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COVID-19/Coronavirus thread

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11 minutes ago, Yearnin' for Yermin said:

My biggest gripe with the issue. There would need to be some sort of fat tax or incentive to being in shape and healthy. 

The silly thing is that people don't think they are paying for people who aren't taking care of themselves now.  Why do you think hospital stays are so expensive?  You are paying for everyone else's risk factors, as well as the uninsured.

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1 hour ago, turnin' two said:

That doesn't seem to be the case at all.  There are plenty of countries with socialized health care that are experiencing (or experienced) a lot of trauma and death.  Saying Norway or Sweden is a case for national health case is just as biased as saying Italy and the UK aren't.  It is a far more complicated issue in general, as is how different countries have approached covid.  

And you pointed out earlier, Sweden's overall health makes it a terrible comparison for the US.  In general the health of the US is problematic for socialized health care.  As you mentioned, Sweden has the 2nd lowest obesity rates in the world.  The US, I think, is 2nd highest.  If Bubba and Betty can't invest in their health at all, eat fast food 8 meals a week, only drink Pepsi, smoke a pack a week, never exercise, and never make a healthy choice, why should other people have to invest in their health?  

Simply because Finland, Norway and Sweden are always in that very top tier in “world happiness” rankings, much higher tax rates, lower (generally) social inequality, more investment in public education (Finland especially), etc.   Heck, even Trump once made the comment about wanting more “quality” immigrants (or models?) wanting to becoming US citizens from that same region, right?

Basically, those three are the gold standard of “socialistic” utopias on earth...along with Canada, Denmark, Netherlands, Australia/NZ.    Maybe Germany, Switzerland and Austria as well in that next tier down.

Have never really seen Italy, Spain, France and UK accorded the same status.

 

https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/29/business/meat-processing-plant-workers-reaction-executive-order/index.html   
Meat pack workers to Trump:  We Aren’t Going To Show Up...uh oh

Edited by caulfield12

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So we're opening up restaurants using 25% of their capacity. As much as I really want to support a couple restaurants I just can't see myself going anytime soon. Now I'm not even comfortable with takeout if there are so many people passing through the doors. 

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Well, we are at 14k tests again.

We are at 2k new cases again.

Very frustrated at how illinois has been unable to bend the curve downward.

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I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess MADD will be against it but

Quote

Alcohol to-go sales: Gov. Abbott said based on what he's heard from Texans that ordering alcohol to-go from you favorite restaurants and bars could continue even after social distancing is over and dining rooms open again.

 

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Mass layoffs begin in cities and states

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/04/29/cities-states-layoffs-furloughs-coronavirus/

In fact, the calls for federal aid have been bipartisan, And many states entered the latest economic downturn in a far better financial position than they did the 2008 recession, thanks in part to healthier cash reserves. The data has not assuaged Republicans, including McConnell, who told Politico in an interview that the Senate would not “finance mistakes they’ve made unrelated to the coronavirus.” His office declined to comment for this story.

Other Republicans led by Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) similarly have mobilized in opposition to open-ended aid to struggling city and state governments, breaking with local officials even in the states they represent. “We believe additional money sent to the states for ‘lost revenue’ or without appropriate safeguards will be used to bail out unfunded pensions, reward decades of state mismanagement, and incentivize states to become more reliant on federal taxpayers,” Scott wrote in a draft letter to the president, which he has circulated among his colleagues for signatures. His office confirmed the letter, which attacks New York and Illinois for their financial decisions.


Ironic how much of the Federal financial assistance went to corporate stock buybacks and executive bonuses/golden parachutes in 2008-09...forcing us to bail out many of those industries once again.  But that’s white collar corporate socialism....only Bernie Sanders supporters and left wing nut jobs really care about that, right?

At any rate, here comes the next emerging financial tsunami.  Roughly 1/3rd or 1/4th the state and municipal authorities being furloughed as financial austerity measures are increasingly imposed.   It’s totally reminiscent of the EU arguments between Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal and France that are adamantly opposed by Germany, Austria and the Netherlands.

The key difference here in the US is that most of these coastal states pay a lot more in Federal taxes than they receive back (see earlier discussion up thread), with the majority of of those “socialist welfare” benefits redistributed to poorer, rural, Red States with a disproportionate influence in Congress.

If you are elderly, work for a small business, are unfortunate enough to live in a Blue state, are surviving on fixed income programs like Social Security or Medicaid, work in retail/fast food/minimum wage jobs, are an immigrant or minority, hold public sector or union jobs...you suddenly have a massive target on your back.

 

And you can pretty much forget nationwide contact tracing through public health agencies with all these layoffs.   But hey, the stock market was up again today despite all this horrific economic news, why worry?

Edited by caulfield12

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On 4/28/2020 at 2:00 PM, southsider2k5 said:

 

We went through this when packaging companies were taken to task in The Jungle.  They swore regulation and common sense would put the price of food out of range of the common person, and it would put farmers out of business.  That never happened.  It is also worth noting that if the President's economic plans hadn't have largely destroyed farming in this country over the past couple of years, the industry wouldn't be in such dire straights already.

To spin this back around, how much death from the food supply are you willing to tolerate, especially with the consequences for those poisonings being largely removed.

Here's another scene from The Jungle. It's after Jurgis moves to the country and finds farm work. At the end of the season the farmer is telling him goodbye and hopes he'll be back in the spring. Jurgis looks at the horse and points out there is no work for the horse yet you will feed him and provide a place to sleep. Why not for a human?

 

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In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.

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Noam Chomsky is more appropriate today.

https://truthout.org/articles/chomsky-covid-19-has-exposed-the-us-under-trump-as-a-failed-state/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=7135e5f4-c0e9-486f-9b96-d6576625d16d

 

He is certainly no fan of Biden, Obama, Clinton and the neoliberal world order...it’s quite painful to read, and extremely LONG, but a stark reminder of how much still needs to be done in order to leave a better world (and more abundant opportunities) for the next two generations of Americans.

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I really hope that enough states stick to their guns about staying closed longer so that we can collect divergent data sets to prove who is right and wrong here for opening up this early.

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2 hours ago, soxfan49 said:

Damn, Lori Lightfoot just destroyed Trump. Whoa

I can’t find it, can you please share?

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58 minutes ago, caulfield12 said:

Mass layoffs begin in cities and states

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/04/29/cities-states-layoffs-furloughs-coronavirus/

In fact, the calls for federal aid have been bipartisan, And many states entered the latest economic downturn in a far better financial position than they did the 2008 recession, thanks in part to healthier cash reserves. The data has not assuaged Republicans, including McConnell, who told Politico in an interview that the Senate would not “finance mistakes they’ve made unrelated to the coronavirus.” His office declined to comment for this story.

Other Republicans led by Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) similarly have mobilized in opposition to open-ended aid to struggling city and state governments, breaking with local officials even in the states they represent. “We believe additional money sent to the states for ‘lost revenue’ or without appropriate safeguards will be used to bail out unfunded pensions, reward decades of state mismanagement, and incentivize states to become more reliant on federal taxpayers,” Scott wrote in a draft letter to the president, which he has circulated among his colleagues for signatures. His office confirmed the letter, which attacks New York and Illinois for their financial decisions.


Ironic how much of the Federal financial assistance went to corporate stock buybacks and executive bonuses/golden parachutes in 2008-09...forcing us to bail out many of those industries once again.  But that’s white collar corporate socialism....only Bernie Sanders supporters and left wing nut jobs really care about that, right?

At any rate, here comes the next emerging financial tsunami.  Roughly 1/3rd or 1/4th the state and municipal authorities being furloughed as financial austerity measures are increasingly imposed.   It’s totally reminiscent of the EU arguments between Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal and France that are adamantly opposed by Germany, Austria and the Netherlands.

The key difference here in the US is that most of these coastal states pay a lot more in Federal taxes than they receive back (see earlier discussion up thread), with the majority of of those “socialist welfare” benefits redistributed to poorer, rural, Red States with a disproportionate influence in Congress.

If you are elderly, work for a small business, are unfortunate enough to live in a Blue state, are surviving on fixed income programs like Social Security or Medicaid, work in retail/fast food/minimum wage jobs, are an immigrant or minority, hold public sector or union jobs...you suddenly have a massive target on your back.

 

And you can pretty much forget nationwide contact tracing through public health agencies with all these layoffs.   But hey, the stock market was up again today despite all this horrific economic news, why worry?

I fully anticipate paying higher taxes to live in Illinois because of the fallout from COVID-19 and the looming pension crisis. I’m glad I refinanced because it is going to get ugly.

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1 hour ago, southsider2k5 said:

I really hope that enough states stick to their guns about staying closed longer so that we can collect divergent data sets to prove who is right and wrong here for opening up this early.

Do you really expect that states who fail aren’t simply going to follow the Trump playbook and blame that divergent data on “interstate commerce” or travel/tourism or “imported cases from neighboring states”?


Buried deep in Chomsky is something that cuts to the heart of the matter on the current vaccine efforts as well (this has been already discussed, with Balta taking the most extreme position on why public health might not be prioritized over pharmaceutical industry profits).

 

 

The depth of the pathology is revealed clearly by one of the most dramatic — and murderous — failures: the lack of ventilators that is one the major bottlenecks in confronting the pandemic. The Department of Health and Human Services foresaw the problem, and contracted with a small firm to produce inexpensive, easy-to-use ventilators. But then capitalist logic intervened. The firm was bought by a major corporation, Covidien, which sidelined the project, and, “In 2014, with no ventilators having been delivered to the government, Covidien executives told officials at the [federal] biomedical research agency that they wanted to get out of the contract, according to three former federal officials. The executives complained that it was not sufficiently profitable for the company.”

Doubtless true.

Neoliberal logic then intervened, dictating that the government could not act to overcome the gross market failure, which is now causing havoc. As The New York Times gently put the matter, “The stalled efforts to create a new class of cheap, easy-to-use ventilators highlight the perils of outsourcing projects with critical public-health implications to private companies; their focus on maximizing profits is not always consistent with the government’s goal of preparing for a future crisis.”

 

We’ve already witnessed this particular conflict play out in the realm of testing (prioritizing those 3 immense commercial labs vs. public hospitals and health centers.)  

Currently, we are building out an additional stockpile of around 65,000 ventilators at around $15,000 a pop through GM and Ford....and they MIGHT be ready in June or July, MAYBE???   It was all eminently avoidable, and had even been anticipated as a future need by HHS, but broke down with a corporate response Ayn Rand herself likely would have delighted in.

 

 

 

Edited by caulfield12

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If you divide deaths (and Florida is already deliberately trying to cover up their numbers already) in Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark (2462/206/443/207) and divide by country’s total population,

then multiply by that rate to apply to it the US (where we don’t have universal health care/hospitals with built out capacity/a massive amount of preexisting condition or obese population)

you’d get the equivalent so far in American deaths:

 

Sweden   78,216   (27% worse than the US)

Finland    12,133   

Denmark   24,798

Norway     12,533

 

US actual number as of now (according to worldometers) is 61,618 deaths.   Sweden is fighting to get to 20-30% herd immunity, but with a total population smaller than the entire city of Wuhan and not close in terms of population density (which is primarily why major cities are getting smashed.)   The US is instead choosing no coordinated national or Federal strategy...just a patchwork quilt of differing approaches, which means we are essentially forcing ourselves into herd immunity, one way or the other.    The UK calculated these herd immunity scenarios early on and determined the same philosophy was going to lead to disaster there and (relatively) quickly reversed course.

Edited by caulfield12

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3 hours ago, The Beast said:

I can’t find it, can you please share?

A reporter asked her about Trump singling out certain cities that have many immigrants and she responded with "we don't follow that racist and xenophobic ideology." 

Same reporter/different reporter went to ask about "Trump has said.." and Lightfoot interrupted by saying "he has said many questionable things in the last 3.5 years."

 

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https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/29/opinions/trump-treats-meatpacking-workers-as-disposable-reyes/index.html
 


https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/29/politics/executive-order-meat-processing-plants-latinos/index.html
Last August, in a record-setting sting operation, immigration officials swept through seven chicken-processing sites in Mississippi, rounding up 680 mostly Latino workers.

It followed a similarly high-profile raid, in April 2018, on a meatpacking plant in Tennessee, where, according to a class-action lawsuit, "(ICE officers) forcefully seized and arrested approximately 100 Latino workers."

Fast-forward to 2020, and meat-processing plants function differently in the national narrative. Suddenly, they're portrayed not as supposed vectors of criminality but as vital tools for keeping Americans hale and hearty in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

And yet, in the absence of greater workplace protections, it seems all but guaranteed that President Donald Trump's new executive order to keep meat-processing plants open will put employees at even greater risk (including protecting corporations from liability and invoking the Defense Production Act for the first time to actually force or compel workers to report, my add.)

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1 hour ago, turnin' two said:

I have to re-convince myself every day that Caufield isn't just an article posting bot.

I have to re-convince myself every day that those who are unwilling to listen will one day, eventually, realize the truth of what is happening to their country.

Yes, I realize the odds of Greg reading Noam Chomsky are probably 1 in 10,000.  Perhaps less.  And there’s not going to be any hardcore Trump supporters changing their minds, that much is certain.

But it’s worth it to me if just a FEW become more open-minded.

I have zero illusions about Joe Biden even being able to reset the world back to November of 2016.   I was a high school senior in 1988 back when he first ran and I participated in the Iowa caucus.   I didn’t like him then, not do I particularly like him now.

But something has to change, eventually.  

The country can’t keep going on this way and continue to be a shining beacon for the rest of the world, the greatest remaining hope for the future.

 

Maybe it doesn’t matter.  That’s fine, too.   Next Thursday I have to do the nose swab and nucleic acid test here in Wuhan despite not going outside once since January 20th.   Every teacher and student needs to do that before we can all go back to school on May 11th.   Then my life will finally return to the new normal and I won’t have nearly as much free time.   I will spend an hour each way going back and forth to work.  So you can relax and turn your focus to bigger problems in the world than me.

Good luck.

Edited by caulfield12
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2 hours ago, caulfield12 said:

I have to re-convince myself every day that those who are unwilling to listen will one day, eventually, realize the truth of what is happening to their country.

Yes, I realize the odds of Greg reading Noam Chomsky are probably 1 in 10,000.  Perhaps less.  And there’s not going to be any hardcore Trump supporters changing their minds, that much is certain.

But it’s worth it to me if just a FEW become more open-minded.

I have zero illusions about Joe Biden even being able to reset the world back to November of 2016.   I was a high school senior in 1988 back when he first ran and I participated in the Iowa caucus.   I didn’t like him then, not do I particularly like him now.

But something has to change, eventually.  

The country can’t keep going on this way and continue to be a shining beacon for the rest of the world, the greatest remaining hope for the future.

 

Maybe it doesn’t matter.  That’s fine, too.   Next Thursday I have to do the nose swab and nucleic acid test here in Wuhan despite not going outside once since January 20th.   Every teacher and student needs to do that before we can all go back to school on May 11th.   Then my life will finally return to the new normal and I won’t have nearly as much free time.   I will spend an hour each way going back and forth to work.  So you can relax and turn your focus to bigger problems in the world than me.

Good luck.

Sorry Caulfield, I wish u the best. You are a good guy I bet. My frustration with this situation is some of these governors appear way too power hungry, including the one in Kansas who won't let me get my hair cut. I feel like there needs to be a balance here. The economic impact of this suggests people soon will be dying. Deaths of hunger and being homeless because of layoffs are real. We must compromise and put people back to work. And these power hungry governors need to shut the bleep up with their ORDERS and COMMANDS. I'll proably be arrested before this is all over cause I'm not going to wear a mask at all times. So I'll probably be thrown in jail. This situation makes me understand why so many people want to keep their guns. I never would be comfortable with a gun but I can see why people would feel the need to have one with possible chaos coming if not this pandemic but the next.

Take care Caulfield. Hope you pass the tests so you don't get roughed up by that government there.

Edited by greg775
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It honestly never occurred to me that The Walking Dead might have started because boomers couldn't get their haircuts

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1 hour ago, Kyyle23 said:

It honestly never occurred to me that The Walking Dead might have started because boomers couldn't get their haircuts

Dude's should just shave their heads. It's liberating and will grow back.

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51 minutes ago, Brian said:

Dude's should just shave their heads. It's liberating and will grow back.

There’s way too much whining about not being able to get haircuts, meat from the store, Starbucks coffee and then there is anger about layoffs, protests and the divide of those who want to open the economy and those who want to re-open after the orders end. There’s a lot of fearmongering out there.

It’s annoying how people don’t consider alternatives like cutting their own hair, making meatless meals, making their own meals and getting a walk or run in if there’s a shelter in place in their state.

I can understand the argument about Sweden’s way of combating the virus, but I am concerned about the elderly, people in their 60s, and a second wave of the virus with another lockdown, giving people more to b**** about. 

There needs to be a gradual reopening rather than some politicians in southern Illinois trying to re-open the state based on technicalities. Both parties could work together on a fair reopening strategy in phases than opening everything up at once. There’s too many variables in play and too much not known to go back to how things were, which some people seem to want to do immediately.

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