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April 22, 2021

Comments

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

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

There's really quite a substantial distance between "shelter in place at home" and reopening, without masks, businesses which involve lots of people indoors near each other. Failing to acknowledge that makes sensible agreement impossible.

One thing that remains to be seen in places like TX and FL is whether they see summer peaks this year as they did in 2020. I hope not.

I do hope places like NJ see the big declines they saw last summer. Between being outdoors and a good vaccination roll-out, I'm especially hopeful. Either way, no indoor restaurants or bars for me.

I don't have much time, so this will probably be a bit sloppily expressed, but: would it be fair to say that the liberal/lefties on ObWi seem to favour cautious behaviour that benefits unknown wider society (i.e. wearing masks around people in indoor venues who may or may not be vaccinated, plus the extra caution being likely to bring the pandemic under control more quickly so true normality can be restored more quickly) whereas our conservatives (particularly Marty, I guess) seem perfectly comfortable assuming that individuals should be responsible for their own safety (i.e. not going to bars where people are maskless if you are unvaccinated). Which latter attitude of course ignores people who are anti-vax, or think Covid is a hoax etc.

For some reason, this fits with what I have always considered liberal and conservative attitudes to the greater good. s\

whereas our conservatives (particularly Marty, I guess) seem perfectly comfortable assuming that individuals should be responsible for their own safety

well, that's what MRs and i are doing. we're not going to bars and places maskless conservatives are likely to be: indoor bars and restaurants. someday we'll get back to it. how quickly that happens really depends on them, though. if conservatives want to avoid taking sensible measures to help society get on top of this, they only have themselves to blame if the rest of us are like "No Fucking Way".

I read the usual sources about the pandemic, but I would recommend to all here to bookmark Mike the Mad Biologist for COVID info and links.

Basically, as I understand the thrust of what he has been writing is we should have done the following:
1. Shutdown in place to get the incidence of infection down to something approximating a manageable level.
2. Impliment widespread testing to detect new infections.
3. Effective contact tracing after positive test results.

THIS COULD HAVE BEEN DONE. IT WAS NOT.

We didn't have to go full Viet Nam (as I cited above), but we could have done a whole fucking lot better with effective political leadership that had the slightest connection with actual reality.

The Trump administration totally mismanaged this whole thing. This is true beyond a shadow of any doubt. They politicized the CDC for fuck's sake.

Half a million dead...jayzus 'effing christ. You know we totally lost our shit after some 3,000 were killed on 9/11 and spent trillions to avenge it. What did we do about this one? Oh, right, take a sip of bleach now and then...It will be gone by Easter, 2020. MAGA!

As Mike sez...the appropriate response is outrage.

would it be fair to say....

Speaking for myself, I’d say that is accurate.

I think there are contexts where it’s completely reasonable for people to have room to make their own choices about what risks they will or will not take on. And I think there are contexts where it is not.

Situations where your choices about risk tolerance spill over into other people’s health and safety generally fall into the second category. IMO.

The emergence of a novel virus that is both contagious and potentially lethal clearly falls into the second category. Again IMO, but that seems so obvious as to not be a matter of opinion. But that’s just my take.

There are some things that don’t work unless enough people agree to work the program. Establishing herd immunity through means other than letting the disease pick who lives and who doesn’t is one of those things.

At the risk of repeating myself ad nauseum:

To my knowledge, the science is not yet at a point that we can say with confidence that people who are vaccinated can’t spread the virus. We’re confident that it will make it much less likely to get the virus, and that if they do get it, they won’t get as sick as they would have otherwise. Those are very very good things. But we do not know about the transmission part.

So, vaccinated or not, if you’re gonna be around other people, you should wear a mask. Nobody is saying stay home, nobody is saying don’t see your friends, nobody is saying you’ll never be able to sit down and have a beer or a meal in public again.

The ask is that, if you are out and around other people, wear a mask.

Why that seems like such an intolerable burden is beyond me.

I will only mildly reword that GftNC.

I am comfortable assuming that individuals should be responsible for the level of risk they are willing to accept based on known factors. I'm not going to your house or walking up to you in public, I m not responsible if you go to unsafe places. I'm not responsible if you refuse the vaccine.

I am not responsible for you putting yourself in harms way.

Knowing anti vaxxers and a couple of people that think covid is overblown, (mostly from how cases and deaths get counted, I don't know anyone that thinks it is a hoax), I wouldn't be comfortable going to a bar unvaccinated.

The primary difference I have with russell boils down to the question of how much of a risk I am to others.

My take is that if I am a sizable risk we are truly screwed because 100s of millions of people have been told for over a year that a vaccine would allow them to resume life. Coming in now and backpedaling on that is another move of the goal posts

So I took an experimental vaccine, that has no long term studies of what it's effects are, in order to be safe now. As soon as I took it now I'm told we aren't sure it's going to achieve that? WTF? I'm going to the bar.

And restricting travel from China, when the virus was already circulating in the US, was theater, particularly when it fell well short of a ban on travel to and from China. It was typical tRump BS for his dopey flock. Too little, too late, as the saying goes.

1. Shutdown in place to get the incidence of infection down to something approximating a manageable level.
2. Impliment widespread testing to detect new infections.
3. Effective contact tracing after positive test results.

If you want to see some people utterly lose their sh*t, tell folks who won’t even wear a mask in a public place that you require them to let you jab a big Q-tip up their nose, that you want to know the name of everyone they interacted with for the last week, and that you want access to their cell phone so that you can trace where they’ve been.

People would have ended up dead, and not from COVID.

Would it have saved a lot of lives? Damned straight it would have. Read ‘em and weep.

My take is that if I am a sizable risk we are truly screwed because 100s of millions of people have been told for over a year that a vaccine would allow them to resume life. Coming in now and backpedaling on that is another move of the goal posts.

The "back to (something closer to) normal" thing was never a proposition for a given vaccinated individual. It was one for the nation after sufficient distribution of the vaccine throughout the population.

As a hypothetical, if you could somehow go to a bar where you were guaranteed that everyone in the bar was fully vaccinated, you could then rely on the vaccine to keep everyone reasonably safe.

Short of that, if the vast majority of people in the country - and specifically where you lived - were vaccinated, you could probably go into a place as one of those vaccinated people with a good conscience. Maybe at that point, the few unvaccinated people who were hanging out in bars would bear the responsibility for their own (lack of) safety. But that's fuzzy math to me, not anything I would be confident in asserting.

Marty today: My take is that if I am a sizable risk we are truly screwed because 100s of millions of people have been told for over a year that a vaccine would allow them to resume life. Coming in now and backpedaling on that is another move of the goal posts

russell the other day: All of us lazy-ass generations who followed think the world owes us a box of chocolates and a dozen roses, delivered at our door, daily.

Yup, a bunch of petulant toddlers. Shorter Marty: Since information and communication weren't perfect from the start, then there's no reason to pay any attention now. That'll show 'em.

WASF.

By the time anyone was even talking about taking precautions about COVID and limiting travel, I had already spent nigh on two months in a small, poorly ventilated space with a class that was about a 50/50 split between international students (mostly from China) and local students from hispanic, Filipino, and Vietnamese neighborhoods (whose parents were not in the sort of jobs that could be done remotely). And I had been in that classroom with everyone else for a few weeks following Lunar New Year when all of the Chinese students on campus were socializing together. The virus was likely already here and already spreading before any of the precautions were considered.

And New York wasn't infected by the Chinese variant. It was infected by the variant that came through Italy.

Travel restrictions could have limited spread, true. But they would have had to go in place a lot sooner than we even began to discuss the possibility for it to act as a quarantine. And it does little good to try to lock the door against outside exposure, but do nothing to limit the internal spread. All that does is slow the curve a bit, and we resisted every other measure that would have allowed us to slam that curve down in the early stages.

The "back to (something closer to) normal" thing was never a proposition for a given vaccinated individual. It was one for the nation after sufficient distribution of the vaccine throughout the population.

Yes, a million times. But either this is beyond the intellectual capacity of a significant portion of the population to grasp on its face, or there's no need to believe it because it's a communist plot.

Or, well, "communist" is a little out of date as the bogeyman du jour. But the point is the same.

Shorter Marty: Since information and communication weren't perfect from the start, then there's no reason to pay any attention now.

they have nothing but excuses and blame-shifting: perpetual whining. it's an utterly worthless ideology.

Thousands of scientists, medical people, and government officials all over the world started early on to try to figure out how nations might all pull together to save lives.

Meanwhile, the REPUBLCIAN president of the most powerful nation on earth did his best to politicize and monetize the situation, and threw every spanner into the works that he could, lying, finagling, making sure his friends profited, in effect killing hundreds of thousands of people.

Yet we have what cleek said at 2:52: the biggest theme from the usual suspects is that the scientists, medical people, and government officials weren't perfect, and are therefore the villains of the piece, and by god we're going to get our revenge by ignoring them.

The Trump administration totally mismanaged this whole thing.

A number of the mistakes made by the Feds would likely have happened regardless of who was president.

I'm just glad the previous president was super helpful to public-health officials in maintaining focused and consistent messaging. Those government doctors and scientists really screwed things up, considering all the ardent support they got from the rest of the administration.

A number...

One, two, seventeen, thirty-nine?

And how does that weigh in the scales next to the active, malicious, deliberate, probably criminal monkey-wrenching of the guy at the top and his minions and asskissers?

I'm sure this would all have gone much better if we hadn't had any government at all.

My take is that if I am a sizable risk we are truly screwed because 100s of millions of people have been told for over a year that a vaccine would allow them to resume life.

IMO it's entirely possible that we are, in fact, screwed, where for 'screwed' read 'returning to something like normal life is going to take months and months longer than it needed to'. And if so, it will be because people refuse to follow simple direction.

You, Marty, are not a particularly egregious part of all of that IMO. As practical matter, you are probably a very small part of that, at most.

People who refuse to get vaxed at all are a very large part of that. People who haven't been vaxed but who simply can't be bothered to wear a mask in public are a very large part of that.

Your part is just providing a potential vector for them passing their irresponsibility on to somebody else. And maybe you won't even do that. We just don't know. I don't, you don't, because it's not information we have yet.

But yeah, this is going to take longer than it needs to, and people are going to die who didn't have to, because a lot of people appear to think the science and the public health recommendations don't apply to them.

Sometimes that makes me angry, mostly it makes me shake my head.

If people would just work the freaking program, even the at-risk people would be able to go have a beer in the not-too-distant future. That would be a good day.

One of my favorite places on the planet is a local corner bar with the slogan "Never Voted Best of Anything Since 1934." I haven't set foot in the place in well over a year. Who knows when I will again?

Also, I think that the other point of inflection for GftNC's summary of the left/right philosophies is in choosing who we focus on for the cost/benefit analysis. My sense is that the left tries to choose the course that protects more people who are at-risk even if that has a somewhat higher cost or inconveniences more people who are at low personal risk, while the right tries to maximize the liberty for the majority and then tries to mitigate, somewhat, the impact of those tradeoffs on the at-risk.

Consider the Right's attitudes toward:
1) Covid
2) CO2
3) Guns

Freedom of Emission seems to be a common thread, no?

--TP

There's really quite a substantial distance between "shelter in place at home" and reopening, without masks, businesses which involve lots of people indoors near each other. Failing to acknowledge that makes sensible agreement impossible.

after a while, one might start to think maybe avoiding agreement is the goal.

My sense is that the left tries to choose the course that protects more people who are at-risk even if that has a somewhat higher cost or inconveniences more people who are at low personal risk, while the right tries to maximize the liberty for the majority and then tries to mitigate, somewhat, the impact of those tradeoffs on the at-risk.


That's more or less fair.

TP -- I've thought a lot over the years about "freedom to" vs "freedom from." The people who talk most about freedom almost always mean "freedom to."

Freedom to run your snowmobiles past my house at all hours of the night.

Freedom to run your jet ski around the lake at the crack of dawn on Sunday morning.

Freedom to dump your poisoned factory runoff into the rivers that sustain wildlife and the rest of us, however indirectly.

Freedom to dump factory emissions into the air, ditto.

Freedom to control my life according to your religious beliefs.

If you think of air pollution, water pollution, and religious tyranny as "emissions" -- it's all consistent.

In that view, there's no right to freedom from noise, or air or water pollution, or the reach of religious zealotry.

A lot of freedoms have costs -- for someone -- but casual conversation almost never acknowledges that fact.

I would rather we all try to hash out what kind of world we want to live in, and figure out how best to achieve that. Certain people will call that tyranny, but being subject to the terrorism of weapons of war (just for example) at the mall or in the classroom is its own form of tyranny.

Rereading what I wrote, it's so incoherent I'm surprised any of you were able to make sense of it. But truly, if nous and Marty are able to agree on a suggested analysis of the difference in attitudes towards the pandemic by left and right, that's more than I was really expecting.

The "back to (something closer to) normal" thing was never a proposition for a given vaccinated individual. It was one for the nation after sufficient distribution of the vaccine throughout the population.

In my opinion, this is and was exactly right. And to get there, it was necessary for most of the population to act in the interests of the greater good (which could of course have been helped by sensible advice from the government). This meant (at various times) limiting travel, locking down, wearing masks, and getting vaccinated. Very unfortunately, a sizeable proportion of the American population was not prepared to do much, or in some cases any, of this.

And in the interests of fairness, although Trump is certainly to blame for some hundreds of thousands of the American deaths, other authoritarian leaders are coming up fast behind him. Bolsonaro has had a similar effect in Brasil, and Modi (by refusing to stop political rallies, and huge, crowded religious festivals like the Kumbh Mela, which is still ongoing and during which a million or more pilgrims are crowded together) will almost certainly overtake them both.

One of my favorite places on the planet is a local corner bar with the slogan "Never Voted Best of Anything Since 1934."

I want to go there.

the right tries to maximize the liberty for the majority

I'd dispute "for the majority".

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.

Restricting myself to corrections, I'm not sure who McT is referring to here, but my recollection was the race based isolation of travel.

The Trump administration restricted travel from China
The Trump administration suspended entry into the United States by any foreign nationals who had traveled to China in the past 14 days, excluding the immediate family members of American citizens or permanent residents.

https://www.nytimes.com/article/coronavirus-timeline.html

Restricting myself to corrections, I'm not sure who McT is being referred to here,

lots of Dems (especially Congressional Dems) complained about Trump's China travel ban. at the time, the virus was already here of course.

Good point, russell. But it's the kind of "majority" that the right means when it says "the majority of Americans are conservatives". (The only link I can find is to remarks by Rubio in 2012, but I have heard this said by other Rs and rightwingers since). In other words, not a majority at all.

https://www.factcheck.org/2020/03/the-facts-on-trumps-travel-restrictions/

Trump said Democrats “loudly criticized and protested” his announced travel restrictions, and that they “called me a racist because I made that decision.” Trump is overstating Democratic opposition. None of the party’s congressional leaders and none of the Democratic candidates running for president have directly criticized that decision, though at least two Democrats have.

and

Democratic Criticism
Trump has repeatedly claimed that Democrats have “loudly criticized and protested” his imposition of the travel restrictions, and have called the decision “racist.” But while leading Democrats have been outspoken in their criticism of the president’s overall response to the epidemic, very few have criticized his decision to impose limited travel restrictions.

the right tries to maximize the liberty for the majority

russell: I'd dispute "for the majority".

As long as you take "the right" to mean real conservatives, as opposed to the reactionary scum who currently use that label in the US, then it's actually not too far off.

Freedom: cobbling together some quickly googled numbers, I see that

The Small Arms Survey stated that U.S. civilians alone account for 393 million (about 46 percent) of the worldwide total of civilian held firearms.[2] This amounts to "120.5 firearms for every 100 residents."[2]

Elsewhere I found a source that says that roughly a third of Americans own guns.

A third of Americans is roughly 110,000,000 people, or less than 1.5% of the world's population -- with almost half the world's civilian-held firearms.

"Freedom."

Or insanity, depending on how you look at it.

Per lj's comment -- so in asserting that "uber liberals" poo-poo-ed Clickbait's China travel ban, was McKinney trusting Clickbait's own word for that? I see no links to sources.

I would be curious to know who they were and exactly what they were criticizing, if there's any truth to the assertion in the first place. Like, I could easily see someone saying: banning travel from China is a useless (and racist) gesture if you're not also going to ban travel from basically everywhere.

re: factcheck.

it appears i have fallen for a "conservative" fairy tale.

lol

My invoking "the majority" in the case of public health was mostly to acknowledge the reasoning that the right engaged in while thinking through the problems (feel free to object, again, to "thinking through"). I heard a lot from relatives about how the "small number" of people who are immunocompromised should be the ones who are avoiding the public and how the "small number" of people who contract COVID should be the ones quarantined and that "the rest of us" would then face acceptable risks going about our lives, and keeping "this great economy that we all built" going.

Those are, in other words, the set of values that *they believe/i> they are acting upon* when they choose their preferred course of action for public health policy.

I broke a bracket.

nous: aha, that makes sense. Whether Marty will still agree is another matter.

today is the day we learned which states gained or lost representatives!

CA and most of the Great Lakes states lost one. NC, FL, OR, CO and Montana gain one, TX gains two.

let the gerrymandering distortions begin!

As long as you take "the right" to mean real conservatives, as opposed to the reactionary scum who currently use that label in the US, then it's actually not too far off.

I take "the right" to mean folks who call themselves "the right".

And the kinds of things I'm talking about are:

A little over 30% of Americans own guns. An even smaller percent are militant about their literalist reading of (part of) the 2nd A and (part of) it's historical context. They like the parts that let them do what they want to do, regardless of the impact on other people's lives. And that point of view utterly dominates public discussion and policy about guns.

About a third of Americans identify themselves as evangelical Christians. They dominate discussion about the boundaries of religious liberty in this country, to the point that baking a cake for hire and operating a crafting chain store are considered to be exercises of religious faith.

I could go on, but I'll let those examples stand to make the general point.

And to be honest, I'm actually fine with the *actual civil rights* of minority demographics being jealously guarded.

But that's not the majority.

And if you consider the full range of factors that make people more likely to get or die from COVID, it's not clear to me that when we talk about people who are at heightened risk we're talking about a minority of the population.

It may well be that the folks who don't have as much to worry about are the exception rather than the rule.

I think the dividing line here is between people who are willing to be inconvenienced to make sure other people aren't harmed, and people who consider it to be the other guy's problem to watch out for themselves. It's a profound difference in attitude.

NC, FL, OR, CO and Montana gain one, TX gains two.

And they are all now one step closer to being purple. Or maybe even blue, someday.

Let a thousand flowers bloom.

Let a thousand flowers bloom.

The sooner the better. The day Texas turns blue is the day that the Republican Party either decides to return to sanity or becomes decisively irrelevant to American politics.

With gerrymandering and all the new laws doing things like making voting harder for people in cities ("counties with > 1,000,000 people -- was it someone here who cited that in Texas?), it's going to be hard to turn purple to blue.

purple will do

purple will do

I'm not convinced. I see bills (not, so far as I know, in Texas; yet) to let gerrymandered state legislatures take over administering voting from counties which do not produce "acceptable" results. Makes me think you need a big enough majority that even gerrymandering can't guarantee control.

Icon of the right, fomenting evil. h/t Adam Silverman at BJ

While I think it’s possible I will live long enough to see Texas statewide offices become genuinely competitive for Democratic candidates, I think it’s also possible that if that seems imminent that Texas Republicans will give the selection of Electors to the legislature, which they will be able to maintain control of through gerrymandering + organic geographical clustering after losing statewide elections. I vehemently hope that I am being overly cynical and wrong, but seeing what eg. NC Republicans were willing to do in stripping powers from the governor’s office in advance of a Democrat taking over I think optimism is a luxury.

As an aside, my personal preference is for each state’s Congressional delegations be chosen by proportion of statewide vote by party, rather than districts that can be rigged. In Georgia, where I live, that would (depending on the apportionment method) likely lead at first to one Libertarian representative. It would take an adjustment period to determine if, say, a Green or American Party (nod to 19th century Know-Nothings) might find purchase. In smaller states coalitions of necessity would prevail, as is currently the case.

Newark cops, with reform, didn’t fire a single shot in 2020
https://www.nj.com/news/2021/01/newark-cops-with-reform-didnt-fire-a-single-shot-in-2020-moran.html

I think the dividing line here is between people who are willing to be inconvenienced to make sure other people aren't harmed, and people who consider it to be the other guy's problem to watch out for themselves. It's a profound difference in attitude.

Ladies and gentlemen (and GNC people): that's how you do it. Sigh - back to "style school".

Oh oh - I didn't know that people with compromised immune systems may get no protection from the covid vaccine, and maybe others (Marty?) didn't know either. But it seems there is a solution.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/15/health/coronavirus-vaccine-immune-system.html?action=click&module=Science%20%20Technology&pgtype=Homepage

Icon of the right, fomenting evil

I look forward to the day when a Tucker Carlson viewer hassles me for wearing a mask.

that's how you do it.

My motto is ‘Steal from the best’.

So, of course rewritten to be as negative as possible.

"I think the dividing line here is between people who are willing to be inconvenienced to make sure other people aren't harmed, and people who consider it to be the other guy's problem to watch out for themselves. It's a profound difference in attitude."

A matter of degree. Most people here aren't going to live in a cardboard box and give their money to charity. This is just a line drawn that says if you are willing to be less inconvenienced than I am you are bad.


As an aside, my personal preference is for each state’s Congressional delegations be chosen by proportion of statewide vote by party, rather than districts that can be rigged.

Another system that would make gerrymandering useless, but while retaining districts, is sending the top-two vote-getters from each district to congress, splitting a vote between them in proportion to the numbers of votes they received. Doing so everywhere would of course require house membership to be doubled.

Most people here aren't going to live in a cardboard box and give their money to charity.

That sounds like more than an inconvenience. Rewritten to sound as negative as possible, huh? Words...

So, of course rewritten to be as negative as possible.

No, not re-written, but written, by me, as a statement of how I see it.

Straight up, I do in fact think it's good to be concerned about other people's well being, and not good to not be.

And yes, you are correct, it is a matter of degree. There is a limit to the inconvenience I'm willing to take on to help other folks. Wearing a mask in public during a pandemic falls miles within that limit.

I'll ask the same question I asked above - what do you want out of this discussion? If you're looking for me to validate the choices you're making about mask wearing, I'm not going to do that, because I think they are bad choices, that put other people at risk, so that you can go to a bar and hang out.

I think that's a bad choice. Period.

I don't expect you to change your behavior. This is blog, we're talking about stuff, and I'm responding to your post about your own behavior with my own thoughts about it.

If you're going to complain that people are saying you're a bad person every time somebody disagrees with what you say or do, you're gonna spend a lot of time complaining.

Do what you want. Other people will have their own reactions to that, and some of them may even express that. You get to do what you want, they get to do what they want.

As I understand the state of the science, your actions have the potential of putting other people at risk and making the day when *everyone* can get back to normal that much further off. And 'your actions' here are basically not wearing a mask in public, which is a pretty trivial thing to be asked to do.

I think that's irresponsible, and I'm saying I think it's irresponsible.

You're an adult, somehow I suspect you can live with me thinking your behavior is irresponsible.

Funny, I just challenged the basic premise and instead of responding specifically to the challenge you rambled on.

We are all willing to be inconvenienced for the good of others and we all expect others to take responsibility for their own well being.

There isn't a profound difference in attitude, theere is a difference in where that line gets drawn, and people evaluate risks and opportunities differently.

I actually don't really care what you think of me in an individual sense. The assumption that where you draw the line in this case is somehow more moral than where I draw it is ok, but not the generalization that somehow those "others", where you include me, are unwilling to be inconvenienced at all to help others.

Oh and, my mask wearing is much more nuanced than "You won't wear a mask in public". So your rambling is just bs.

There isn't a profound difference in attitude

Yes, I understand that this is the point you are making. Yes, I understand you are challenging the basic premise of my comment.

I disagree with you. I think you and I have profound disagreements in attitude about the obligations that people in a society bear toward each other.

And I think there are value judgements to be made about those differences.

Just like you think my 'rambling' is 'bs', I think your desire to make it all just shades of gray and matters of degree elides important questions of value.

You've made your point, I've made mine.

There isn't a profound difference in attitude, theere is a difference in where that line gets drawn, and people evaluate risks and opportunities differently.

If the way you evaluate risks and opportunities is to mostly ignore how your actions are going to affect other people (not saying you're doing that, Marty), then there is a difference in attitude, not just where the line gets drawn. The attitude is what's driving where the line is placed, because you can draw it much further in your own narrowly considered favor if you don't care how you affect other people.

It may even be unwise when self-interest is considered more broadly, because how you affect other people can come back on you (the general "you," not specifically you, Marty). This pandemic is a great example of that. You infect a bunch of people at your place of work, it has to shut down and ends up going under, and now you have no job.

This isn't some nihilistic, free-form exercise in subjectivity. There is a reality, and some people are choosing to ignore it at their own peril as well as everyone else's.

Meanwhile, the real problem is purported and unspecified ultra-libs objecting to travel restrictions. That's why over half a million Americans are dead. Both sides!

Meanwhile, the real problem is purported and unspecified ultra-libs objecting to travel restrictions. That's why over half a million Americans are dead. Both sides!

Doncha love it?

"Ultra libs" have perhaps replaced all those Maoists who used to be to blame for everything.

hsh, I agree that some people choose to ignore it. I think most people I know don't. So shades of grey.

The hard core "you can't make me wear a mask" people are a pretty small, though vocal, minority here.

it's the Party of Personal Responsibility, not the Party of Interpersonal Responsibility.

everyone who isn't me can stuff it. i've got pleasure to experience.

The F*cker Carlson thing really gets me. Harass people for wearing masks. Not even "you can't make me wear a mask," but "I won't let you wear a mask." That's taking Janie's freedom-to/freedom-from framework into the 5th dimension.

My 8-year-old will often wear his mask when it's not really necessary because my wife ordered him one with little pictures of our dog on it. He just likes wearing it. I can only imagine the fury that would be unleashed in me if someone gave him any crap about it. I can feel the heat coming off my body just thinking about it.

I m not responsible if you go to unsafe places. I'm not responsible if you refuse the vaccine.

I am not responsible for you putting yourself in harms way.

Are you responsible if it turns out that you are, in fact, incorrect in thinking that you can't transfer the virus because you're vaxed, and you end up giving somebody else the virus?

I understand that in your opinion that risk is microscopically small and is of less weight than your desire to return to life as normal.

So, what if you're wrong? Where does that fall on the scale of responsibility?

Oopsie?

Oh shit?

OMG I've killed somebody?

Does this even seem to you to be a fair question to ask?

"Ultra libs" have perhaps replaced all those Maoists who used to be to blame for everything.

My knowledge of Chinese is less than rudimentary (just two words: Ni hao and Tsingtao, but they're a good start!)

I have *heard* that Mao is the word for 'cat', ignoring differences of tonality.

We're all Maoists now. I blame the cats.

I m not responsible if you go to unsafe places. I'm not responsible if you refuse the vaccine.

I am not responsible for you putting yourself in harms way.

This totally begs the question of who is responsible for *public, shared places." People who are willing to expose other people to serious illnesses, who won't take a simple precaution like a mask, are making our shared spaces uninhabitable by significant numbers of people. It matters what spaces we're talking about, and who it is that's making them harmful.

You don't have a "right" to go shooting your gun indiscriminately in a public park. If someone gets hit, *it's your fault.*

Same with virus exposure.

instead of responding specifically to the challenge you rambled on.

There was no rambling, on or off. Inconveniently, russell distils the actual reality behind these choices, and these attitudes.

On a different(ish) subject: Marty, did you read that NYT piece about the vaccine not working on people who are immunocompromised? I'm hoping this doesn't apply to you - FWIW, this is concern for you, not a continuation of the mask/bar conversation.

We're all Maoists now.

Since russell and I have both used a Maoist slogan on this very thread, I would think this is incontrovertible.

This I agree with, it matters what place you are talking about.


GftNC, I did get around the payroll to get to read it. I had taken a couple of the drugs mentioned for my RA for short periods and will look for other information on this.

I had discussed the vaccine with my 3 primary doctors, PCP, RA and heart doctor and none had mentioned a concern so I will follow up. Thanks for forwarding that to me.


I'd like to be as clear as I can be about what I'm trying to say here.

I have no doubt that Marty is nuanced in where and when he wears a mask. I have no doubt that he has no desire to pass the virus to anyone, and I'm pretty sure he'd be horrified if he found that he had.

What I'm pushing back on is the idea that we can all make our own personal choices about whether to comply with public health guidelines in the middle of a pandemic. Or, at least, do so, and have those choices respected as simply a matter of personal preference and judgement.

IMO discussing that exposes differences in how people see their obligations towards other people, and also IMO that in turn raises questions of value. Moral or ethical value.

That's how the question looks to me, so that is why I'm pursuing it along those lines.

It's not about who is a 'caring loving person', or about who is 'bad' or 'good'. It is, to me, a question of how people who share a common public life are obliged to behave toward each other.

I get that there is a limit to mutual obligation, and to the length that we can be expected to go in order to watch out for other people.

It strikes me that not wearing a mask to a bar because your personal assessment of the medical risks tells you it's OK falls pretty far short of that limit.

So I'm pushing back, on that, specifically.

I'm not really interested in talking about who's 'bad' and who's 'good'. Good people do stupid irresponsible things every day.

I'm pushing back on the idea that it's cool for us all to make our own subjective judgements about whether it's safe to do stuff that is quite explicitly outside recommended behavior, during a pandemic. And, I'm pushing back on the idea that it's the other guy's job to keep themselves out of harm's way, because in the particular circumstances we're discussing, the other guy may not be aware that they're even at risk.

IMO it's irresponsible to go to a bar unmasked, whether you're vaxed or not, because you are subsequently going to come into contact with other people who may or may not know how you spent your afternoon, and we don't know if vaccinated people can transfer the virus. Full stop. We're all big people here, and I really do think we should all be capable of receiving somebody else's opinion that some aspect of our behavior is irresponsible.

I did get around the payroll to get to read it. I had taken a couple of the drugs mentioned for my RA for short periods and will look for other information on this.

Good, I'm glad. I hope it turns out not to apply to you, but it's worth checking.

A matter of degree.

Later: Shades of grey.

Interesting philosophical question: at what point does a difference of degree become a difference in kind?

To take an example without (I hope!) political overtones, consider air pressure. Pressure drops with altitude. Go far enough, and you've got hard vacuum. So how high, or at what pressure, do you have "space"?

For some purposes, e.g. most international treaties, we use the Kármán line: 100 km (62 miles) above sea level. But NASA and the US military use 50 miles -- fly above that, and you're officially an astronaut. Then there's the scientific view (well, some scientists) which looks at the transition between the relatively gentle winds of Earth's atmosphere and the more violent flows of charged particles in space. According to data from the Supra-Thermal Ion Imager, the edge of space begins at 118km (73 miles) above sea level.

Similarly, perhaps what we have here is a disagreement over a difference in degree becoming a difference in kind when it comes to the risks to which we expose others.

I have *heard* that Mao is the word for 'cat', ignoring differences of tonality.

We have two cats that take short walks on leashes with us in the evening. These are very popular with the Chinese children in the complex, who follow at a respectful distance and say "mao mao" and wave at Murdercat and The Patchwork Terror.

They have an entourage.

Marty, I remain baffled not by your position, but by your apparent insistence upon finding common cause with the assholes against the commentariat here. I don't doubt that you show concern for those around you and exercise what you believe is your best judgment. But every time someone here notes public behavior that is literally killing other people in the communities in which that behavior occurs, you immediately try to place yourself somewhere on a continuum with the assholes and start complaining that we are judging you all unfairly.

Hence my earlier question of why it is that you have stronger fellow feelings for the assholes than for the people here with whom you claim to share communal values?

We have two cats that take short walks on leashes with us in the evening

my wife would love to be able to get our cats to do that. every time she tries, they wiggle out of the harness.

i'd rather they not enjoy the outside. there are coyotes and fox out there.

my wife would love to be able to get our cats to do that. every time she tries, they wiggle out of the harness.

Dogs pull and cats push (with more flexible shoulders). You either have to be very careful not to let your cat back out of the harness, or get a harness designed for a cat. Even then, though, the cat has to want the walk more than they hate the restriction of the harness. Two of our three do. Tinycat will have no part of either the leash, or the big noisy room with no roof.

i'd rather they not enjoy the outside. there are coyotes and fox out there.

We have coyotes and owls all over the neighborhood. The cats never go unescorted, no matter how much The Patchwork Terror complains and makes attempts at the front door latch (thwarted only by the lock, he earned his nickname with his evil mastermind ways).

Icon of the right, fomenting evil

he has Fox News' highest rated show.

the GOP is a public health hazard that exists only to taunt Democrats.

but by your apparent insistence upon finding common cause with the assholes against the commentariat here

Marty comes here to disagree with liberals. he's said it before.

Marty comes here to disagree with liberals. he's said it before.

Yet he objects if he thinks someone might be hinting that he's acting like a troll.

My take is that if I am a sizable risk we are truly screwed because 100s of millions of people have been told for over a year that a vaccine would allow them to resume life.

Interesting how people understand the statements differently. I always understood them to mean that my life would go back to normal not because I was vaccinated, but because 80% or more of us were vaccinated. It's starting to look like we won't get there voluntarily. I'm looking forward to fully-licensed vaccines, because then it's feasible for vaccination to become mandatory for groups. Eg, universities can mandate students and faculty be vaccinated (like for measles), and hospitals can mandate their staff all be vaccinated.

100s of millions of people have been told for over a year that a vaccine would allow them to resume life

and 100s of millions aren't going to take it because [Freedom Freeloaders | Carefully Cultivated Confusion | Performative Petulance]. which means we're never going to get to the point where it's rare.

it's going to remain as common as its common-cold cousins because too many people are going to refuse to get the vaccine.

and we can put most of the blame for that directly on Trump and the rest of the GOP. on the other hand, WV is literally paying young people $100 to get vaccinated.

maybe that will be a good place to vacation, eventually. all the other red states can choke on it.

How about the rest of you?

Now that my wife and I are both fully vaccinated, I'm going to start going out to lunch one day a week to visit some of the restaurants and brewpubs this city we moved to last year is known for. The wife's not interested, and I reached "fully" a couple of weeks ago, but I didn't want to take the risk of somehow bringing Covid home with me until she got there. I'll still wear my mask at least until they seat me.

WV is literally paying young people $100 to get vaccinated.

Seems like a good plan.

maybe that will be a good place to vacation

I have a very long-time friend who lives at the top of New River Gorge. WV is a very beautiful place, where it hasn’t been FUBARed by coal extraction.

As the federal government works to make COVID-19 vaccines available to all Americans, lawmakers in more than 40 states have introduced legislation that would forbid mandates requiring people get vaccinated.

yes, of course they're Republicans.

Public. Health. Hazard.

Meanwhile, a step forward.

We'll get there, one way or another.

legislation that would forbid mandates requiring people get vaccinated.

Clearly what we need is someone to decide that his religion requires masks, at least until we reach a 95% vaccination rate. At which point, per the Supreme Court, those laws would be unconstitutional. Problem solved.

Clearly what we need is someone to decide that his religion requires masks, at least until we reach a 95% vaccination rate.

One of the smaller churches I occasionally drive by -- Christian by the cross, but no indication of denomination I can see -- had a sign up for months that said, "Love your neighbor. Wear a mask." They have a new sign up now where the mask tagline has been replaced with "Get vaccinated."

I've been exercising outdoors without a mask through the whole thing. It's trivially easy to stay very far away from people where I do so. I guess it's one of those things where it makes messaging too complicated if they try to make distinctions between busy outdoor places where people might regularly and unavoidably come in close contact with others and places where there a very few people around. I'm fully vaccinated now, so I'm within current guidelines, though I never thought I wasn't before the latest update.

On the other hand, I don't know that making distinctions between vaccinated and unvaccinated people in public spaces is any less complicated, because people don't have any way of knowing if others have been vaccinated. I personally don't care either way as it concerns people wearing masks or not outdoors with a lot of distance between them, but I could see how someone might assume it's really important that maskless people be fully vaccinated while having no way of knowing if they actually are.

No one has ever said anything to me about not wearing a mask outside, but that might be because I don't get near anyone.

Walderman:


This [Carlson's] version of conservatism doesn’t just want you to hole up in your house feeling fear and anger. It wants you to become a “Karen” (or whatever the male equivalent is), feeling entitled not just to impose your ideas on others but to do so aggressively, unpleasantly, invasively wherever you go, turning every trip to the supermarket into a shouting match with strangers.

Who in their right mind would want to live that way?

...

Some of this is a familiar divergence of visions: In one, people are interconnected and use government to enable human flourishing, while in the other, people are self-reliant and rise or fall on their own hard work. And there are plenty of conservatives who are happy people who treat those they encounter with respect and consideration. But more than ever, elite Republicans want their supporters to build their identity on anger and confrontation.

So “We don’t need to wear masks outside” becomes “Call the police on people who have their kids wear masks outside.” “I can make my own choices” becomes “I won’t take the vaccine because it makes liberals mad” (the actual title of an article on the pro-Trump site American Greatness). The answer to the question “Who are you?” begins and ends with “I hate liberals.”

That might turn out to be politically effective, at least for a while. But it’s no way to live.

anyone feelin triggered? that's what the GOP, and its representatives here, want.

Who in their right mind

The pith of the matter.

And the reason being out in public these days triggers (yes) tension and some amount of fear.

I look forward to the day when a Tucker Carlson viewer hassles me for wearing a mask.

Want to be my bodyguard? Both physical and spiritual...?

I tend to take the objections to people wearing masks as evidence of a sort of inferiority complex (which may not be the correct terminology as formal psychology goes). It's "so you think you're better than me, huh?" underneath the apparent bravado, similar to the way someone might get harassed for, say, wearing business attire in a biker bar. It's just weird and stupid.

Posted without comment:

Florida private school won't employ vaccinated teachers.

--TP

TP -- yes, and the article quotes a parent who can't get her kid out of there without losing $30,000. In their right minds or not, a lot of these people sure know how to keep the grift going.

Want to be my bodyguard?

LOL.

My bark is very large, my bite, not so much.

Although I do think "Molon Labe!!" might be a fun response.

:)

There's always HIPPA!

Want to be my bodyguard?

want to be my long lost pal?

Emory and the Atlanta University schools are requiring vaccinations for the fall, Emory for students, AUC for faculty and staff as well. They are private so should be beyond the reach of Gov. Shotgun and the loons in the legislature.

Has anyone ever seen russell and Chevy Chase in the same room? Just sayin'!

Get these mutts away from me

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