. Because my neighborhood is popular with nonresidents for walking (quaint brick streets located downtown with three lakes), I have gotten the stink-eye from some mask-wearing strangers even though I go off the sidewalk to stay more than six feet away. On the other hand, in more conservative parts of the state (e.g., where I go kayaking on the west coast), you can get a stink-eye for wearing a mask indoors. I’m not drawing a false equivalency here … better to be too cautious than too brazen with safety measures. Mainly I’m just sad that mask-wearing has become a signal (whether you want to send one or not) that can prompt unhelpful responses.

We formed a COVID bubble early on with two other married but childless couples. When the weather was nice (most of the year here), we would meet at an outdoor restaurant or just bring a cooler of adult beverages to a park (Orlando relaxed open container laws for the pandemic). In the heat of the summer, we would have dinners at each other’s house. In late summer, our bubble took a flight to Utah and rented a house for a week to hike Zion and Bryce. This was after talking to pilots and flight attendants who passed along the low transmission rates for flight crews.

A few weeks ago, my wife and I rented a house in St. Pete and spent a weekend biking around and eating at outdoor restaurants and attended a socially distanced Rays-Yankees game. This was after we cancelled our Hawaii trip for my wife’s 50th birthday since that state made it very difficult to visit (as is their right). St. Pete-5-1 doesn’t have the same ring as Hawaii-5-0, but that was a very small price to pay for what was personally not as tough of a year as many faced.

The bubble is fully vaccinated even though none of us are high risk. Orange County has been aggressive in opening up vaccinations and the site out at the convention center is really well run and managed. Everyone still masks up for grocery stores and pharmacies. That may be true for all stores, but those are the only two that I visit. I don’t really go to bars regardless of public health considerations, so I can’t comment there.

I had exactly one friend get COVID and that was because someone in her bubble didn’t follow protocol and ended up infecting a bunch of people (this person has been rightly ostracized). My firm of 23 attorneys and staff had zero infections and we never completely closed down the office. I guess a cohort of upper middle-class professionals is going to be inherently safer than average, so probably not much to glean from that. Out of 23 attorneys and staff, we have three vaccine hesitant folks (one attorney and two staff).

Finally, as much as I dislike our governor, he did do a decent job protecting seniors and in hindsight, if he had cracked down on indoor bars and restaurants and focused government assistance on those areas, we probably would have avoided the worst of last summer’s spread. At the end of the day, Florida ended up being middle of the pack based on per capita statistics, but we could have been significantly better given our climate allows for outdoor gatherings for most of the year.

credibility goes out the window along with compliance.

In the case of Gov Bakers “mask when outside no matter what, full stop” mandate, I generally agree with you. IMO it undermines more reasonable mandates.

The science supports returning kids to school but look where the opposition is.

The science says that young children are less at risk of catching and spreading COVID if they return to in-person schooling. But that's one facet of the picture where schools are concerned. Keeping a school operating is not just a matter of kids in classrooms with teachers. Schools are complex institutions.

And a push to let schools "get back to normal" on a community by community basis based on local metrics is a plan that will have children in wealthy districts in school while poor districts get no help because there is no urgency to help them once the well off kids are taken care of.

If you want to argue this, please go do some actual research into this and read some of the studies before coming in to disagree.

Do you really think years' long shelter in place/no bars or restaurants is viable?

No one has ever thought that extended shelter in place was a good thing, but we have thought that everyone complying Just long enough with a shelter-in-place to bring the spread under control might be something worth trying. But we have never had that - even with the orders - because there have been too many people defying the orders all along *for politicized reasons.*

The people still wearing their masks are not the ones dragging this out or keeping the schools closed. They are the ones who agree that a shorter shut down would be best.

We have an entrenched subculture of political assholes keeping us from ever getting any functional isolation to get this pandemic under control.

But here you and Marty and other self-styled moderates are blaming the people who are trying to fix things, while treating the assholes as if they are just people like you who are tired of the restrictions.

They aren't. They are the problem. But your fellow feelings extend more to them than to us.

That's a problem.

Um.......are Biden voters required to wear special insignia in Texas? Because I sure can't walk into Lowe's and know who voted for whom.

You are in ME, IIRC, a pretty pale state.
Statistically, Biden's base in Harris County TX is African American and Hispanic. So, I observe and make inferences. It's also fair to say, when you get out in rural areas--Trump country--masks can be the exception. In rural areas, dentition can be a marker for DT supporters.

The science says that young children are less at risk of catching and spreading COVID if they return to in-person schooling.

some of the newer variants are more contagious and dangerous in children. and those variations are going to spread if we keep kids un-vaccinated and close together.

frankly, this thing is never going away. we're all going to be getting boosters for the rest of our lives - those who value their own freedom to incubate over all else excepted.

Actually it supports my point that restaurants and bars aren't safe, since no on wears a mask while eating and drinking. So 50 people sitting in a restaurant at their tables 6 feet apart from 11 am until close probably contaminate the whole place pretty quickly.

On this, we agree.

It's also fair to say, when you get out in rural areas--Trump country--masks can be the exception. In rural areas, dentition can be a marker for DT supporters.

I have the feeling that there is a fascinating story behind this comment. Care to elaborate?

Regarding overreaction, can’t we say that there was, at least initially, an overreaction to surface spread and transmission while outside? It’s not damning to admit that there was some overreaction.

personally, i don't think of that as overreaction. i think of that as We Learned. it can spread on surfaces, it's just not as likely as was initially thought.

and it seems like outdoor mask requirements should probably be relaxed.

indoor requirements should be toughened.

vaccinations should mandated (like they are for all kinds of other things).

wj, I think it means that all those people who are wealthy enough to own boats and participate in Clickbait boat parades nevertheless can't afford braces.

Or maybe braces are a communist plot, so they hold with wearin' them.

(Or more realistically, like a lot of people who own big pickups and/or snowmobiles and/or ATVs in Maine, they're in hock up to their eyeballs for the boats, but you can't get a bank loan for braces.)

;-)

Shelter in place/stay at home was reasonable only in the short term. Yet, many still advocate for it, despite the evidence.

I could be mistaken, but I think what folks are asking for here is that people wear masks when they’re around other people.

A lot of us seem to be perfectly happy avoiding public spaces altogether as a matter of temperament or personality, but I don’t think we’re trying to make obligatory.

Actually it supports my point that restaurants and bars aren't safe, since no on wears a mask while eating and drinking. So 50 people sitting in a restaurant at their tables 6 feet apart from 11 am until close probably contaminate the whole place pretty quickly.

Yes, but you think it’s OK for you to go to bars etc now, because you’re vaccinated and therefore can’t spread the virus even if you’re exposed to it.

To my knowledge, the science is not at the point where anyone can say that with confidence. So it seems to me that you’re being irresponsible.

Who’s a loving caring person is beside the point. Whether folks in the grocery store intend to murder their neighbors, beside the point. Bars and restaurants staying closed for years is not something anyone expects or is calling for.

Nobody knows at this point whether a vaccinated person who is exposed to the virus can pass it along to someone else. You don’t know that, because nobody does. So the chance you take is a chance taken with other people’s lives and health.

Small chance? Big chance? Don’t know. Smaller than if you weren’t vaxed, bigger than zero. Beyond that, unknown.

Nobody’s gonna make you wear a mask, but that’s the reality.

me: so they hold with wearin' them

There's a missing "don't" wandering around somewhere...

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