22 December 2020

The coming covid-19 explosion

The US confirmed death toll from covid-19 has now reached 322,000, meaning that about one in every thousand Americans has now died from this.  Of course the hardest-hit areas, such as the Dakotas, passed the one-in-a-thousand milestone weeks ago.  And the worst may still be yet to come.

Despite official warnings, despite the disaster which has already unfolded, it's projected that 85 million Americans will be traveling during the "holiday season", down only one-third from a normal year.  Most will be going by car, but several million have already gone by plane.  Large-scale air travel for family visits is the perfect scenario for a gigantic explosion in infections.  With a hundred or so people together in a plane for a couple of hours or more, breathing the same air, one infected person could spread the virus to many more -- and each of those newly-infected people will still be non-symptomatic and unaware while spending days with the group they are visiting.

That so many are taking such risks may seem incredible, but it's likely that most of them are among the "stupid one-third" of the population who still mostly refuse to recognize the crisis, militantly disdain and reject basic precautions like mask-wearing, and diligently confine their "news" intake to sources that reinforce their delusions.

Red America no longer has the spirit that animated this country against the great challenges of the past.  If they had been like this during World War II, they would have been braying that the war was a Chinese hoax, that the Pearl Harbor attack was fake news, that most of the people being killed in battle or in the Holocaust were actually dying of other things and the numbers were hugely exaggerated anyway, and that the media and officials who insisted that the war was real and sacrifices needed to be made were "enemies of the people" and part of some Satanic pedophile conspiracy.

322,000 dead out of 18 million infected is about one in every fifty-six.  Those aren't very comforting odds when you're talking about death, and a slow and horrible death at that.  Plus, since the disease takes a couple of weeks to kill, it would be more relevant to compare the death toll to the number of infections two weeks ago, which was smaller and thus yields a higher death rate.  To put it another way, many of those 18 million infected are people who will die in the next couple of weeks, but haven't done so yet and thus aren't included in the 322,000 figure.

And for every one who dies, several who survive are left with serious symptoms like major organ damage, mental fogginess, or serious disruption of basic functions like heartbeat and blood pressure.  You need to read this, all of it, to understand what some survivors are still going through months after they "recovered" from covid-19.  Such symptoms could be life-long, for all we know now.  And none of the people covered in that article are elderly.  One is ten years old.

And vaccination for the broad mass of Americans is still several months away.

This pandemic may yet surpass 700,000 dead and overtake the Civil War to become the deadliest disaster in all of US history.


Blogger Sixpence Notthewiser said...

I still cannot believe that there are people who think this is not a pandemic. Or who think that wearing a mask and keeping social distance is tyranny. I can't.
The absolute disdain for others (and their own lives) is frightening because those people don't mind killing someone out of selfishness. They needed that haircut, am I right?
It makes me mad that Hair Furor, who could have made a difference, instead downplayed the pandemic, even while getting the best treatments money and privilege can buy WHILE being infected with the virus he called a hoax. I'm still furious about the unfairness of it all.
I'm going to keep being an effin' hermit if I have to, for the next six months. Or until I get the vaccine. It's scary, living in 2020. Not for the virus per se, but because we are surrounded by millions of very selfish, stupid people.


22 December, 2020 03:38  
Blogger Rosa Rubicondior said...

Those deaths can be attributed to Trump's narcissistic inability to admit he got it wrong in ignoring expert opinion and down-playing the seriousness of the threat, and to the evangelical Christians in their unswerving loyalty to Trump and their insistence on continuing to hold super-spreader church services whilst eschewing the use of face-masks and social distancing rules as political statements opposing their idol, Trump.

The Covis-19 disaster is a grim but fitting end to the disastrous, perverse alliance between white-supremacist Christian evangelicals with their cult-forming tendencies and love of totalitarian autocracy, and Trump's self-adulatory right-wing extremism. The man-child was and always will be unfitted for public office and should now be made to answer for his criminal negligence and other crimes.

22 December, 2020 04:03  
Blogger Hot guys said...

Just when you think the end of the pandemic is near... 🙄

22 December, 2020 04:48  
Blogger yellowdoggranny said...

holy fuck

22 December, 2020 05:24  
Blogger Debra She Who Seeks said...

Anti-maskers are idiots, pure and simple.

22 December, 2020 05:42  
Blogger Mary said...

I really have no words..they are stupid and selfish and their precious ego tells them " no one is gonna tell me what to do."
An anti lockdown militia group Patriot Prayer took guns to the Capitol of Oregon, I think, and actually smashed the glass front door and sprayed bear mace on the police.

Not only are people incredibly stupid, but they are dangerous and have some real mental issues and of course lots of high powered weapons...redneck SS full of hate, like WWII and Hitler. .
It pains me that America has ended up this way...years of right wing propaganda and religious nuttery, red neck racism and greed.

Can’t see a way out of this for generations long after I’m gone.

22 December, 2020 10:02  
Blogger RO said...

I know that people tend to go through depression and some feelings of darkness during the holidays and want to be with family, but staying home this year and talking on the phone or using Zoom seems like the best route to take so that everyone is safe. I'm wishing you Happy Holidays from far, far away, and please be well. Hugs, RO

22 December, 2020 12:36  
Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

It would have been nice to have a national leader give us the correct medical information we needed to protect ourselves, to understand the lethality of this virus, and to encourage us to pull together and do our best to stop the spread of Covid.

Some of us are lucky to live in states where we have such leadership and where most of the population is responsible and cooperative.

Others live in Trumplandia and have no idea of how stupid and selfish they are.

22 December, 2020 14:47  
Anonymous NickM said...

You kinda amaze me - I don't doubt you but you still amaze. The Dakota's hit especially hard! Naive me would have thought the worst places would be major population centres like NYC, Chicago, LA etc... But the Dakotas! From the perspective of these (relatively) crowded British Isles no bugger lives in the Dakotas! I mean living there is (or should be) an act of social distancing in and of itself!

22 December, 2020 15:42  
Blogger Mike said...

How nuts are the anti-maskers going to go when Biden declares a national mask mandate?

22 December, 2020 22:50  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Frankly, as you point out here, it's a grim situation, and looks like a perfect storm, from the way people ignored this, and even how our government is dealing with this, on top of all the tribal politics. I myself, know of several folks, mostly folks that I know, or family members know, their kin, friends, etc that got covid (probably 15 or so), several quarantined, most came through it, only 2 that I know of in others families have died, both elderly, one 94, the other in their 60s. So, it is very importante to use self discipline, I alwayz give advice to folks in my community, family, friends on safety. I also worked with my daughters and their families (1 daughter and her husband are also RNs in healthcare, test daily being nurses, etc) on how we done our Thanksgiving this year, as well as Christmas, and no travelling or the usual family from California, etc. If I even go dump my trash without a mask, and when I do I keep distance, still talk to folks, say hi or whatever, but distanced, and no groups ... the idea that we're caged up is nonsense, I'm out daily, and been for months ... I took nose stick covid tests, late june, and late october last. I also see folks that will wear their mask, but leave the nose part uncovered. I seen a small 2 year old with mom, both with masks, but child's nose not covered in Trader Joe's one day ... I told mom she needed to cover her little girl's nose ... she didn't get mad, she actually thanked me. It is SO SIMPLE ..., wear masks, don't crowd/ hug, etc ... wash hands frequently, etc ... I mean, HOW DAMN COMPLICATED IS THAT? This talk about being locked down and imprisoned, violating rights on ordering to wear masks, etc, etc ... is so confusing to understand these people that won't. I wear masks, in fact, months ago I modified masks by hand sewing and protective materials ... have small spray bottle that I fill with 72% alcohol sanitizer. I have clorox wipes for the car, etc ... it is so basic, and so simple to follow, a 1st grader could do it! I also think that the U.S. on a whole is not taking care of this the best way, in fact, some is a confusing mess ... too much political tribalism (you can credit Trump's months of propaganda and inaction, fighting, non- cooperation, etc for that). When Gov Abbot of Texas, said you can now open to 75% capacity, bars/ restaurants awile back ... that's just dumb ... how do you enforce that in this big nightclubs and eating joints?, and many got citation on violations. BUT, because lack of government help we are forced to try to keep small business open, and folks need to pay rent and bills, while the banks and billionaires, as USUAL, walked off with billions/ trillions. Luckily we got some stimulus, although the $600 checks is better than nothing, it falls short of what this country should help people with (such as other civilized countries do). BUT ... President Biden vows to use this stimulus as ONLY a temporary step to more help after he is in office ... he can't do much now/ yet. Trump this morning on the news, said he may veto the stimulus, until Congress negotiates a larger check of $1200 or more ... this is so silly, Trump knows that Congress has the power on this to override his veto. This is more nonsensical garbage out of Trump, because he DON'T really mean it ... it's a media stunt, because he wants to go out of office trying to look like he done something for people, because he is planning to run 2024. Some Dems don't like the idea of Trump's signature on the checks ... but frankly, right now, most average Americans with bills, including myself ... don't give a shit if Trump's name is on the check, Santa Claus, or whoever ... just give us the goddamn fucken check.

23 December, 2020 08:36  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Also ... for folks that don't know what to do ... a rule I have/ use, as I told friends, family, etc ... in a catastrophic, pandemic event, etc ... go on the tele, medical websites/ online to doctors and scientists, not just domestic, but global, and see their research and advice. I don't listen to the "3 entities" much in a situation like this, especially with and incompetent government, as far as looking out for average people ... the "3 entities" being ... politicians, religious ministers, or corporate figures/ multimillionaires/ billionaires/ Wall Street ... some of them will tell you it's patriotic to die for Wall Street/ economy, or that you'll go to heaven if you die, etc ... all nonsense from folks looking for power or money.

23 December, 2020 08:53  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Sixpence: Oh, they believe that all right. They're quite truculent about it. Remember, I read several right-wing blogs. Since the election they've been full of fantasies about hanging liberals from lampposts and shooting people, never mind killing out of carelessness (with a plague they don't believe in anyway). I'm not sure if even Trump could have gotten them to take it seriously even if he'd tried.

Rosa: It was only a matter of time until religio-wingnut reality-denial had some kind of disastrous result. People who deny reality usually end up getting kicked in the teeth by it.

Hot: Well, I never thought it was near, so I guess I'm less disappointed.

JackieSue: Indeed.

Debra: Worse, they're willful idiots. It takes hard work to stay so ignorant of the reality of the situation.

Mary: I think they were trying to abduct the governor, like those crazies in Michigan. As to curing them of their delusional thinking, I touched on that here, but I suspect the ravages of covid-19 will also have an effect. It's becoming such a disaster in the red states that the denial will become hard to sustain.

23 December, 2020 12:27  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

RO: Oh, trust me, I'm being as careful as ever. I've been a virtual hermit since mid-March and I'm not going to start taking risks now, when the vaccine is just a few more months away. You be careful too!

Shaw: It would have been nice to have a national leader, period. Fauci did the best he could,since Trump decided to be a national bullshitter instead.

Here in Oregon the state government did take the pandemic seriously and has ordered strong precautions -- that's why we've repeatedly had gangs of armed wingnuts menacing the state capitol.

NickM: Yes, it's surprising. See the map and explanation here. Stupidity more than offsets the advantage of low population density.

Mike: Oh, they'll ignore it and the red-state governments won't enforce it. They already think Biden is a "globo-pedo" who stole the election.

Ranch: Yes, the precautions are simple, but the wingnuts just refuse to believe the danger is real, and they think public-health measures are "tyranny". Common sense is something they most conspicuously lack.

I'm not sure what Trump is trying to pull by suddenly demanding $2,000 checks instead of $600. He knows those checks are popular -- maybe he thinks this will get him a wave of public support for overturning the election? In reality it's a great opportunity for the Democrats. Pelosi is claiming to back Trump's idea, so now the Republicans have to either go along (which they hate because it will be so expensive) or else help override Trump's veto (unpopular with their base) and defeat the bigger checks (unpopular with everybody).

Your rule is exactly right. Listen to the people who actually understand the problem. If your car breaks down, you take it to a car mechanic, not an astrologer. Politicians, preachers, and CEOs don't know anything about epidemics and biology. It's doctors and scientists who understand those things.

23 December, 2020 12:51  
Blogger Martha said...

It's alarming how much stupidity is out there! I shudder to think what COVID numbers will be like in January.

24 December, 2020 04:55  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Well, at least I got a laugh out of your response to my comment ... when you talked about Republicans will hate a larger stimulus check (they hate ANY stimulus check, I believe, whether $60 or $600) ... because you make them sound SO CHEAP, which they are ... heh, heh, heh, heh, heh {:-) But, there are many folks that are fairly wealthy/ well off, that are really cheap I've noticed, some as tight as a cockroach's asshole

24 December, 2020 09:43  
Blogger seafury said...

Trump might be leaving the White House (might) but this is just the beginning. He is still red America's president and the next step is to burn it all down. As my local trumpanzee at work says "the fake virus ain't shit compared to what trumps gonna do next" Still not sure, how you combat that mindset? Sure it isn't all going to burn down, but what about the very real damage that can be done? To infrastructure, the very real threat of mass casualty events etc. There are a lot of people hanging on by their fingernails to the real hope that trump brought them. Sorry for the thread hijack

24 December, 2020 09:50  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Martha: They're going to be awful. Biden will inherit a terrible mess.

Ranch: They can be generous when it comes to tax breaks for billionaires. It's only with ordinary people that they get stingy.

Seafury: He will be leaving. I expect there will be scattered cases of violence, but I've discussed elsewhere why I think most of that kind of talk is just talk. But yes, it is off topic for this post.

24 December, 2020 13:53  

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