Blooper Reel #694 (Strip #2349)
|ROM The Comic||
It's not like weekends mean as much these days as they used to. But this week has been kind of exhausting (mentally more than physically) so I'm hoping for a chance to relax a bit. Unfortunately, this weekend won't really present any new opportunities to get out and do something as this part of Virginia isn't moving into phase 2 re-opening with the rest of the state (I really hate both our governor and local government). But we might be taking a short vacation in the next week or two so that's something to hopefully look forward to.
Other than that, I took my whole COVID-19 series and added it to the Virginia Travelogue. They're not exactly about travel, but related to the area and why I haven't been doing any sightseeing lately. Plus, I spent a ton of time writing them and want them to be easy to fine.
Anyway, have a good weekend. Hopefully by the time it's over, everything will have calmed down a bit.
|6/3/2020 COVID-19 Part 6|
Ok, let's see if I can get this done.
I've already gone over the origins of the virus, how dangerous it is (or isn't), the effectiveness (or non-effectiveness) of many of the measures taken to combat it, and some of the arguments for continuing the lockdowns and such for as long as possible and why they don't hold up. Before moving on to today's topic though, a couple updates since last time...
The idiot British professor who made the wildly inaccurate computer model (like all the other ones in his career) that led to governments worldwide adopting quarantines, lockdowns, and all the rest of these unprecedented measures actually came out and admitted that Sweden ended up getting similar results without all the drastic measures taken elsewhere. He tried to downplay it a little bit by saying that Sweden might still have a spike in the future...but he basically admitted that he, and all the policies he recommended, didn't produce a result any better than Sweden, which was mostly able to maintain normal life and a strong economy.
In other news, the new requirements to wear masks indoors here in Virginia got me doing a bit of research on masks. Especially considering that the CDC can't seem to make up its mind on how helpful they are. It's one thing if you have those medical grade N95 masks, but most people don't so lets focus on the regular disposable masks that most people are wearing. Turns out, there's actually no medical or scientific consensus on the effectiveness of masks when it comes to protecting you or others. The only serious study on the matter that I found actually proved that the masks do very little to stop the transmission of germs, bacteria, and such at close range. With the counter argument being that the study only tested close range, so maybe the masks reduce the range of transmission (or maybe they don't, no one seems to have studied that), and that the tests took place a while ago before COVID-19, so maybe the masks are magically more effective when it comes to this particular virus. So yeah. There's nothing wrong with wearing masks, but they're not necessarily doing much for you or others. To be clear, I have no problem with people wearing masks if they want to, or with businesses requiring them for employees and/or customers (though it annoys be a bit when I'm forced to wear one). But it should be a choice, not a government mandate.
Anyway, on to today's topic. Why, especially after all this time and all the new data (the curve was flattened a while ago, the virus isn't nearly as dangerous are originally thought, etc.), are some people still so invested in maintain strict lockdowns, social distancing, etc.?
Let's start with ordinary people. Quite a lot of people have had enough and want the country the country to open back up, either fully or with various precautions. But there are some who really, really don't. For example, there's the woman I saw on a Facebook discussion about when local schools will be reopening who declared that she wouldn't send her children to school to die. Or, when a local woman was harassed and chased out of a supermarket by another shopper for not wearing a mask (prior to the requirement) because she has a medical condition that prevents her from wearing one. Most of the people talking about it on the local message board were very supportive however, there was a small but very vocal minority attacking the harassed woman and praising her assailant as a hero. If you look on social media or just across the country, there are many more stories like those, some are much worse. Not to mention all the people who say that, even if things reopen, they won't be leaving their home any time soon.
There's a line from a favorite fantasy novel of mine. I don't remember the exact quote, but it basically boils down to that people can be made to believe any lie because they either want it to be true, or that they're afraid that it's true. And that's basically the situation here. But what about the people feeding them the lie in the first place? Let's start with the media.
Finally, there's the politicians. I would assume that a few of them (and a few people in the media, for that matter) are genuinely scared of the virus (see my comments on normal people). Most, however, are trying to use it for political gain. Especially the Democrats. It's no secret that the left really hates President Trump and is desperate to win the upcoming election and kick him out of office. It's also no real secret that, even if you love his policies, Joe Biden himself (the presumptive Democrat nominee) is a terrible candidate that can't seem to get through a single public appearance without shooting himself in the foot somehow. And, love him or hate him, one thing Trump really had going for him was how great the economy was doing prior to COVID-19, with raising wages, record low unemployment across the board, tons of new jobs being created, etc. And a good economy tends to strongly favor the incumbent in a presidential race. Not to mention that Trump has handily beaten every alleged scandal that the Democrats have tried to use to take him down, include the impeachment attempt early this year. COVID-19 provided a new method of attack. First, they accused him of doing too much (his China travel ban). Then, when worry about the virus grew, they accused him of doing too little. Even better, at least for their political fortunes, all the lockdowns and such tanked the economy and created depression levels of unemployment. The kind of conditions that favor a regime change in elections.
So there you have it. We have a virus which, due to horrendous mishandling on the part of China and the WHO, wildly inaccurate predictions on the part of various scientists (especially that idiot in the UK), media bias and spectacle, and political gain, was blown far, far out of proportion. Yes it's very contagious and somewhat dangerous to small subset of the population but not all that much more than the flu. And for that we've drastically increased depression, suicides, domestic violence, and starvations. Cost millions of people their jobs, cost many others their businesses and life savings, and quite possibly destroyed some social norms for years to come. That is COVID-19. When people look back on this time years later, it will be quite clear that the "cure" was far worse than the virus ever could have been. I just hope that, at very least, the world learns from this mistake and doesn't repeat it in a couple of years when the next new illness comes around.
|6/1/2020 This and that|
I was hoping to finish my series of COVID-19 posts today, but I had a few assorted web design related tasks to take care of so I don't really have the time. At least not if I want to get a decent night's sleep, which I could really use, so I'll aim for Wednesday instead. While my sleep schedule usually gets a bit off during the summer, it's much worse thanks to all the lockdowns since, not only do I not have work, but there's no classes for Zack, no synagogue, or much of anything else that we really need to stick to a schedule for. While I do enjoy a somewhat loose schedule, this is getting a bit too loose.
Anyway, I'm going to get some rest.
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